About Karoo Spoor
The Karoo Spoor Area is centred around the old Railway Station of Schoombee, situated on the R56, the tarred road starting in Pietermaritzburg, and running through to Middelburg EC ultimately to link up with the N1 at Richmond.
Schoombee is midway between Steynsburg and Middelburg.
The origin of the name KarooSpooR56 reflects the many spoor or tracks criss-crossing the Karoo over centuries, going right back to the fossils in the area, the game, the farming livestock, the Anglo-Boer War and the horsemen who criss-crossed the Karoo, the railway tracks laid down by the Cape Government Railways, the original dirt roads, one of which is now the tarred R56.
The R56 has recently been taken over by SANRAL, and is being considerably repaired and upgraded as the principal route between Kwa Zulu Natal and the Western Cape. The Eastern Cape Parks and Tourism Agency is working with the group, among others, with a view to developing the R56 as a Tourism Route.
KarooSpooR56 started as a marketing group some five or six years ago, the initial members all being involved in tourism and tourism related activities to some extent. All were farming in the Karoo, are passionate about where they live and between them, were running Bed & Breakfast establishments, Safari Operations, a fledgling River Rafting operation, Endurance Horse Riding, and Riding Trails, and seeking other activities and enterprises, all to supplement their core business, stock farming sheep for wool and meat in the Karoo.
Among them were accredited Tour Guides, Hunting Outfitters and Professional Hunters, Cordon Bleu and other accomplished Cooks, Horsemen and women, amateur Palaeontologists and Historians, Bibliophiles, keen Bird Watchers, Cyclists, and Canoeists.
The founding members were Riana Southey of Hillston Farm www.hillstonfarm.co.za, Dionne Schoombee of @Schoombee and James Jordaan of de Keur, www.karoo-river-rafting.co.za. The group now runs a website, and a considerable number of other members have joined the group, expanding the activities and supplementary businesses in the area.