beaufort west

A 6 hour drive from Cape Town, Beaufort West is a town with a rich and romantic history, which will steal your heart. 

The main road was named after Sir Rufane Donkin, who lost his beloved wife and was so devastated that he had her heart embalmed and carried it with him until he died – her heart was buried with him in England.

The town is probably best known as the birthplace of the pioneering heart surgeon, Dr Christiaan Barnard, who performed the first heart transplant in 1967. The local museum houses memorabilia and a replica of the operating theatre at Groote Schuur Hospital in Cape Town, where the transplant took place.

The area has so much to offer, from game lodges, nature reserves and guest farms to safari tours, hiking, quad biking and 4x4 trails, game drives, horseback riding and mountain biking. The Karoo Highlands Route is recommended as a self-drive 4x4 route. The tranquility of the area is unmatched, so find a comfortable place to lie under the stars and marvel at the amazing night skies, often so clear that it feels like you can reach out and pick a star.

With modern road and rail links, the town is ideally situated as a base from which to explore the Great Karoo and the passes of the Swartberg Mountains. It is also a gateway to holiday resorts of the Western, Eastern and Southern Cape.