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 Post subject: Road condition to and in TANKWA national park?
Unread postPosted: Fri Mar 20, 2009 8:13 pm 
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Joined: Fri Mar 20, 2009 7:49 pm
Posts: 1
Hi all,
My wife and I are planning to stay 2 days in the Tankwa national park (Elandsberg wilderness camp) at the end of April on our way back from the Cape to Gauteng.

We have a normal good middle class sedan and the following questions.

Are the roads ok for a Sedan?
How are the roads?
Which is the best approach?
Is there small shop?
Any other useful information would be welcome.

Thanks fuzzzzy


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 Post subject: Re: Road condition to and in TANKWA national park?
Unread postPosted: Mon Mar 30, 2009 9:47 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 02, 2009 8:59 pm
Posts: 44
The main roads in to the park are all gravel but in good condition (unless there are floods!) and suitable for a sedan. As with all gravel roads cautious driving is recommended and make certain that your spare tyre is in good condition - and you know how to change it!

The road from the main road to Elandsberg (some 1km) is slightly more daunting but with caution can be driven in a sedan.

There is no shop in the park - make certain that you bing all you need with you. Remeber also that there is no petrol available in the park: Calvinia, Middelpos and Ceres are where you can get fuel (but remember also that Middelpos fuel is not 24 hours - and not on Sundays or after 12:00 (it may be 2:00) on Saturdays.

Besides the main roads throught the parks many of the roads are passable - but enquire at reception as local conditions can change this with the drifts and roads in muddy areas.

Enjoy the Takwa - I'll be there this weekend!


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 Post subject: Re: Road condition to and in TANKWA national park?
Unread postPosted: Thu Apr 16, 2009 9:26 pm 
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Joined: Fri Sep 29, 2006 10:07 pm
Posts: 11
Is it possible to buy fire wood in the park? (so said on the parks section of the website).


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 Post subject: Re: Road condition to and in TANKWA national park?
Unread postPosted: Sun May 10, 2009 8:22 pm 
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Joined: Tue Dec 02, 2008 6:15 pm
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We went on a road trip at the end of March 2009 in a Renault Clio and wrote off 3 tyres in the process, but it was still very exciting and worthwhile. The Ceres-Calvinia road and others in that area are notorious for cutting tyres. We lost our first tyre on Katbakkies pass just outside Ceres and the second just before the Tankwa reception (the 3rd was lost later on the way to Beaufort West). The folks at Tankwa very kindly went to Calvinia and had the tyres replaced (they had to go anyway - also to replace tyres). After Tankwa we went up Ouberg Pass which was and experience on its own.

The roads were in good condition, but they have a reputation for being hard on tyres. We chatted to the locals and they say sometimes you just have bad luck - even their bakkies lose tyres at times.


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 Post subject: Re: Road condition to and in TANKWA national park?
Unread postPosted: Sat May 16, 2009 8:40 am 
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Joined: Mon Feb 02, 2009 8:59 pm
Posts: 44
I know this is courting disaster, but, here goes anyway. We have been to the Tankwa at least six times now in the last year and a half and have travelled many of the Park roads (including Gannaga pass, the road behind Pramberg and even up the Langkloof). To date I have not yet lost a tyre. In most cases we were a group of up to seven vehicles, and some have lost tyres. The type of tyre you have is important, but also the way you drive and the tyre pressure. Although it is often said to have lower pressure on sandy roads, for rocky areas like the Tankwa you should keep normal pressure. Also many tyres are cut on the said rather than underneath, so avoid rocky edges of the roads. Also be careful where small streams have crossed the roads or at the bottom of dips - this sometimes exposes sharp stones.


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 Post subject: Re: Road condition to and in TANKWA national park?
Unread postPosted: Sat May 16, 2009 9:02 am 
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Joined: Tue Dec 02, 2008 6:15 pm
Posts: 6
I think I painted a too gloomy picture in my previous post and have to agree with Bookman. All three tyres we lost were due to cuts on the sides. They were slightly lower profile tyres, so they looked to me as if their sides bulged a little more and were more exposed to sharp stones. Perhaps we should have checked tyre pressure, or increased it a bit. The replacement tyres were more ordinary (higher profile) and they looked more suited to South African conditions (and none of them succumbed during our road trip). All the roads looked in very good condition and I was really surprised that we lost tyres - I really kept my eyes on the road looking for sharp stones. As the bloke at Tankwa said - sometimes you just have bad luck.

I did not want to instill fear in future adventurers, it was more just telling my story as it was still quite recent. I enjoy adventure and would love to go there again.


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 Post subject: Re: Road condition to and in TANKWA national park?
Unread postPosted: Mon May 18, 2009 10:17 pm 
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Joined: Fri Sep 29, 2006 10:07 pm
Posts: 11
We visited this amazing park on the long weekend of May'09.
I feel obliged to report on the road conditions in Tankwa KP, as it might not have been such an enjoyable weekend if we haven't been driving with a 4*4 with high ground clearance.
There had obviously been quite a bit of rain falling in the previous week, with rivers flowing and many pools of water around. At some points we had to cross quite deep pools of water (and streams) and the roads from the R355 from where you find the turn off for TKP was quite badly damaged at some points and stretches. The roads at that stage were definitely NOT suitable for any sedan vehicle.
Furthermore I thought that the last stretch of road (+/-3km) to the Elandsberg cottages was certainly not suited for a sedan vehicle.
If you are not driving a vehicle with high ground clearance - you do have to phone ahead and enquire about the raod conditions - but then again - what would you do if you have booked and are looking forward to your time in the park? I guess the answer is rather try not to go with a sedan vehicle at this stage...


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