Things to do in Carnarvon and surroundings

Tourism page 2



Tourism Page 1

Carnarvon Museum


Hiking trails

Tourism Page 2

Nature reserve

San rock engravings

Karoo Aray Telescope

The Appie van Heerden Nature reserwe comprises 860 ha of commonage land.    The reserve lies on the right hand side next to the road from Carnarvon to Loxton.   No entry fee is charged, but the gate is only open on Sundays.   On weekdays it can be arranged with the officer in charge of the reserve, to open the gate for groups of visitors.   (phone 053 3823012 and ask for Neels Human)

The reserve host many Springbuck, a large herd of Gemsbok, Black Wildebeest, Blesbok and Zebra.

In the gallery below a few photos taken in the reserve can be seen.


Skietfontein hills in background


San Rock Engravings

On the farm Klein Springbokoog near Van Wyksvlei, one of the biggest collections of San art is found.    This semi desert land is covered with black dolerite boulders and the San craftsmen used these boulders to engrave figures and depict scenes that had symbolic meaning to them.    Although San art can be found on almost all farms in the North Western Karoo and Bushmanland, the collection on Klein Springbokoog is the most comprehensive and it is definitely worthwhile to travel the 80 km of dirt road from Carnarvon to VanWyksvlei, turn left at the only stop and then about 30 km more to see this wonderful collection.  Appointments must be made with Rina van Wyk well before.(Rina's phone no: 053 3832 ask for VanWyksvlei 1212)

Rock engravings on Klein Springbokoog


Game moving upwind and leopard stalking them



Unknown predator

Unknown animal

Rain animals??

Rock engravings and San tools found on the farms Wonderheuwel and Bruinpunt

Elephant engraved by San craftsman on black dolerite boulder

Rhino engraved by San craftsman

Collection of San tools

Wedding ceremony by an unknown craftsman - possibly a shephard

Wedding ceremony?? by an unknown craftsman


Those interested to learn more about this interesting ethnic group, their culture, their art and their wonderful folklore, will enjoy reading the following books.

1.  Janette Deacon & Craig Foster:  My heart stands in the hill.    2. Edward and Cathelinje Eastwood: Capturing the Spoor.

3.  John Parkington, David Morris & Neil Rusch: Karoo rock engravings.   4. Texas University Anthropology Series, Edited by J.D.Lewis: Stories that float from afar.

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Karoo Array Telescope

One of the biggest events in the history of Carnarvon is taking place at this very date and time.

The first phase of the Meerkat Karoo Array Telescope has been completed and the construction of the second phase will kick off in the middle of 2011.

The first phase involved the completion of the basic infrastructure, such as the upgrading of the road from the R63 to the site where the radio telescope will be constructed, the restoration and adaptation of the buildings on the Klerefontein Agricultural Research Station and the construction of a factory to build and assemble the giant receiver dishes.  In the initial stages, electricity was generated with diesel engines; but by the end of September 2010 a new ESKOM power line was completed.  The power line serves a dual purpose, as it includes an optic fiber telecommunication cable to carry the massive amount of data which the radio telescope will generate.

As part of the first stage of MeerKAT, seven 12-meter dishes were erected.  

In addition to the main MeerKAT telescopes, other telescopes are also being installed in our Karoo Astronomy Reserve.  

These include the single dish C-BASS telescope has been disassembled at Hartebeeshoek and re-assembled  on a Karoo hill at Klerefontein for the C-BASS survey.  The purpose of C-BASS is to do a survey of the radio waves which are generated by objects nearer to Earth, such as satellites; in order to adapt computer programs to distinguish between the undesirable radio waves and those originating from outer space.

Another telescope that installed near the core sight is the.  The PAPER telescope is a low frequency telescope to detect and image the formation of the first stars, 12 billion years ago

As can be seen in the gallery below, the homestead of the Latsky family who owned the farm Klerefontein, was beautifully restored to serve as the Karoo Support Bases for admin and support functions of the various telescopes to be installed in the Karoo Astronomy Reserve.

Presently, the seven MeerKAT Precursor antennae are being tested and adapted to increase their efficiency.  The second phase of MeerKAT will involve the building of a bigger factory, more roads on the site itself and the erection of another array of sixty four antennae, as well as a large computer centre to process and store the large amounts of data from the MeerKAT telescope before it is send to Cape Town via the optic fibre line.  A large power facility as backup to the ESKOM supply will be built to power the MeerKAT telescope.





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