Matjiesfontein, a Victorian Village in the Karoo



We awoke to find ourselves meandering through the beautiful Karoo.

Rovos Rail staff served a wonderful South African breakfast.

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We passed the small Karoo town of Laingsburg which was devastated by a flood in January 1981. All the rivers in this part of the Karoo converged and flooded the town.  Some abandoned vehicles can be seen on the dry riverbed. They were probably carried there by the floodwaters.

Some of the intrepid passengers disembarked and walked the last few kilometres to the Victorian village of Matjiesfontein.

Matjiesfontein was founded in 1884 by a Scottish railwayman, James Douglas Logan.  He also built the famous Lord Milner Hotel. We visited  the Transport Museum.  Olive Schreiner loved Matjiesfontein and is buried on a koppie overlooking the town.

We got back on board the Rovos Rail and were treated to a traditional South African four course meal. Each course was accompanied by a South African wine.


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While we were enjoying lunch we reached the Hex River Tunnels. The longest tunnel is 14 kms long.


After leaving the tunnels we entered the Hex River Valley.  There was a dramatic change of scenery.  Gone was the dry Karoo.  Now we saw the lush winelands of the Western Cape.  There were also many hectares of olive groves.


The staff on the Rovos are friendly and efficient.


We passed the golden wheat fields near Worcester.


In the distance we saw Table Mountain and knrw that we were nearly at Cape Town,  our final destination.   Rohan Vos was there to meet all the guests.  He flew from Pretoria to Cape Town for this purpose.  What an amazing man and what an incredible world class service he and his team provide to locals and tourists alike!  It made us very proud to be South Africans.





Author: valvs

I live in Umhlanga, Kwa Zulu Natal, South Africa. Much of my schooling was done in the Eastern and Western Cape. After I matriculated from Rhenish Girls' High in Stellenbosch, I went to Grahamstown Teachers' Training College. Most of my teaching was done in Margate and Durban. My hobbies are reading, traveling and photography.

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