I’ve been enjoying reading The Plains of Camdeboo, by Eve Palmer. It was recommended to me by Jean Thomas, an information professional who lives not too far from the area covered by the book.
My copy is the second edition (1993) of the work which was first published in 1966. You can buy titles like this on Amazon at very little cost.
The actual Plains of Camdeboo are situated towards the east of the Karoo, a semi-desert region of South Africa. Central to the book is Cranemere farm, where several generations of Palmers have lived. Some of the nearby Cape Dutch houses have been turned into luxury accommodation, as part of the Mount Camdeboo Private Game Reserve at Graaff-Reneit It looks wonderful.
Palmer’s book covers the history of the area, how her ancestors developed Cranemere Farm and how other pioneers changed the ecology of the region. There used to be many lions in the Karoo, feared by early travellers, plus large herds of other animals. Many have disappeared. As well as discussing fauna and flora, Palmer recounts how a wealth of fossils and relics of earliest man were discovered on and about her farm. Her book has become somewhat of a classic of South African literature, and is a very pleasant read.