Portraits of the Klein Karoo

For ten days in October 2017, my love and I went on a road trip through the Klein Karoo. We had no real plan or itinerary, so just trundled along, driving slowly, never covering more than 150km a day, avoiding all highways, and connecting with locals in small dorpies along the way. 

We didn't intend to stick only to the Klein Karoo, but its colours, its simplicity, its people, its topography and unending space seduced us.

This series of portraits is my appreciative nod to our beautiful backyard. 

The Road.

R62, somewhere between Barrydale and Ladismith. 

Love on a railway.

Oliver Brain, Prins Albertweg Trein Stasie.

“I was born in District Six. I like to tell people that so they can’t... you know... tune me what-and-what. Grew up in Fishoek and moved to McGregor twelve years ago. I’m trying to sell this place now and move back to Cape Town. My wife died two years ago so there’s nothing left for me here”.

Mike Loy, Antiques Dealer, McGregor.

"I was born on a small farm in the Karoo but I’ve been here for ten years now. I worked in George for a while and I loved it. I prefer the city actually but I met a boy in Prins Albert. So here I am”.

Magda, Laudromat Assistant, Prins Albert.


Somewhere along the way.

Portrait of a Fence.

Where the R62 meets the R323.

Koos Van Wyk, Rose Gardner at the Church and Man of Few Words, Van Wyksdorp.

"Can I  perhaps interest you in a delicious tot of port? Karoo made, of course".

Elsa, Businesswoman, Ladismith.

“Woodwork is like a love affair. Its give and take, and you must let the grain of the wood guide you. Go in with preconceived ideas... you'll break everything”.

Ulli, Artist & Wood Whisperer, McGregor.

“I’ve lived here my whole life. I left once to work between Porterville and Gouda but I wanted to come back. This is what I know. I feel safe here. There’s no crime...you can stay out late and just gesels, you know?”

Nico, Handyman & Sales Assistant, Van Wyksdorp Mall, Van Wyksdorp, Population: 700.

“I’m from Bangladesh and I’ve been in Laingsburg for the last two years. Aed is my friend. We came here together”.

Munjurul Alam & Aed Shak, Managers at the Laingsburg Super, Laingsburg.

“ The apartheid years were hard on women too. Ons was onder druk... You couldn’t open a bank account or register a business without your husband or dad’s signature. Now I have my own shop. Ja okay my blood pressure is higher...but I’m free”.

Lizelle, Antiques Dealer, Kalitzdorp.

My Backside (by Oliver Brain).

Karoo Moon Hotel.


Mona Lisa of Rooiberg Lodge (aka Monty).

Die Rooiberg. 

The Egg Protectors, Buffelskloof. 

"Kan my coke in die foto ook wees?"

Manie, Passerby, Prins Albert. 

“I’m a real goldsmith you know! All these beads, they’re actually just for tinkering”.

Karien, Real Goldsmith, McGregor.

Portrait Of An Aloe.


"Die Plek".

Somewhere between Barrydale and Ladismith, and nowhere in particular. 

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