Carnarvon, situated on the R63, 140km from Williston and 63km from Loxton, is one of the busier centres in the Karoo region. The town, which is set amongst the hills of the Kareeberg range, serves a large sheep and game farming community.
The district around Carnarvon is well-known for its unique corbelled houses built by the early trekboers from around 1811 to the latter part of the 19th century. The busy main street sees farm folk in wide brimmed hats and bakkies stocking up on supplies during the day. But, like all other Karoo towns, it becomes deserted in the late afternoon.
The old Carnarvon hotel is one of only a few in the Karoo that travellers can depend upon. Its bar is good for a drink and a chat with the locals. In recent years the town has become an important centre for space age technology with the construction of the Meerkat radio telescope nearby. This is a prototype for the bigger SKA (Square Kilometer Array), the biggest radio telescope in the world, which South Africa will be hosting should we be awarded the bid in 2012.
Look out for
The Carnarvon Museum - situated in the 1907 church hall, it contains over 1 000 items of cultural and historical interest.
Corbelled house - alongside the museum, this well-preserved example of the beehive-shaped stone houses of the early trekboers was moved stone-by-numbered-stone from a nearby farm.
Noteworthy architecture can be seen on a walk or drive around town, and of particular interest are homes of South African poets A.G. Visser and D.F. Malherbe, with their mixture of Victorian and Gothic styles.
Blikkieskroeg - located in the Carnarvon Hotel, has a collection of 4 000 beer cans from around the world. At the same time one gets to listen to music oozing out of an authentic 1950s Juke Box.
The Appie van Heerden Nature Reserve is a 760ha reserve containing plains game species typically found in the Karoo.
Traditional dance - the traditional and expressive dance of the Khoi Khoi and Khoisan.
Meerkat - the radio telescope is being built near Carnarvon and will be used to research cosmic radiation. Tours of the facility must be pre-arranged.