Hanover’s claim to fame is that it’s virtually exactly halfway between Cape Town and Johannesburg on the N1 - give or take a kilometre or two. It’s also roughly halfway between Upington and Port Elizabeth on the N10.
Unbelievably, the town’s convenient location is apparently accidental. With filling stations and fast food outlets on either side of the N1, it is a popular stop to refuel and grab a bite to eat. However, once one leaves the rush and rattle of the highway behind and enters the town, the pleasant streets and tranquil atmosphere will tempt one to stay a while. Well-known South African author Olive Schreiner lived here from 1900 to 1907, and referred to it as “the prettiest little village I have ever seen”. Its attractiveness endures.
In recent times the town has enjoyed an extended period of popularity for its pleasant guesthouses and welcoming hospitality. Like many Karoo towns the greatest pastime here is to find a shady stoep somewhere to relax on and melt into the tranquillity. There’s a koppie right on the edge of town so visitors don’t even need to drive anywhere for great views across the plains. It’s a relaxed leg-stretch and short climb and is a good spot at sundowner time.
Look out for
The Karoo Gariep Conservancy is situated on the farm New Holme, 20km north of Hanover. It is responsible for reintroducing hippos to the Karoo’s Seekoei River after they were hunted to extinction here 230 years ago. From a viewing deck one can observe these beasts enjoying Karoo life in their favourite waterhole.
Trappieskop is the town’s landmark with a 360-degree view of the surrounding Karoo. It is great for sunsets; and for early risers, the break of dawn.
Lesser Kestrels - Birders find the town a good base from which to pursue their passion. In summer lesser kestrels gather here in large numbers. At sunset they come in to roost in large numbers.