Will travel for food: Eat your heart out at this year's Karoo Food Festival

2016-04-19 18:00 - Louzel Lombard
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Cape Town - The Karoo's annual food festival - held in Cradock in the Eastern Cape - kicks off again this year over the Freedom Day long weekend. 

This year, Food Festival organiser Lisa Antrobus says they've paired an abundance of adventure activities with the weekend of true Karoo food and hospitality - an opportunity for travellers to experience the area and work up a real appetite before diving into the food farm tours, markets and masterclasses. 

Staying true to Karoo eating, dishes will include Karoo classics like lamb - prepared and enjoyed in every way imaginable - venison pie, home-made preserves and farm-to-table everything. Nose-to-tail dining will also be a highlight. 

ALSO SEE: Karoo Food 101: Where to eat what and why

The third annual Swaershoek MTB Challenge, a 4x4 route which will see bikers bounce over the over Bankberg mountains, also coincides with the Karoo Food Festival making the festival bigger in size and activities to do. 

Quick Info
Where: Cradock, Eastern Cape
When: 27 to 30 April 2017

You can get information and/or buy tickets here.

The idea behind the Karoo Food Festival is to bring the unique and genuine food of this area to travellers through the very people that cook, eat and produce the food daily. Farmers, housewives, coffee shop owners, entrepreneurs - people like the town's very best 'vetkoek' baker, coffee brewer, potjiekos maker and more - will teach their skills and share their iconic food with visitors. 

Cradock people are famous for their hospitality, and this festival celebrates this. 

READ: Winter food for the soul on the New Karoo Food Route

Apart from the food, Cradock is a nationally renowned adventure destination. With the Great Fish River flowing through it, the annual Fish River Canoe Marathon attracts thousands of visitors. This year, the Karoo Food Festival is celebrating Cradock's adventure offering with various events - including canoeing, abseiling and 4x4 driving - to travellers.

SEE: Cradock: River town living at its best

The Swaershoek MTB Challenge is also a adventure highlight in itself, heading up and over the magnificent and scenic Swaershoek Pass – a dirt road that demands stamina and strength.

The ascent is 1 045 metres over the first 21km, and the sometimes bumpy road has some sharp hairpin bends and switchbacks. In parts, the ascent is 1:9, but it averages 1:12. Thereafter the route drops down to needle through Karoo veld and irrigation lands, then back over the pass to end in Cradock.

Check out and read more about last year's festival here: Real food celebrated at the annual Karoo Food Festival

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