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    WELCOME TO
    Brandvlei


About Brandvlei

Brandvlei lies halfway between Calvinia and Kenhardt on the Great Pans of the Northern Cape. This is a place where the San Bushmen roamed, and where desperadoes once hid from the law and where speed merchants looking to race rocket cars like to come these days.

Driving around the area, you will see farms with some of the most exotically enchanting names around: Verdwaal Vley (Getting Lost Marsh), Varskans (Fresh Chance) and Handelkraal (Market Kraal).

They say Brandvlei (Burning Marsh) got its name this way: a trekboer outspanned overnight here, forgot to extinguish his campfire and set the local bush alight. He was forever known as ‘Ou Brand’ (Old Fire) and the place was called Brandvlei. Either way, you’re not likely to see much marsh or wetland up there these days. It’s as dry as a desert out there.

Nevertheless, the fun of visiting a place like Brandvlei is you get the real Outback feel of the Northern Cape up here, the remote Great Nothing of it all.

Brandvlei was developed near a Sak River ‘vloer’ in the heart of Bushmanland where ‘Ou Brand’, a 19th century trekboer, settled. The town was cut in two by a flash-flood in 1961, recovered, and a municipality was formed in 1962.

Things to do and see
Verneukpan is a dry salt pan just outside of Brandvlei - a perfect filming location! This pan is also used for a variety of activities from flying small aircrafts to paragliding and even adventure riding (motorbikes) with 'Adventure Riding South Africa'.

Accommodation can be organised - just make enquiries here http://www.verneukpan.co.za/accommodation.html
Note: Winter time (May - August) can get exceptionally cold at night, so best pack for all weather.

The Area: The Karoo
With the first rains, the seemingly arid soil of the Karoo bursts into abundant life, its hardy succulents complementing the sweet grasses on which the region's merino and fat-tailed sheep graze. The everpresent windpumps testify to the countless streams flowing between fissures underlying the dry but fertile soil.

Small, isolated but welcoming villages, a distinct Karoo architecture and imposing churches rest in valleys between desolate, flat-topped koppies. Take a short trip from Colesberg, an essential stopover for all travellers and a sheep-farming centre, to Hopetown, the scene of South Africa’s first recorded diamond find.

Return, passing Orania, a self-proclaimed Afrikaner volkstaat, before making your way to Vanderkloof and the Rolfontein Nature Reserve on the shores of the great Vanderkloof Dam.

Indulge in watersports or relax on its secluded banks which stretch 100km to the Doornkloof Nature Reserve on the man-made lake's southern shores. Throughout this wonderful part of the great Karoo, you can visit, hunt or hike on game farms and nature reserves teeming with every species of antelope. And, like the country they live in, the hardy inhabitants of the Karoo make you feel immediately at home in their beloved countryside.

Places to stay
- Casablanca Overnight camping - 082 464 4570


Quick Facts

Province: The Northern Cape
Country: South Africa

Why go?

- An incredibly isolated outback feel of peace and quiet
- mountain biking (go in the morning before the heat sets in)
- Visit the massive dry salt pan, Verneukpan, for paragliding, adventure riding (motorbikes), and more
- Bird-watching after the rains in the pan is wonderful

History icon

History

Brandvlei was developed near a Sak River ‘vloer’ in the heart of Bushmanland where ‘Ou Brand’, a 19th century trekboer, settled. The town was cut in two by a flash-flood in 1961, recovered, and a municipality was formed in 1962.



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