Carnarvon is a small, but beautifully scenic little town in the country’s largest Province, the Northern Cape. The town is well-known for its warm hospitality and exquisitely beautiful wild flowers.
Carnarvon is one of the many little towns that are scattered through the Great Karoo and lies surrounded by the flat topped koppies of the Karee Mountains. These koppies (hills) have become quite a popular attraction for the town. Another popular attraction for the town are the corbelled buildings. These are the first true north-west Karoo architectural style buildings and the only other evidence of this style can be found in the Mediterranean parts of Europe. These domed roofed buildings are made completely of flat stones in a beehive shape. The “Trekboers” built this way because there was not enough wood for roof trusses.
Outdoor activities, unique beauty and history are what this small town is about. Combine this with a landscape of many windmills, good traditional food and true hospitality gives Carnarvon a unique charm that lures visitors to this quiet and peaceful part of the land.
Accommodation options include quaint Gust Houses, B&B’s, Lodges and Farm Accommodation.
Places to Visit
Things to do and see
- Carnavron Museum
- Koeëlkop Viewpoint
- Ossewatrek Monument, Koeëlkop
- Old English Fort, Koeëlkop
- NG Church
- Corbelled House Monument
- Historic Houses Trail
- Skietfontein Hiking Trail
- Tortoise Reserve
- Appie van Heerden Nature Reserve
- San Rock Painting, Klein Springbokoog Farm
- Karoo Array Telescope (MeerKAT)
- Namakwa Spring flowers (peak blooming season is Mid-August to end of September)
Carnarvon receives majority of its rainfall occurring during the winter months, with Summer being hot and dry.
Summer months, November to March will have average temperatures of between 15˚C and 31˚C.
Winter months, May to August will have average temperatures of between 0˚C and 15˚C.
There are daily flights from Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town into Bram Fischer International Airport in Bloemfontein. Calvinia is approximately 540 km away along the N12 and car hire facilities are available at the Airport.
September – Williston Winter Festival: The festival concentrates on showcasing the interesting and unique talents and customs of the Karoo. Famous bands, dancers, stalls and good food!
This typical Karoo town was established in 1860 and name Harmsfontein. The area was the site of a Rhenish Mission Station and many of the street names are still that of the early Rhenish missionaries. The town was also the only source of water in the vicinity.
In 1874 the name was changed to honour Lord Carnarvon, the Colonial Secretary.
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