Timeless Karoo, Western Cape, South Africa


Timeless Karoo, a travelogue book by Jonathan Deal.

As a voracious reader of non-fiction, and consummate writer, I am qualified to recognize a seminal work when I read one.  That was my reaction to reading Jonathan Deal’s travelogue, “Timeless Karoo.”  In 208 pages, 185 photographs, each picture telling its own story, Jonathan’s journey through five regions of the Karoo in South Africa’s Western Cape, spending time at each of 56 towns and villages is a riveting and highly informative read.

The Karoo in South Africa’s Western Cape Province provides some of the most fantastic touring sites and vacation places.  Steeping into history and offering a variety of scenic and cultural experiences, a travel opportunity not to be missed.

I am guilty as charged of driving from Cape Town to Johannesburg, or Port Elizabeth via the inland route, without stopping at these many places to savor the delights it has to offer, its history, or to meet the locals as Jonathan did.

Jonathan and his wife Sharon took three years to research in detail each town before visiting, and then journeyed to and stayed at each location.  With his background knowledge, he was able to meet the locals in a coffee shop, church, or pub to learn more about the local history and customs, discerning their secrets before writing about his experiences.  While at it, Jonathan took magnificent photographs to illustrate the reader’s enjoyment, thereby making the trip more enjoyable. The result is a page-turning narrative that keeps you engrossed in his findings.  The only warning is that you may want to follow his path of discovery.  It is addictive.

The result is a well-written account of all they saw and experienced, for us to enjoy.  Jonathan covers geography, geology, paleontology, and other topics of interest.  The book is complete with “Don’t Miss These Highlights,” a glossary of terms from Afrikaans to English, publicity associations, and information bureau telephone numbers, with accommodation suggestions from Jonathan’s firsthand experiences.  A goldmine of valuable information.

Regions covered: Klein Karoo, Hantam & Tankwa Karoo, Great Karoo, Northern & Upper Karoo, and Central Karoo.

Towns covered: Aberdeen, Amalienstein, Barrydale, Beaufort West, Britstown, Calitzdorp, Calvinia, Carnarvon, Colesberg, De Aar, De Rust, Fraserburg, Gamkaskloof (Die Hel), Graaf-Reinet, Hanover, Hopetown, Hutchinson, Ladismith, Laingsburg, Leeu-Gamka, Loxton, Matjiesfontein, Merweville, Middelburg, Middelpos, Montagu, Moordenaarskaroo, Mount Stewart, Murraysburg, Nelspoort, Nieu Bethesda, Niewoudtville, Noupoort, Oudtshoorn, Philipstown, Prieska, Prince Albert, Prince Albert Road, Richmond, Rietbron, Seweweekspoort, Smartt Dam, Steytlerville, Strydenburg, Sutherland, Three Sisters, Touws River, Uniondale, Van Wyksdorp, Victoria West, Vosburg, Wagenaarskraal, Williston, Willwmore, Witteberge, and Zoar.

In my travels, I have read many fact-based informational tour guides.  In Jonathan’s Timeless Karoo, he provides many fascinating anecdotes that help make this book a must-read.  Each page introduces impressive people, each with its own unique story. You get to enjoy many pearls of wisdom from prehistoric times.  Jonathan wrote it to make this book must-read.  Revel in geological facts. How has the economy impacted the communities?  What role does water play in these communities?  Where in the Karoo will you find prehistoric fossils?

In addition to basic facts, Jonathan provides endless entertaining tales contributed by locals shared on his travels to make this a reverting read.  The data includes historical events.  America has its continental divide, where is there one in the Karoo?  What do you know about the diictodon?  Jonathan recommends scenic detours, what is not to like about that?  Jonathan tells accounts of his forefathers, including his mother.

Where to invest in this book?

I own the hardcover book.  I usually read novels and non-fiction on my Kindle.  I am particularly biased, this is a magnificent book to hold in your hand, now in its third edition, and the hardcover is the way to invest and enjoy this publication.

In South Africa, you can purchase hard copies from Sharon Deal, Sharon@geckorock.co.za, or directly from their website www.geckorock.co.za (082) 493-8733

The Rambling Rose Restaurant, 36 Long St, Montagu, 6720, Western Cape (083) 401-4503

The Lord Milner Hotel, Matjiesfontein, 6901 Western Cape (023) 561 3011

Nuveld Motors, Donkin St, Beaufort West, 6970 Western Cape (023) 414 4117

Veldskoen Padstal, N1 Road, De Doorns, 6875 Western Cape (023) 356 2619

South Africa’s Loot: https://www.loot.co.za/product/jonathan-deal-timeless-karoo/hfzh-467-g2a0

E-books:

For my American and other international family and friends, this is the only way that you can lay your hands on this work: Amazon (e-book only) https://www.amazon.com/kindle/dp/B01N7612LA/

South Africa’s VitalSource (e-book only) https://www.vitalsource.com/za/products/timeless-karoo-jonathan-deal-v9781775845652

Enjoy your travel experiences.  I trust you discover all the hidden gems.