The Karoo

Tiger Canyon is located in the Great Karoo, just 25km from the pastoral town of Philippolis in the Free State Province of South Africa, on the banks of the Van der Kloof Dam.

The beauty of the Karoo occupies an important place in the spiritual psyche of South Africa. Many of South Africa's great artists originate from, or were inspired by, the Karoo: the playwright Athol Fugard's Road to Mecca was a study of the famous Nieu-Bethesda artist Helen Martins, while our own town of Philippolis was home to world-renowned author Laurens van der Post. It is a place of old folktales inspired by the ancient landscape.


The local town of Philippolis forms part of the battlefield route of the Anglo-Boer War (1899 - 1902) and was once home to the wartime human rights activist Emily Hobhouse and the Griqua leader Adam Kok. The nearby Orange River, which forms one of the borders of Tiger Canyon, is the longest and grandest of South Africa's rivers and feeds into the nearby Lake Gariep – the largest storage dam in South Africa.

Rural towns in the Karoo have recently enjoyed a resurgence of visitors and newcomers drawn to the relaxed life on these ancient plains. The Karoo is a haven for photographers seeking to capture the luminescent scape of its stark mountains, the quaint architecture of its villages and the rich night sky.

As a culture and a landscape, the Karoo is a destination unlike any other, a jewel that lies between the beach and the bush — the deep and age-old heart of South Africa.

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