The Golden Silence of Rietbron

The Karoo town where doing nothing is a pastime

Text & Photographs by Chris Marais www.karoospace.co.za

Welcome to the quietest village in the Karoo: Rietbron.

If you’re an adrenalin junkie, a wild adventurist, someone who can’t sit still for a second or a person who needs a thrill a minute to survive, then you should bypass Rietbron.

4.A wind pump, a fixer-upper and thou – what a combination.
A wind pump, a fixer-upper and thou – what a combination.


In fact, it’s quite easy to bypass Rietbron. It lies somewhere on a 150km detour between Beaufort West and Willowmore, crossing the Amos River and the Muiskraal River which eventually both feed the Sout River.

But Rietbron does not specialise in flowing rivers or mountain ridges in the distance. Most people think of the Karoo as a flat plate of geography floating in the belly of South Africa. It’s not.

You’ll always see rocky bumps on the horizon. Not, however, from Rietbron, where the horizon is only occasionally broken by the perky ears of a hee-hawing donkey straying into your field of vision. You have to want to visit Rietbron to get there.

One of the newly renovated homes of Rietbron.
One of the newly renovated homes of Rietbron.


And yet, so many big city types from Johannesburg, Pretoria and Cape Town come here and fall in love with the space, the stillness and the isolation. They buy holiday homes here, which are renovated by a talented and enterprising builder-engineer, and escape to Rietbron whenever they can.

-Chris Marais and his wife Julienne du Toit run the Karoo Space e-Bookstore: http://karoospace.co.za/ebooks/

Click here to catch their interview with Jenny Crwys-Williams of Talk Radio 702.

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