I am not sure which map you have but I presume it will be the one on the SANParks website under http://www.sanparks.org/parks/tankwa/im ... 3Oct08.jpg
I note that Biesjesfontein is not indicated on this map as yet. However it is indicated on new maps given to our guests. I will ensure an up to date copy replaces this on our website soonest.
When viewing the above map, you will note a spring and windmill indicated to the left of Volmoersfontein and Pramberg. This is the position of the Biesjesfontein Camp.
You are correct – visitors making use of these campsites have to be fully self-sufficient, as the sites do not have any ablutions or running water for that matter. The water from the spring at Volmoersfontein is extremely brackish and not for human use (although it is notably fresher after good rains). The “car” prefix is indeed an indication of the type of vehicle that can be used to reach the campsites. As all the roads in the Park (and those leading to the park) are gravel, a sedan (and especially a low profile one!) is not the best mode of transport for this area, but visiting the park by sedan is not altogether impossible as the number of guests visiting the park by this mode of transport indicates.
The clay patch you are referring to has a road to bypass it when impassable. Depending on when in August you visit the park, this should more than likely be dry and passable by sedan. The water relay humps (the slope coming down from Maansedam), makes travelling by sedan slightly uncomfortable but there are no hassles with regards to slippery conditions or getting stuck here.
There is only one sandy patch within TKNP I am aware of on the way to the Tanqua Guesthouse Complex/Volmoersfontein or Biesjiesfontein. In February this may indeed not be passable by sedan as the soil will be very loose, while in winter it retains some moisture and thus provide a more “solid” road. Other areas of potential concern are a number of spots where watercourses run over the road (within and outside Park boundaries) – problematic due to the largely unpredictable nature of rains during summer, the road possibly being damaged due to water running over the road, pools of water standing or water still flowing over the road. After the heavy rains experienced during 2008, the Oudebaaskraal Dam also overflowed and washed away the road below the dam, which connects this section of the Park with the Volmoersfontein and Biesjesfontein areas. The road was rebuilt after this and is currently accessible by sedan, but this status all depends on rains for the remainder of the year!
We do plan to have the “clay patch” fixed as the problem is mainly caused due to this section of the park being lower than others, providing an area where water can accumulate. Fixing the other spots of potential concern is slightly more difficult as this means fighting a battle against Mother Nature!
I advise chatting to the Park Personnel when making a booking and again just prior to your visit, as they would be aware of the condition of the roads and especially the various points of concern, for the period you wish to visit. Possible detours, should certain sections be impassable, could also be discussed in more detail.
Hope this helps!