Located on the N1 highway, approximately half way between Cape Town and Johannesburg, Colesburg is an oasis in the heart of the Great Karoo. With attractive accommodation establishments, a rich history, natural splendour, and outdoor activities, Colesberg is an ideal stop over destination. Have a look at our beautiful guest houses and B&B accommodations, and experience genuine Karoo hospitality.
Colesberg also lies at the start of the N9, which leads off the N1 to Knysna and Port Elizabeth, making it an ideal spot for travellers to stay on their way from the northern regions of South Africa to the Garden Route and Eastern Cape. But don’t simply eat, sleep, and hit the road. What may seem little more than a small town in a barren Karoo veld, is in reality a treasure trove of experiences that are worth an extended stay.
Colesberg is surrounded by koppies (little hills), the most famous of which is Coleskop, which can be seen from a distance of 40km. Early travellers called it “Towerbergâ€, which means “Magic Mountainâ€, because it never seems to get closer when you approach it. The koppies are an archaeological delight and reveal many interesting stone-age artefacts and fragments of the past. Outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers can admire plants and wildlife around the veld while enjoying numerous walking, hiking, horse riding, and mountain biking trails. Water sport enthusiasts can take a short drive to Gariep Dam, where the Orange River flows over a 374km² area that is ideal for boating, water sports, and fishing. Gariep Dam boasts three surrounding nature reserves, but travellers can also take a drive to the Doornkloof Nature Reserve, on the banks of the Vanderkloof Dam, to spot a variety of antelope, small game, and 173 species of bird. The area is abundant with birdlife and bird watchers can enjoy hours of spotting from the comfort of their private stoep. Hunting can be arranged for those who enjoy the sport.
The region is well-known for sheep farming, which spreads over half a million hectares and is home to some of the country’s top merinos. There are also many nearby stud farms, including one owned by legendary golfer Gary Player, that produce high-quality racehorses and may be visited on request. One of South Africa’s last working horse mills can also be visited on Bell Street.
If you’re only stopping for a short visit, you can take a walking tour through the streets and admire the town’s original buildings that date back to the 1880’s. Many are still in pristine condition and are fine examples of early Karoo architecture. Learn about the Karoo Nomads, discover the local history, visit the old cemetery, and admire the town’s churches and reed-ceiling homes. Colesberg has several national monuments, one of which is the Kemper Museum. It houses fascinating relics of the town’s rich history, including a fossil exhibition, Anglo-Boer War artifacts, a permanent photographic display of the Karoo Nomads, and records of South Africa’s first diamond find.