Loxton, eighty kilometres west of Victoria West on the tarred R63, is one of those rare Karoo villages that has plenty of trees. It’s pretty and really peaceful, although the lack of activity on the streets belies the life going on behind closed doors.
Roads are lined with 100-year old trees, and narrow leiwater channels are used to flood-irrigate resident's gardens. In spring, the air is filled with blossom-scent and in summer fruit and vegetables sprout from enthusiastic gardeners’ plots. Donkey carts klip-klop through town sedately, their owners waving as they pass.
Many of the original 100+year-old houses remain and are good examples of typical vernacular Karoo architecture. The oldest building, the original horse stable of the farm Phezantefontein, is a portion of the now redundant power station at the eastern end of Magrieta Prinsloo Street.
After years of standing empty, most buildings are or have been restored and the town - once thought of as a retirement village - is enjoying a revival. Different styles of corrugated iron roofs can be seen in town, including ogee, bullnose, and concave, along with diamond windows on end walls, pedimented parapets, classical pillars, and balustrades with balusters. Some of the old buildings have wooden shutters and sash windows.
The unique stone Corbelled houses that are shaped like old-fashioned beehives are also found around Loxton. In fact, these dwellings only occur in a small area of the Karoo roughly between Loxton, Fraserburg, Williston, and Carnarvon. They were built from 1811 onwards by the early trekboers (migratory farmers) and due to the lack of other building materials, consist solely of local stone and have no supporting roof beams.
Other points of interest in the area include bird watching (after good rains) on and around farm dams, a /Xam-San waterhole, a church built of local sandstone, and replica Dutch castle and windmill, which looks like it’s stepped straight out of Disneyland. This is one of the two largest garlic-producing areas in the country.
The surrounding koppies and veld are great for exploring in the cooler hours, and when rains allow, there’s even a Karoo Water Sports Centre where locals gather on weekends to ski on a large farm dam.
• Fuel – Petrol can be obtained from the Loxton farmer’s co-op (Karoo Vleisboere Koöp) during normal business hours. NB: The co-op is not open on Saturdays after 13h00, on Sundays, or public holidays.
• Library – situated in the Loxton municipal building
• Shops – sell only the very barest essentials
• Karoo Images – Brent Naudé-Moseley & Steve Moseley have a photo library, which includes a wide range of Karoo images covering subjects such as landscapes, Karoo icons (wind pumps, donkey carts, koppies etc), flora & fauna, people, farming and other.
• Best of Karoo products are made locally using Karoo-grown fresh produce for tasty rubs, salts, and sprinkles.
• Karoo Therapy – aromatherapy and reflexology treatments.