Explore the rich history of a small Karoo community and the majestic landscape around it
Why was it possible to establish a farm where the village lies today? How could the community survive so isolated and in such a harsh landscape? Who was brave enough to build a road across the Swartberg mountain?
You do not have to be a historian to enjoy the many stories that tell our history! Apart from being enlightened about how early settlers made – and enjoyed – a life, you may even find out what a set of false teeth and a flying doctor have in common.
Soaring cliff walls with spectacular rock formations line the 25 km tarred road which winds along the floor of the gorge through Meiringspoort, crossing the Groot River 25 times. Each crossing, or drift, has its own name and story.
The first road through Meiringspoort was constructed between 1856 and 1858 by Adam de Schmidt. On the morning of 3 March 1858 a colorful procession of about 250 mounted men and 100 distinguished guests in “spiders”, carriages and wagons departed through a triumphal arch decorated with flags for the journey to Klaarstroom – where a deputation of important guests from Prince Albert and Beaufort West awaited their arrival under another triumphal arch.