As much as this dimpled-faced mountain rises above it’s ruggedness with its steep gorges and deep valleys so typical of the Cape Fold mountains, so does the wide Klein Karoo valley seduce with its furry fynbos. Centrally situated Anysberg, is surrounded by Laingsburg, Ladismith, Montagu and Touwsrivier. As a weekend family getaway for mountain bikers, hikers, birders or star-gazers, an adventure weekend could not be better.
We travel a dusty 70 kilometres from the nearest town, Ladismith, towards this more than 64ha seemingly isolated reserve. A burnt-orange sunset laminates the hilly backdrop; not only a photographer’s ideal but also the best time for a stroll to catch a glimpse of the odd nocturnal mammal foraging for a meal. If you miss spotting a jackal, you will surely hear one calling at night. Later we discover a vast night-sky, black enough for thousands of stars to glow and ample quiet to secure any city slicker a silence to sink into. Our rustic cottage, is furnished with home comforts from plush armchairs to potholders, all equipped enough to service a family of 6.
This Karoo outback holds back on nothing; 2 day horse-riding trails, self-guided animal spoor spotting or stone-tool fossicking in the surrounds of the 28 archaeological sites showcasing bushman art, are all at your doorstep. But we take off on a hike towards the way of the waterfall. We pass impressive Montane fynbos and further along Protea woodlands become more frequent. Overhead a Martial Eagle rides the thermals but we are entertained by the Cape Clapper Lark with its long whistle and flapping-wing action.
The early Karoo heat is comforting as we walk the rocky trail leading to the foot of the gorge where it finally opens up to a scanty waterfall (at this time of the year) with its crystal pool basin. As the heat rises, a Shepherd tree shares it’s shade for our picnic lunch break. Again the tranquility breaks through and only distant baboon barks steal the silence. Noon welcomes a chilly dip in temperature in the reserve’s reservoir. It’s so welcoming in counteracting the intensity of the day’s heat. Soon the night arrives, with its star-filled sky and braai smells from those cooking supper.
The 4 night stay is jam-packed with outdoor adventures. Someone had warned me about the reserve being in the sticks with not much nearby. At the last minute and in desperation thinking the time would drag, I had grabbed the scrabble and way too many novels but found I had time for neither.
I was pleasantly surprised once again by the Karoo’s charm and that familiar reluctance to pack-up on the last day. There is an activity for all; even the elderly can enjoy game drives for viewing wildlife and perfect landscapes, level accommodation and wheelchair friendly ablutions.
Making plans is what we’re doing for our next visit to Anysberg; the nice berg with its countless stars that some may describe as being in the sticks.
How to get there:
From Ladysmith via the R62 or from Laingsberg via the N1
Contact details: email@example.com
Accommodation costs: from R300 for self-catering and camping R170 per night