Nothing says “welcome to Jansenville” quite like the sight of noors upon noors and nothing says “welcome to the mohair capital of South Africa” quite like an Angora goat with its curly coat on a Sunday afternoon stroll in the middle of a quiet street in the Karoo.
That’s Jansenville in a nutshell – angora goats and noors – but during a recent visit to this small town situated about 140 km north of Port Elizabeth on the R75, I discovered that there’s more to Jansenville than meets the eye.
“Atop the gentle slope of a hill in the Karoo Heartland I hit the pause button on life as the sun is in the process of its final curtain call over Jansenville” I wrote in a blog post for Karoo Heartland and came to the realistation that “Jansenville is more than just a pit stop, it is a town to be experienced.”
Click here to read the blog post: Jansenville, more than just a pit stop.
Things to experience while visiting Jansenville
Ark in Karoo Farm Stall
A unique farm stall that operates from one of Jansenville’s oldest houses (built in 1897) and it offers good food, good coffee, preserves, biltong, mohair gifts and home-baked treats.
Sid Fourie Historical House & International Mohair Museum
The Sid Fourie house belonged to Mayor Sid Fourie and contains numerous items of historical value telling the story of Jansenville. Stop by and let Eunice Gayi tell you more about Sid Fourie and the town.
The mohair museum (next to the historical house of Sid Fourie) shares the story of how mohair made its way into South Africa, into the Karoo and into Jansenville. Did you know that South Africa is the world leader in mohair production and exports over 95% of its total production?
Jansenville is synonymous with Noorsveld and there are various types of noors in the district, including the very rare Euphorbia Jansenvillensis that is indigenous to Jansenville. The spiky, thorny succulent plant blooms in dry conditions and from the beginning of November they colour the Karoo landscape with dots of yellow. It’s a sight not to miss.
A Karoo sunset
There is always something special about a Karoo sunset and Jansenville does not disappoint when the sun dips behind the mountains. The Anglo Boer War fort offers a great view during sunset and of the town.
A walk through the streets
Jansenville’s streets are filled with Karoo delights; from antique shops, a few coffee-and-cake places, an old photogenic church (rumoured to hold the oldest Dutch Bible in South Africa), beautiful gardens and homes.
Jansenville: More than meets the eye
When you find yourself on the R75 towards Port Elizabeth or Graaff-Reinet, spend a few hours in Jansenville or even a night or two. For the fishing and 4×4 enthusiasts there is also Darlington Dam (formerly known as Lake Mentz) not too far from Jansenville. SANParks’ Bedrogfontein 4×4 trail starts and end at Darlington Dam.
Here are a few more photos of Jansenville.
The view from the fort.
Reaching to get those juicy bits.
Town hall (I think? My memory is not with me on this one).
A carpet of flowers.