The Great Trek by Moonlight: camping tours of the Karoo

04.08.23 03:45 PM Comment(s)
There is no better way to see stars than in the desert. To experience the vast canvas of the universe in the primeval landscape of the Karoo, is not only a unique experience, but will leave you awestruck with the magnitude of the glittering firmament this timeless desert presents.

We hike in the Karoo to experience the silence and the deep heart of the past. There is the sense of immense peace in the spreading scrubland and the rise of the ancient hills. Hiking in the evening is cooler and spectacular – from watching a stunning sunset to the dramatic rise of the moon sailing in silent splendor above the aged vista where once dinosaurs roamed.

Our universe began about 17 to 20 billion years ago. Our Earth is approximately 4 billion years old. What we see today, looking upwards into the munificence of the night sky, has taken millions of years to evolve. Our galaxy, the Milky Way, is only one of many, arcing over the magnitude of the Karoo like a measureless silk scarf of shimmering light. The Milky Way has two satellite galaxies that can be seen with the naked eye from the Southern Hemisphere, known as the Large and the Small Magellan Clouds.

You will identify the closest star, the brightest star, the largest globular cluster, the most beautiful open cluster, and closest galaxies. One of the most extraordinary attractions of the night sky is that you have the opportunity to view the celestial ‘big five’.

Apart from the Southern Cross, you will see:
  • the Southern Pleaides (an open star cluster)
  • omega Centauri (a globular cluster)
  • the eta Carinae Nebula (a bright nebula)
  • the Coal Sack (a dark nebula)
  • and our own Milky Way galaxy scrolling across the heavens.

So there is a magnificent show planned for you whether you take short hikes into the desert, or prefer to go camping in the empty silence where you can sleep under this remarkable celestial exhibition – a sparkling vista which has taken millions of years to reach this perfect moment in time for you to be captivated while you lie gazing up from a sleeping bag. 

Karoo full moon hike

Tour information

Duration: 5 days / 4 nights | Total 65 km.

Format: Camping with own tents and bedding.

Next tours for 2022 now open for bookings6 – 10 November 2022

Cost: R4,735.00 per person. 

Max amount of persons: maximum of 14 hikers.

  • 3 meals per day. Including dinner on day 1 and breakfast on day 5. 
  • Coffee and tea with breakfast and dinner. 
  • For some hikes you will prepare a takeaway sandwich (ingredients will be provided).

Please note: You will need a bakkie or SUV with higher ground clearance than a car, to get to basecamp at Bergvallei farmhouse.

Heuningland: African & Karoo tours to stir the heart and lift the soul

We are proudly South African and have a fervent love of the Great Karoo, its people and its unique vegetation and animals. We are passionate conservationists of nature and would like to share our knowledge acquired through years of travel and touring experience. We are therefore able to offer custom-designed and distinctively different tour options:
  • Hiking/camping trails or guided self-driving tours through the ancient landscape of the Karoo.
  • Tailor-made safaris to any destination in South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Mozambique, and Botswana.