THROUGH THE GATEWAYS

The gateways to the Great Karoo are littered with history and stories of outlaws, murderers and ghosts. The two most intriguing ways into the area are the Old Diamond Way and the Smugglers’ Route.

Old Diamond Way was the route fortune hunters used to reach the fabulous diamond fields at Kimberley. Rich in history and spiced with incredible happenings, it was also the route the regular post coach used, and the way Cecil John Rhodes travelled to and from his diamond claims. Many are the farms along the way where Rhodes is said to have slept and where stories originated of the magnificent diamonds he always carried with him.

Said to be haunted, Smugglers’ Route meanders through Seweweekspoort Pass. This was the way brandy smugglers travelled to avoid paying taxes on their produce. One of the many legendary ghosts in this pass is a toll-keeper. For many years now he has been seen running frantically along the road, swinging his lantern to warn travellers of threatening storms and rising rivers.

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