The shortest route from the interior to the flower fields of Namaqualand and the West Coast is along the R63 past Loxton. Loxton is a town in the Karoo region of South Africa’s Northern Cape province. It is one of the major wool-producing centers in the Ubuntu Local Municipality of the Pixley ka Seme District Municipality.
Originally the farm Phizantefontein, Loxton was bought from AE Loxton by the Dutch Reformed Church in 1899. Built to serve the sheep-farming community, it became a municipality in 1905. In March 1961, three-quarters of the town was destroyed by a flash-flood causing the dam above the town to burst. Loxton has long since recovered.
Whichever direction you approach the town from, the roads will be blissfully quiet and afford you those long views over sweeping plains. Whether you’re passing through the Karoo, or spending time here, don’t allow yourself to fall into a daze as you drive its quiet roads, for there is much to be seen, even from a speeding car.
Jackal Buzzards and Pale Chanting Goshawks gaze imperiously down from telephone poles and pretty koppies wink from the horizon. Meerkats stand sentinel on bushes and road verges in the cooler hours, and the ubiquitous springbok shimmer in the heat haze.
Then, suddenly the village of Loxton is there. A tranquil, arboreal Karoo village. One of those wee settlements that speaks of silence, sunsets and stars, set in a landscape that offers natural beauty year-round, with each season bringing something special…perhaps snow in winter, definitely lush green growth in spring and summer…. Come springtime, and the streets that are lined with pear trees burst into snowy blossom transforming surroundings into a fairytale picture. This is one of the prettiest villages in the Karoo.
Okay, so we’re biased, but this statement has its foundation in hundreds of opinions rather than just ours. On a Sunday morning, all you’ll hear is the creaking of a wind pump, the gentle coo-cooing of a Laughing Dove, and church bells. Then silence, and if it’s summer, the buzz of insects on the hot air. Spend a few days, experience the pleasures of Karoo living, and discover why Lawrence Green called this ‘the land of the stoep’.
Loxton is one of those pretty Karoo villages that has streets lined with trees, some of which are over 100 years, and the odd donkey cart clip-clopping down the road. In spring, the town turns into a fairytale picture when pear trees are covered with snowy blossoms.
We are also privileged to still enjoy the traditional “leiwater” (flood irrigation) system, whereby water from the town’s fountain bubbles along channels into residents gardens. This is a crime-free hamlet surrounded by typical Karoo plains that offer that much sought-after commodity….space. To reach Loxton from the N1 at Beaufort West, you will need to travel 120km on a gravel road; alternatively, we lie on the tarred R63 road that runs from Kimberley to the West Coast. Our neighboring towns are Victoria West and Carnarvon. Come and experience Karoo tranquility.
Take the time at sunset to walk up the hill overlooking the town for wonderful views across the plains to the horizon. This gives a good perspective of the space that surrounds this type of small Karoo town, and in Loxton’s case, why it’s called an arboreal village. In winter, many trees are bare, but in spring and summer only the spire of the lovely sandstone church peeks out of the comforting green shawl that hangs over the town. The far-seeing townsfolk decided to plant trees along the streets in 1900 when the church, school, and first houses were completed.