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South Africa - travel from Bloemfontein via Karoo to Stellenbosch

Hello again. My husband and I plan to travel by car from Bloemfontein to Stellenbosch Western Cape. We have visited South Africa numerous times over the past 40 years but as yet have never traveled through the vast Karoo. From Bloemfontein (family visit) we plan to first drive to Kimberly to see the big hole and the diamond mine. From there drive South to Beaufort West to visit the Karoo National Park. We would like to avoid route 1 because of the many trucks and instead drive down via route 12.
1) Does anyone of you have experience with this route? Is there a reason (safety perhaps) why we should choose rte. 1?
2) Between Kimberly and Beaufort West are there any places recommended to stop on the way?
3) any suggestions for accommodation near the Karoo National Park? We heard Lemoenfontein is great
4) any other suggestions are most welcome. Thanks!

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