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Protected Area Tankwa Karoo National Park

ID: w136386 View large map

Located in South Africa :: Western Cape (Great Karoo)  :: Tankwa
Category: Protected Areas :: Protected Area


Situated in the southern part of the Northern Cape, about 4 hours drive from Cape Town, this 137,000ha Park boasts the Tankwa Desert and the Klein Roggeveld Mountains, right in the heart of the Succulent Karoo Biome. If you like the Karoo, you will love this Park! It gives the feeling of being on your own farm in the Karoo.

The Park offers luxury chalets at Elandsberg, 3 renovated farm houses as well as the Tanqua Guesthouse Complex and privately run Gannaga Lodge.

There are also seven informal camping spots in the Park. These campsites do not have any facilities, which further adds to the experience. A campsite with facilities is planned for the near future.

Park Reception stays open until 21:00 on Friday evenings to cater for people driving from Cape Town. Depending on where you stay in the Park you could drive another 45min to your accommodation on gravel roads. The gravel roads to and in the Park has sharp, loose gravel and is known to cause tyre failure.

There is no cellular reception in and around the Park and you should be prepared for the road. Take water, food and enough fuel with you. Fuel is available at Middelpos (52km from reception), Calvinia (110km from reception), Sutherland (140km from reception) or Ceres (180km from reception), the latter 3 being bigger towns with shops as well.

The summer months can be very hot in the Park but Cottages at Elandsberg each have their own splash-pools and old farm cottages also regulate heat very well due to their thick walls. If you do not wish to experience the Park during this time of the year, best times to visit would be during the winter or spring when the Park may also have beautiful flowers. They are motorbike friendly.

Address :  Calvinia District, 52km or 01h26min SSW of Middelpos, Western Cape (Great Karoo), South Africa
Postal :  Jacobus Strauss, Park Manager, Tankwa National Park, P.O. Box 299, Calvinia, 8190, South Africa
Contact :  Jacobus Strauss
Tel :  +27(0)27 341 1927
Cell :  +27(0)84 514 6234
Email :  Click Here
Host Website :  Click Here
Cellphone Reception :  Nothing


From Cape Town, drive to the town of Ceres and continue through Ceres on the R46. Where the R46 turns south towards Touwsrivier, carry on straight on the R355 which becomes a gravel road at this point. Drive along the R355, also called the Ceres Karoo road, for 66km when you have to turn right (east) at the Tankwa National Park / Middelpos signs. Drive another 69km along this dirt road to reach the Reception Office. These gravel roads are known to cause tyre failures. Distance from Cape Town is approximately 320km (Northern Suburbs) and will take around 4 hours to drive.

Time Information
Best Time to Visit :  Spring (August - October)

Rates and Payment
Payment Methods Accepted :  Credit Card, Debit Card

General Information
Nearest ATM :  50km/Middelpos
Nearest Bank :  Middelpos/50km

Destination Information
Diesel Lodging Camping

Child Friendly Public Telephone Landing Strip Nearby
Nearby Facilities :  Public Phone.

Game Viewing Game Drives 4WD Trails Bird Watching Stargazing
Game to View :  Springbok. Caracal. Klipspringer. Grey Rhebok. Leopard. Steenbok. Grey Duiker. Kudu
More Activities :  4x4 Trails. Scenic Viewpoints.
Notes on Activities :  Self-Drive Game Viewing. (Some activities may be offered nearby).

Travelling Information
Closest Town :  Middelpos

Self Drive Access :  Yes

Only Diesel available in Park.
Last stops for petrol (measured from Park offices) are Ceres (180km), Sutherland (120km - closed from Saturdays 13:00 for weekend), Calvinia (110km) and Middelpos (52km).

The R355 from Calvinia, past the Tankwa Karoo NP, to Ceres, is generally in good condition. It has been reported that due to the small hard stones on the surface, it could cause tyre punctures. But the road is well graded, not many potholes, and can be comfortably driven with a sedan.

No shops, restaurants, public phones or ATMs in the park.
General Dealer and Bottle Store in Middelpos.

Comments [ leave a comment ]

“Tankwa Karoo National Park is one of my favourite places to visit on a long weekend trip from Cape Town. You can hike, mountain bike, do scenic drives and explore the place as if its your own. Be sure to take a drive up the Langkloof (4x4 or mountain bike). Drive up the Gannaga Pass towards Middelpos and stop at the top for a fantastic view. During Aug and Sept you can expect lots of flowers and the birding is very good.” - JP Groenewald, 2011/03/29

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