Go-Tourism was recently up in Matjiesfontein enjoying the first weekend of September. A small droplet of beauty amongst the vastness of the Klein Karoo lays the oasis of Matjiesfontein, on the edge of the Western Cape just before the turnoff to Sutherland. Our staff were treated to a night stay at the Lord Milner, an old colonial style building that dates back to 1884 and is situated right at the end of the one and only little road in the town, a real hidden gem.The journey from Cape Town took us about 3,5 Hours including rest stops on the way and once you exit the Worcester tunnel the route becomes quite scenic and desolate. It’s an easy drive up all along the N1 past Worcester, and the last town you drive through is Touws River (the last petrol stop before Matjiesfontein).

As we entered the little town we immediately felt as if we were back in the 1800’s. All along the main road you can find the historical buildings such as the old Post Office, the Lairds Arms Pub, Logan’s Historic Succulent Garden, and various museums just to name a few. One can also explore the expansive garden at the back of the Lord Milner, where you can find the hotels swimming pool hidden within the wild. Another interesting feature of Matjiesfontein is the train station. The world famous trains “Rovos Rail” and the “Blue Train” stop off here as part of their itineraries, which adds to the old 1884 ambiance of the town. Parked just in front of the Lord Milner is an array of vintage cars that equally add to the feeling of having stepped through a time warp.

Dinner was served from 7PM in the Hotel dining room and we were served some exquisite local South African and Karoo cuisine in an old Victorian style setting.
So if you’re heading up to the Karoo anytime soon make sure to stop off in Matjiesfontein and experience the past. Even if you’re not planning to stay overnight at the Lord Milner (although recommended) a day’s visit is just as good, and don’t forget it’s a small town so take your time and enjoy.