The Great Karoo is a vast semi-desert region of more than 400,000 square kilometers stretching over the provinces of the Eastern, Northern and Western Cape.
The Karoo offers the visitor vast plains, majestic mountains, champagne air and picturesque Karoo towns steeped in history and intrigue. Here you can explore off the beaten track - on foot, horseback, mountain bike, 4x4 or canoe - and enjoy spectacular game viewing and bird watching.
Visit game and nature reserves, farms and fascinating museums, bushman engravings and fossil collections.
The Karoo can be divided into the Succulent Karoo Biome, to the west, and the Nama Karoo Biome which covers most of the interior at altitudes between 500 and 2000m.
The Succulent Karoo stretches along the coastal strip of southwestern Namibia and South Africa's Northern Cape Province, where the cold Benguela Current offshore creates frequent fogs. The ecoregion extends inland into the uplands of South Africa's Western Cape Province. It is bounded on the south by the Mediterranean climate fynbos, on the east by the Nama Karoo, which has more extreme temperatures and variable rainfall, and on the north by the Namib Desert.
The Succulent Karoo is notable for the world's richest flora of succulent plants, and harbors about one-third of the worlds approximately 10,000 succulent species. The region is also extraordinarily rich in geophytes, harboring approximately 630 species.
Most of the land in the Nama Karoo is used for grazing by sheep (for mutton, wool and pelts) and goats. Urbanization and agriculture in the biome are minimal, and irrigation is confined to the Orange River valley and some pans.