Discover the magic of the reemerging Central Karoo town: Touwsrivier.Once known as Montague Roads and before that Daos ab, this little town might have been somewhat forgotten, but is far from gone.On route from Cape Town, it is known as the “Gateway to the Karoo”.

This remarkable “dorpie” has one of the richest and most diverse histories and once played a crucial role in the developing railway sector of South Africa, hence still known as a railway town.

The town bares testimony to how the humble bushman trekked across its vast undulating planes, it witnessed the Griekwas finding refuge and unwittingly welcomed the arrival of man and machine as it saw the transition of trains going from steam to diesel and then electricity.

Over the years Touwsrivier have also accommodated many great and influential figures like James Douglas Logan, founder of Matjiesfontein and Sir Thomas Bain whom helped with the construction of a pipeline to supply the emerging town with water.

Traveling through town the history becomes even more apparent when you visit the various monuments including the famous class 23 steam locomotive, the Afrikaans taal-monument,  Delville Wood monument in memory of local residents that fought in the Great War and even a monument in memory of an astrological event that attracted astrologers from across the globe to come and view the transit of Venus both in 1882 and again in 2004 and 2012.

The most recent addition to our historic route is the Thembekile Mandela Memorial Stone, which tells the story of the great loss to our late president, Nelson Mandela; In 1969, the 13th of July, the son of late President Nelson Mandela, Thembikie Mandela, died in a tragic car accident on the N1 near Touwsrivier. A memorial stone was erected in his memory and two trees were planted by Tembekile’s daughters near the entrance of town along with a three headed cape-aloe marking the accident site on the N1 highway.

Touwsrivier’s crisp champaign air and starlit nights can further bring about remarkable health benefits as the dry air is believed to provide relief to those battling with asthma and the tranquility will certainly melt away all the stresses modern life imposes.

Local herbs are abundant and aid in the relief of various ailments suffered by countless individuals. The veld here is home to, among others, the famous Cancer Bush (Sutherlandia frutesence), Buchu (Agathosma betulina) and Wild Rosemary/”Kapokbos” (Eriocephalus africanus). During the spring months the somewhat dull landscape becomes magically transformed into a rainbow of colours as the wild flowers emerge. Here you can find some rare, weird and wonderful flora like the black-dot chincherinchee, “cups and saucers” and “katnaels”, often not known to the masses.  Various Protea species are also found here in great numbers with the rare Leaucadendron Touwsrivierensis named after Touwsriver.

The area further offers a variety of accommodation options to suit everyones needs, from backpackers, self-catering, camping, hotels to B&B’s. Treat yourself with a booking at one of the various nature- or game reserves, including the “Big-Five” at Aquila. We suggest you contact our friendly staff at the Touwsrivier Tourism office to help plan your “Gateway Getaway”

While in the area, visitors can also enjoy a myriad of activities including hiking, mountain-biking, 4×4/2 trails, veld schools, bird watching, stargazing, view bushman paintings, rock-climbing, abseiling and sport shooting, just to name a few.

Whether passing by on the N1 or driven here by curiosity, please do stop and discovery the secrets this unique town has to offer and be warmly welcomed by the friendly Karoo community while you enjoy peace and tranquility in an unforgettable setting boasting with awe-inspiring panoramic views and an abundance of wildlife.

Check out the website for a more detailed list of activities and accommodation option available at or contact our office by calling +27 (076) 6806559 or send us an email at

Why delay? Book your “Gateway Getaway” today!!!

This article was published in partnership with Media Xpose.

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