Western Cape Premier Alan Winde and Minister of Finance and Economic Opportunities David Maynier have launched the Karoo Crossing Route in the Cape Karoo gem of Prince Albert.
The Karoo Crossing is the fifth route in the Cape Cycle Routes network, which is a Western Cape government-led initiative and marketed by Wesgro – the tourism, trade and investment agency for Cape Town and the Western Cape.
The Karoo Crossing stretches from Knysna to Calitzdorp and takes cyclists on a 358 km journey as they start – or end – their ride at a location in Knysna on the edge of a vast estuary that flows into the Indian Ocean through two giant sandstone heads.
Winde says the route has unique charm and that cyclists have the opportunity to journey through the Central and Klein Karoo, passing through historic towns boasting beautiful Victorian, Cape Dutch and Georgian architecture and along winding mountain passes "boasting fascinating legends".
“Tourists will have the opportunity to appreciate the heritage of the Karoo told through rock art paintings and engravings dating back thousands of years. As the sun sets over the open Karoo landscape, cyclists can make their way under the starry night sky, discovering that the Karoo is equally as beautiful at night as during the day,” he adds.
The Cape Cycle Route network now consists of five cycling routes that have been carefully developed and spread throughout the province to attract visitors to explore some of the smaller towns and lesser-known attractions that the Western Cape have to offer.
“With the summer season approaching, we encourage people to get out and explore the province by venturing off the beaten track and to stop along the way and enjoy some of the best of small town hospitality. This will help support the tourism and hospitality sector, which is a significant job creator, especially in our non-rural areas, and help us to save jobs in the province," Winde says.