Discover the Karoo on a pet-friendly road trip MzansiBride

Winona Griggs

Uncover the beauty of the Karoo on a road trip with your furry friend

Have you been dreaming of a road trip but worried about leaving your beloved pet behind? Look no further! With the majestic Karoo as your backdrop, you and your four-legged companion can embark on an adventure of a lifetime.

The Karoo, a vast and captivating landscape in South Africa, is the perfect destination for a pet-friendly road trip. Its rugged mountains, wide open plains, and picturesque towns offer a multitude of experiences for you to enjoy together.

Imagine the wind in your hair as you drive through the winding roads, with your loyal furry friend by your side, excitedly sticking their head out the window. Every twist and turn reveals a new marvel to behold, from breathtaking gorges to enchanting wildlife.

Stop by the charming towns that dot the Karoo and experience the warmth of their hospitality. Unearth the rich history and culture as you stroll through the streets, stopping for a bite at one of the cozy cafes or browsing through the unique, handmade crafts.

When it’s time to stretch your legs, take a leisurely hike with your pup along the endless trails that showcase the Karoo’s natural beauty. Let the tranquility of the surroundings and the chirping of the birds uplift your spirits and rejuvenate your soul.

As the sun sets, find a pet-friendly accommodation where you and your furry friend can rest and recharge for the next day’s adventure. There are many pet-friendly options available, ensuring both you and your pet have a comfortable and enjoyable stay.

So, pack your bags, grab your pet’s favorite toy, and hit the road. The Karoo awaits you with its wonders and charms, ready to create memories that will last a lifetime. Embark on this pet-friendly road trip, and experience the beauty of the Karoo like never before.

Discover the Karoo on a pet-friendly road trip MzansiBride

When I inherited Lily, a dog who had been buried alive and left to die, I knew it was time to give her some new experiences. So, we decided to embark on a road trip from Cape Town to Cradock, looking for the best pet-friendly places to stay along the way. It wasn’t exactly the idyllic adventure I had imagined, but the vast expanses and the hospitality of the Karoo region won us over. I was left with no doubt that it was the perfect route for me and my furry companion.

Discover the Karoo on a pet-friendly road trip MzansiBride

As I set off on a nine-day adventure with my trusty companion Lily, I couldn’t help but feel excited. The open road awaited us, and the possibilities seemed endless. We were headed to the Karoo, a vast and beautiful landscape, where we would be free to explore to our hearts’ content.

The car was filled with anticipation. Through the side mirror, I caught a glimpse of Lily’s eager face – her tongue hanging out, her nose sniffing the air with curiosity. Her whiskers twitched with excitement. The windows were wide open, allowing the fresh breeze to sweep through the car. White hairs from Lily’s coat swirled across the dashboard, a testament to her restless energy. The CD player was blasting our favorite tunes, adding to the atmosphere of adventure.

We were well-prepared for our journey. The boot was filled to the brim with everything we could possibly need. Clothes, blankets, dog food – all the essentials were carefully packed. And of course, there was a special treat for Lily – a hunk of biltong, her absolute favorite.

As we drove along, I couldn’t help but reflect on Lily’s incredible journey. Three years ago, she had endured a horrific ordeal. Buried alive in Khayelitsha, she had faced unimaginable adversity. But through sheer determination and resilience, she had not only survived but also regained the use of her once-paralyzed legs. Now, here she was, embarking on her first real road trip, a testament to her fighting spirit.

Our time in the Karoo promised to be full of happiness, joy, and relaxation. We would roam freely through the veld, breathing in the fresh air and reveling in the beauty of nature. Lily would have the chance to swim in rivers, a simple pleasure that she had been denied for so long. In many ways, we would be like Tintin and Snowy, embarking on a grand adventure together.

On the second day, we transformed into characters from a Stephen King horror story. Our once calm and composed family pet turned into a jittery and uncontrollable beast. After an intense 462-kilometer drive from Cape Town to Beaufort West, we finally arrived at Olive Grove Guest Farm – a lush, green oasis in the midst of the surrounding sandy hills.

That night, Lily, our furry companion, barked at every little sound. The rustle of the wind, the shuffling of other guests, even the gentle thud of an olive dropping from a branch caused her to go into a frenzy. The next morning, as we sat outside, a friendly German tourist walked by and, much to our horror, Lily lunged at him while baring her teeth. I quickly apologized to the man, who kindly accepted, and hastily packed our belongings into the car. As we drove away, I couldn’t help but give Lily a stern look through the rear-view mirror.

Our next stop was a roadside picnic area near Graaff-Reinet. As I enjoyed the warmth of the sun and swatted away flies, Lily scavenged for bones. In retrospect, I should have known better. By the time we reached our cottage, called Allemann se Huisie, Lily’s stomach was making strange, squelching noises and the car had taken on an unmistakably pungent odor. Determined to make the most of our time, we took a stroll through the village, admiring the fascinating display of skulls outside Die Waenhuis restaurant and store. I decided to let Lily off the leash in the cemetery, hoping she would feel better. However, she lagged behind and panted heavily, leaving a trail of unpleasant odors in her wake. By the time we returned to the cottage, it was clear that Lily was quite ill.

READ  Things to do in Makhanda

Despite my efforts to let her out multiple times during the night, I woke up to a sight that even the most experienced sanitation worker would dread. Determined to clean up the mess, I found a mop and bleach and left Lily inside while I visited the Owl House, a famous attraction in Nieu-Bethesda. Although my visit was brief, Helen Martins’ colorful dwelling left me feeling both moved and unsettled.

Discover the Karoo on a pet-friendly road trip MzansiBride

When you visit Helen Martins’ Owl House, you can’t help but feel a sense of introspection.

Discover the Karoo on a pet-friendly road trip MzansiBride

The Owl House is a place of great intrigue and wonder. It may seem strange to some, but to me, it holds a unique and inexplicable beauty.

I was back at the cozy cottage, and Lily, my beloved companion, seemed uncharacteristically calm and content, curled up on the bed. However, I couldn’t shake off my concern for her well-being. Determined to ensure her happiness, I gently touched her warm nose and made a promise. If she didn’t show signs of improvement soon, I would take her to the veterinarian in Cradock.

Before leaving, I made a quick stop at The Brewery and Two Goats Deli, a delightful local establishment. There, I indulged myself by purchasing some exquisite goat’s cheese and a bottle of irresistibly aromatic smoked ale. As I made my way back to the car, I couldn’t help but notice a pair of majestic peacocks gracefully displaying their vibrant plumage. It was a mesmerizing sight.

However, as if sensing something, Lily’s normally composed demeanor suddenly shifted. She went from a state of tranquility to one of absolute excitement. It was clear that she no longer required a trip to the vet. Something about those peacocks had ignited a spark within her, filling her with boundless energy and joy.

As I arrived on Market Street in Cradock, I was greeted by the picturesque scenery of typical Karoo sky. The sky was adorned with clouds shaped like cauliflowers against a vibrant blue backdrop. It was a sight to behold. As I walked along the street, I couldn’t help but notice the beautiful heritage cottages that lined the area. These cottages had curved tin roofs that were painted in traditional stripes, giving them a unique charm.

I later learned that these cottages were the result of the hard work and creativity of Sandra Antrobus, her daughter Lisa, and son-in-law Dave. They had purchased 30 rundown buildings over the years and turned them into guest cottages. The collection of these cottages was called Die Tuishuise. Each guest cottage was carefully furnished with antiques and family heirlooms, adding a touch of history and nostalgia to the ambiance.

After checking into my cottage called Karoo Morning, I decided to take a moment to relax outdoors. I found a spot under a lemon tree and settled down. The warm shade provided the perfect atmosphere for a little afternoon nap. As I dozed off in my chair, I couldn’t help but notice Lily, my furry companion, enjoying her own relaxation in the shade. It was a peaceful moment, taking in the beauty of the surroundings.

When I finally woke up from my little nap, both Lily and I were ready for a stroll. We decided to explore the area and ended up across the road at Schreiner’s Bistro and Tea Room. The back garden of the establishment was a tranquil oasis, offering a serene atmosphere to enjoy a meal. I opted for a refreshing salad that had a delightful twist – caramelized pineapple. The flavors burst in my mouth, and I couldn’t help but savor each bite. Lily, on the other hand, sat by my side, attentively observing my meal. I had a suspicion that she was tempted and might have even drooled a little. After all, who could resist such a delicious treat?

Discover the Karoo on a pet-friendly road trip MzansiBride

When I arrived in Cradock, I was amazed by the stunning restoration of the Tuishuise. These historic buildings have been transformed into beautiful accommodations.

After a restful night, I decided to visit Lingelihle, an important site in Cradock’s history. It was once home to the Cradock Four, a group of anti-apartheid activists. As I stood at their graves, my guide, Amos Nteta, shared his personal connection to these brave individuals. He recounted how they were ambushed and tragically killed in 1985, their bodies burned.

On a nearby hill, I noticed a monument dedicated to the Cradock Four. Four concrete pillars reached towards the sky, a solemn reminder of their sacrifice. Sadly, the monument appeared neglected and abandoned, but Amos’ vivid storytelling brought their legacy to life in my mind.

Discover the Karoo on a pet-friendly road trip MzansiBride

Hey there, let’s talk about the Cradock Four monument. This important memorial pays tribute to four incredible individuals who made a lasting impact on history.

Back in the day, during a time of political unrest, these four individuals chose to stand up against injustice and fight for what they believed in. They knew the risks involved, but they were willing to make the ultimate sacrifice for their cause.

When you visit the Cradock Four monument, you can’t help but feel a sense of awe and respect. It serves as a reminder of the power of unity and the courage it takes to stand up for what is right.

So why is this monument so significant? Well, it serves as a symbol of hope, resilience, and the fight for freedom. It reminds us that even in the face of adversity, we can find strength and inspiration.

The Cradock Four monument is a powerful reminder of the individuals who came before us and paved the way for a better future. It serves as a call to action, encouraging us to continue the fight for justice and equality.

When you stand in front of the Cradock Four monument, take a moment to reflect on their bravery and the sacrifices they made. Let their stories inspire you to make a difference in the world and stand up for what you believe in.

The Cradock Four monument is more than just a structure made of stone and metal. It is a symbol of hope, a beacon of light in a sometimes dark world. It reminds us that we have the power to create change and shape the future.

Discover the Karoo on a pet-friendly road trip MzansiBride

Amos Nteta has stories to share from the past.

On a hot afternoon, I took Lily for a walk once again, this time at the local cemetery. The spirits resting there didn’t seem to mind the company of a bouncy dog who loved to chase after litter. I let Lily off her leash and set out to find the gravestone of Harry Potter. It’s fascinating to think that this man, who passed away in 1910, has now become a popular tourist attraction. After a little searching, I discovered his resting place a few rows away from the humble mounds honoring fallen soldiers from the Anglo-Boer War.

READ  Chicken tikka masala on the braai in four easy steps MzansiBride

Our next destination was Glen Avon Farm in Somerset East. We drove along a dirt road that took us through Swaershoek Pass, where the rain had left its marks on the distant hills. Lily couldn’t contain her excitement as she stuck her head out of the car window, desperately trying to reach the upholstery whenever we passed a pair of graceful bucks. As soon as we turned into the farm’s entrance, her ears perked up at the sight of a flock of sheep. I prepared myself for her inevitable reaction.

Discover the Karoo on a pet-friendly road trip MzansiBride

I found myself running behind schedule, but luckily Alison Brown, the overseer of the farm’s guest cottages, had made arrangements for her son Greg to accompany me to the top of Boschberg Mountain on the property. Since it would be better to leave Lily behind to avoid any potential run-ins with farm animals, I secured her inside the sturdy Hart Cottage – a historic building that was constructed by the family’s predecessors back in 1817. With Lily safely settled, I hopped into the bakkie and engaged low-range gears, making our way to a grassy plateau that offered a picturesque view of dams and the distant Zuurberg range. After two hours, we made our way back, only to hear Lily’s distressed cries from inside the cottage. My perfect day had taken an unexpected turn… along with two damaged doors and a ruined tray in the kitchen. That night, I lay in bed, unable to shake off worries about the scratched wood and whether bringing Lily on this trip had been a wise decision. But as I glanced at her, curled up on her blanket, a feeling of warmth washed over me. The following day, as the Browns gracefully accepted my payment for the damages Lily had caused, they reassured me that it was nothing a little sandpaper and paint couldn’t fix.

The next two days were pure bliss. After cruising along the crumpled red rocks of Seweweekspoort, Lily and I made ourselves at home in Bergzight Cottage on Zandrivier Farm. The cottage garden was teeming with dahlias and sunflowers, creating a vibrant and stylish Karoo atmosphere inside. As we settled into our cozy space, encased by sturdy stone walls and surrounded by the cheerful sounds of chickens and lambs, Lily was finally able to unwind. I took a moment to peer up at the canopy of stars above while she peacefully closed her eyes.

When our time at the farm came to an end, we decided to make a quick stop at one of the dams, though it had shrunken due to the ongoing drought. Lily dashed along the water’s edge with pure joy. This was the reason for our journey, and it couldn’t have been more fulfilling.

Discover the Karoo on a pet-friendly road trip MzansiBride

After a long drive on the R62, between Ladismith and Barrydale, we turned onto a dirt road that led us to our final destination near Bergzicht Cottage in Seweweekspoort. I almost canceled our stay at Wolverfontein because of the intense heat and Lily’s mischief with the heritage doors. However, Andre Hagan, who runs the cottages and bed and breakfast with his partner Ashley Brownlee, reassured me on the phone that we could figure out a system for alternating outdoor time between Lily and their three dogs. That’s when I realized this place was truly special.

As we pulled up to their home, Moreson Manor, a majestic Victorian farmhouse that had been rescued from ruin, I knew I had made the right choice. The grandeur of the house and the warmth of the hosts instantly put me at ease. It felt like a hidden gem, tucked away from the world.

When I stepped foot inside D’Waenhuis, our 1880 cottage, I couldn’t help but notice the peculiar collection of items. The retro couches were adorned with Kaizer Chiefs towels, and the light switches were fashioned from bones hanging on strings. It was an eccentric sight, to say the least.

Later in the day, Lily and I decided to take a stroll towards the water. On the farm, we discovered a natural pool fed by an underground source. Without hesitation, I dove in, immersing myself in the refreshing water. As I resurfaced, I was delighted to find Lily by my side, gracefully paddling and playfully snuffling. Together, we explored the pool, our limbs in sync as we swam through the calm water.

We may not have been Tintin and Snowy, embarking on thrilling adventures, nor were we a frightening spectacle. Instead, we were simply a girl and her loyal canine companion, basking in the breathtaking landscape around us. This vast expanse of land was filled with warmth, beauty, and an endless array of stories just waiting to be discovered.

Discover the Karoo on a pet-friendly road trip MzansiBride

Me and my dog, Lily, are always up for an adventure in the Karoo. We’ve learned a few things along the way about traveling with dogs, and I want to share our tips and etiquette with you.

Tips for Traveling with Your Dog

  1. Before embarking on a long trip, it’s a good idea to test the waters with a shorter one first. Take your dog on a weekend getaway to see how they handle being on the road. Even the sweetest dog can turn into a wild beast when traveling.
  2. Make sure to take regular breaks during your journey. Stop at intervals to allow your dog to stretch their legs and have a drink of water.
  3. Instead of stopping at roadside picnic sites, which are often full of discarded bones, opt for farm roads where your dog can explore the open fields.
  4. When visiting small towns that may not have dog parks, cemeteries can be surprisingly peaceful and secure places to walk your dog.
  5. Remember, not everyone is a dog lover. Keep your dog on a leash when around other guests to ensure everyone feels comfortable.

When you travel with your dog, there are some things you need to keep in mind. Certain experiences, like going to restaurants or museums, might not be possible because not all places allow dogs. If you decide to leave your dog at home, it’s important to make sure they are calm, settled, and have things to keep them entertained.

If your dog has a habit of getting on the bed during the night, it’s a good idea to bring your own blanket to cover it. This is a courtesy to the owners of guesthouses and future guests.

READ  Ed s Letter Travel news Local And International MzansiBride

Before you make a reservation, it’s always a good idea to ask about the establishment’s pet policy. Some places only allow smaller dogs, while others may restrict pets to certain areas, like the kitchen.

These are just a few things to consider when traveling with your dog. It’s important to be respectful and follow the rules, so that everyone can have an enjoyable experience.

Discover the Karoo on a pet-friendly road trip MzansiBride

Hey there! I want to share with you a little adventure I had recently. You see, I was exploring this beautiful place called Compassberg. The view there is absolutely breathtaking!

Discover the Karoo on a pet-friendly road trip MzansiBride

When I think of Die Waenhuis in Nieu-Bethesda, I can’t help but imagine all the skulls that decorate the place. It’s quite a sight to behold!

Your Guide to the Karoo

What to Do


If you’re in Nieu-Bethesda, you absolutely have to visit the Owl House Museum. It’s filled with incredible outsider art created by Helen Martins. And guess what? It only costs R50 per person! Don’t forget to also check out the Kitching Fossil Exploration Centre, which is an amazing experience for just R30 per person!


In Cradock, you can take a tour of Lingelihle and the Cradock Four remembrance sites. It’s a powerful journey that costs R100 per person, but you need a minimum of five people to join. It’s definitely worth it!

Glen Avon Farm

If you love the outdoors, you’ll fall in love with Glen Avon Farm. There are three beautiful hiking trails waiting to be explored, and the best part is that they’re completely free! You can also try your hand at fly-fishing in one of the three stocked dams. Just keep in mind that there’s a R150 daily rod fee for fly-fishing.


At Wolverfontein, you have the chance to take a refreshing dip in a natural pool or go on an adventure and mountain-bike along the dirt roads. The best part is that these activities are absolutely free! And while you’re in the area, don’t forget to visit the Touwsberg Private Game & Nature Reserve. The entry is free, so why not?

Places to Stay with Your Pets

1. Olive Grove Guest Farm

At Olive Grove Guest Farm, we offer comfortable accommodations for your stay. Our self-catering chalets are available at the affordable price of R440 per person when sharing. If you prefer something different, we also have non-self-catering guest rooms for R550 per person when sharing. Additionally, we provide breakfast options for a small fee of R75 per adult and R35 per child under 12. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at 0234143397 if you have any questions or would like to make a reservation.

Another great option is Allemann se Huisie. They offer self-catering accommodations starting at R580 for two people. If you would like to include breakfast, the price is R640. For more information or to book your stay, you can contact them at 0498411642.

If you’re looking for a unique and charming place to stay, look no further than Die Tuishuise. They offer self-catering accommodations for R670 per person when sharing, which also includes breakfast at Victoria Manor. If you have a group of three, the price drops to R525 per person, and for four people sharing, it’s R435 per person. Feel free to contact them at 0488811322 for more details.

For a peaceful retreat, consider staying at Glen Avon Guest Farm. They offer self-catering accommodations ranging from R300 to R400 per person when sharing. They also provide a delicious breakfast option for R85 per person. To inquire about availability or make a reservation, you can reach them at 0422433628.

Bergzight Cottage is another fantastic choice for your stay. They offer a self-catering unit that can accommodate up to three people, starting at R600. For more information or to book your stay, contact them at 0824455569.

Each of these accommodations has its own unique charm and amenities to ensure a comfortable and enjoyable stay. I hope this information helps you find the perfect place for your upcoming trip.

6. Wolverfontein

If you’re looking for a self-catering accommodation option in D’Waenhuis, Wolverfontein is the place to consider. At just R300 per person, it’s an affordable choice that provides all the comforts you need during your stay.

Located in a beautiful setting, Wolverfontein offers a tranquil environment where you can relax and unwind. The self-catering facilities allow you to have complete control over your meals, giving you the flexibility to eat when and what you want.

Whether you’re traveling alone, with a partner, or as a family, Wolverfontein can accommodate your needs. The units are well-equipped and designed to ensure your comfort throughout your stay. From the comfortable beds to the spacious living areas, the accommodations are thoughtfully furnished to meet your expectations.

When you choose Wolverfontein, you’ll also have access to friendly and helpful staff who are available to assist you with any queries or concerns you may have. They will ensure that your stay is enjoyable and that you have everything you need for a memorable experience.

Don’t miss out on this fantastic self-catering option in D’Waenhuis. Book your stay at Wolverfontein now and enjoy a comfortable and affordable accommodation experience.

If you have any questions or want to make a reservation, you can contact Wolverfontein at 0285512277.

Discover the Karoo on a pet-friendly road trip MzansiBride

Hey there! Check out this cool signpost I found near Wolverfontein!

Discover the Karoo on a pet-friendly road trip MzansiBride

I’m out in the wild, scanning the veld for dassies. It’s quite an adventure, exploring nature and observing these creatures in their natural habitat. And as I’m out here, I realize that traveling with a dog can sometimes limit our dining options. However, there are some restaurants that are considerate enough to allow dogs, as long as they are well-behaved or small. Of course, it’s always a good idea to check with the restaurant in advance to make sure they’re dog-friendly.

By the way, this article was originally featured in the April 2015 edition of Getaway magazine. It’s always fascinating to look back and see how things have changed since then. Oh, and just a friendly reminder, prices mentioned here were accurate at the time of publication, but things might have changed since then. It’s always a good idea to double-check with each establishment before you make any travel plans. Happy exploring!

Leave a Comment