No harm in daydreaming about your next adventure during lockdown?
Rewind a couple months back, we’re on set shooting for GLAMOUR with one of the most talented photographers and close friend, Luke Kuisis, yapping away about hiking, life and of course, where and what to shoot next, when Luke shows me this spot in the karoo and we “absolutely have to shoot there dude!” As a self-proclaimed-nature-gal myself, I’m immediately on board with this idea; a crew of 6, a van full of high-end designer pieces and a road trip into the abyss to create some magic for GLAMOUR’s pages.
So, what is this oasis in the desert of which Luke speaks? It’s called Apollo De Karoo; Apollo referring to ‘The God of Light’ in Greek Mythology. A very fitting name for this sun drenched, convenient arrangement of permanent tents in the Onder Karoo Desert. About 4 or 5 hours out of Cape Town’s CBD, depending on the nature of your driving, you’ll find yourself welcomed by Paula, who is one half of Apollo De Karoo. The other half being her husband Hannes, who physically built these facilities by hand, yes by hand (mind blowing)
Apollo de Karoo is a passion project for this couple who, a couple years back, was seeking to get out of the JHB rat-race and create a humble business while living a simple and practically off-the-grid-retired-lifeAnd so, Apollo de Karoo was born and has been up and running since June 2019 - and speaking from experience, it’s a perfect get-a-way. Whether you’re a city dweller looking for some isolation and some quality time with sparkling karoo stars or you’re motorcycling across the country with some mates and in need of a pit stop - this is the spot.
What to pack you ask? Ok so here’s the deal, once you’re out in the Karoo, there’s nothing around for kilometres, the closest Spar is probably an hour away. Preparation is key! Don’t worry I got you:
Packing for the Karoo 101
It’s hot out there and dehydration is not cute, so buy yourself some 5ltrs
SLEEPING BAG / PILLOW
I somehow sometimes manage to forget these extremely important items. Don’t be like me.
Protecting your skin from the harsh rays is an obvious must
For the same obvious reasons previously mentioned
What is life without your favourite coffee? I’m a coffee snob, what can I say
FOOD / LIQUIDS / SNACKS
Three words; Snacks. Are. Essential. I don’t care where you go on holiday, wherever it is, you have to have snacks for every hour of the day. It’s the law.
What is life without music?
To charge your loved ones
CAMERA of some sort
Get that content!
Oh, and obviously all your toiletries. NB! Tabard or some kind of bug repellent. All of the above is dependent on how long you’re going to stay out there for. But pack accordingly friends, it’s just some advice from me to you. There’s also a track perfect for mountain bikers and motorbikes alike that loops around the entire plot, with views that will literally take your breath away, so remember to bring along your 2-wheeler for some adventure time. But if you think you’re heading out there Bear Grills style, you are certainly mistaken because Apollo De Karoo will hook you up with the following: A whole kitchen; a sink, a fridge AND a massive freezer! An honesty bar with a few snacks and drinks (don’t solely rely on this, packing food is vital!) Electricity, so yes you can charge your phone, but a power bank is always useful. Toilets, showers and OUTDOOR showers! Dreamy!
Getting to Apollo De Karoo
Simply type Apollo De Karoo into your Google Maps or WAZE and let technology lead the way. There are some signs that lead you in the right direction too, once your signal cuts out, which it will, because you’ll be in the middle of the desert :) Or if you’re more old school, there is a map on their website (see link at the end of this article) NB! The last fill up spot before your dreamy get-a-way is Tous Rivier, so remember to get some gas and maybe a bag or 2 of ice and a snack. And that’s about it folks, so while we’re all currently locked down at home for the next few weeks daydreaming about where or more likely when we’ll be able to travel again, consider heading out to the karoo to isolate in a vastly different way, with Apollo De Karoo.
For more info, head over to http://www.sutherlandmtbtours.co.za/ or @apollo_de_karoo on Instagram