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Tankwa Karoo NP/Elandsberg Cottages

Agulhas, Bontebok, Table Mountain, Tankwa Karoo, West Coast
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kwabo0802
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Location: Oor die berg

Tankwa Karoo NP/Elandsberg Cottages

Unread post by kwabo0802 » Fri Mar 26, 2010 10:23 pm

We have booked a cottage at the Elandsberg in the Tankwa Karoo. Now we heard from recent visitors that they have a major problem in de dry season (which are the summer months) with thousands of bees who come to fetch water from the plunge pools for their hives. They have seen people leave the cottage prior to their planned departure because of the bees. If you cannot enjoy the outside (nor the inside as I was told) while you are there, what is the use of going there in the first place? I wonder if there is any one who has experienced this problem.

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kwabo0802
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Re: Tankwa Karoo NP

Unread post by kwabo0802 » Mon Apr 26, 2010 3:27 pm

Thank you Joseph, I am sorry to hear you had to leave aerlier. Our problem (if the bees will be around when we arrive) has been solved. We simply booked another cottage as alternative escape. This should not be necessary, I understand the bees form part of nature's way of life but as you say they cannot say "oops" when somebody with a bee allergy gets into tropuble there.

Joseph Barry wrote:Yes we were there during Desember and had a bad experience with bees.

We had a 5 month old baby at that stage and was were scared of her being stung.

The good and the bad was that my wife got stung and we had to leave the next day (an day earlier) to get her to a doctor. +/- 180km to Clanwilliam plus a blow-out.

We complained to the office and the reply was a "oops" one.

I will definitely go back but in the hart of the winter.

We did put in a formal complaint to the office because if somebody does have serious allergy to bees that person might have a problem.

siy
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Re: Tankwa Karoo NP

Unread post by siy » Mon May 03, 2010 9:24 am

kwabo0802,

We were there (Elandsberg) 2 weeks ago with our 10-month old!! WHAT AN AMAZING PLACE...... anybody who does not LOVE it, must be a bit bonkers!!

Regarding bees and the splashpool.... I did not notice a single bee, but the birds do come and drink from the splashpool, especially early in the morning. I can however imagine that bees could be a problem.

We found the camp staff INCREDIBLY friendly and helpful - so much so that the park manager even offered to lend me his BRAND NEW tyre after I had a bad puncture. Eventually we got the puncture sorted with help from the camp staff. Someone else had fuel trouble and the staff went way beyond what was expected of them to help the guy out.

Like I say, a MAGICAL place!! If you can, take along an EXTRA spare tyre - i.e 2 spares!! The roads are good, but as the T4A maps say, "tyre failure imminent"!! There is also no cellphone reception and not a lot of traffic, so help is not always close by.

ENJOY!!!!

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Dreamer
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Re: Tankwa Karoo NP

Unread post by Dreamer » Mon May 17, 2010 8:35 pm

@kwabo0802 :D
We stayed at Elandsberg on 27 April and I think your statement of being an AWESOME place and those not enjoying it a bit BONKERS is an UNDERSTATEMENT!!!! :D :D :D
AWESOME
@siy *SIGH* *SIGH* oh to be there now would be BLISS!!
We can't wait to return.
The staff at reception and those who came to clean the units were friendly, helpful. They sure have been given some good PR training :thumbs_up: :clap:
As far as birds and bees... NO bees but birds a plenty coming to drink at the pool :D
Promise to post a couple of pics shortly.
At home...... dreaming of next trip to KTP

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Dreamer
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Re: Tankwa Karoo NP

Unread post by Dreamer » Mon May 17, 2010 9:34 pm

As promised :D some pics to give you an idea of how the cottages look at Elandsberg as well as a couple of scenic pics.
Caracal and her SO as week as myself and SO spend only one night at Elandsberg. It was a last minute decision to go to Tankwa and we were not sorry. What a beautiful place and we certainly look foward to returning one day.
As soon as Caracal stops fighting with the "Log in" situation she will post some of her pics of the birds and scenery, however, don't hold your breath now as she has had bad luck with being able to log in :evil:

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Last edited by Dreamer on Tue May 18, 2010 7:36 am, edited 1 time in total.
At home...... dreaming of next trip to KTP

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Dreamer
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Re: Tankwa Karoo NP

Unread post by Dreamer » Tue May 18, 2010 7:32 am

I felt like looking at this on this morning so thought I'd let you see too :D

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At home...... dreaming of next trip to KTP

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kwabo0802
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Re: Tankwa Karoo NP

Unread post by kwabo0802 » Tue May 18, 2010 8:46 am

Thank you Dreamer for posting the beautiful pictures, I cannot wait to go and I am glad we made sure that we can stay in Tankwa, even if there are bees around (they seem to be here in the hot season and that is when we will be there) by booking another cottage in addition to the Elandsberg Cottage. Unfortunately we only stay the one night too, but that gives us a reason to go back there.

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Caracal
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Re: Tankwa Karoo NP

Unread post by Caracal » Tue May 18, 2010 12:02 pm

As promised a few more photos of Elandsberg to add to Dreamer’s collection.

Watching the sunset from the Elandsberg Lookout..one does need a 4 x 4 to get to this awesome view point.

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The view of the front of our cottage

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And the view out of the door….no matter which door or window you look out of one has a stunning view.

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I just loved the reflection of the clouds in the pool

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Actually I just loved the clouds full stop…..

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We never had a " bee problem" but the following birds were all seen from the stoep... a really lazy way of birding !!!
These little birds and their antics sure kept us entertained..

Image Cape Bunting

Image Bokmakierie

Image Familiar Chat

Image One cheeky White-throated Canary giving another a mouthful.

Image One White-throated Canary looking suitable chastised.

Image Karoo Scrub-robin

Image Yellow Canary

Image Karoo Scrub-robin stealing breakfast

Image Mountain Wheatear

Tankwa is indeed a special place…one night did not do it justice…plans are underway to re-visit.

annie R
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Re: Tankwa Karoo NP

Unread post by annie R » Sun Oct 24, 2010 12:52 pm

We've recently come back from a stunning trip to Tankwa and I think we left our hearts in the wilderness there. We camped at Pyper se Boom, with wraparound views of the beautiful karoo mountains and plains. We had a chorus of birds singing us to sleep in the evening. From the call of one of them I think I've identified it as the rufouscheeked nightjar - can anyone confirm this? I also managed to identify pale chanting goshawk (a bit like a fierynecked nightjar, but I wasn't falling for that!). If anyone else knows what nightbirds are common in that area, I'd love to hear from them.

I sooooo loved that beautiful place I can just feel a blog coming on, probably in the next week or so...

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Re: Tankwa Karoo NP

Unread post by annie R » Tue Nov 02, 2010 1:56 pm

Is no one able to say which nightbirds are common in Tankwa (see my posting above)? I reckon I've pretty much nailed the rufouscheeked nightjar but the memory of the other sounds I heard is already starting to fade so if you have any suggestions please send them before my Auditory Alzheimer's takes over entirely! But the memory of that magical place hasn't faded at all - if you want to know why you should visit - or go again - see my latest blog at the signature below.

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Toko
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Re: Tankwa Karoo NP

Unread post by Toko » Tue Nov 02, 2010 2:03 pm

Hi, annie R

I think - I have lost my heart there as well :)

Here is a bird list:
http://www.google.de/search?sourceid=na ... nkwa+karoo

annie R
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Re: Tankwa Karoo NP

Unread post by annie R » Tue Nov 02, 2010 3:25 pm

Thanks for the bird list, Toko. I'll comb through it and see what night birds I can find apart from the nightjars and owls, whose calls I already know.

Funny how so few people venture to Tankwa and just about everyone who does falls in love with it...

Bart47
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Re: Tankwa Karoo NP

Unread post by Bart47 » Mon Apr 25, 2011 11:50 pm

Looking at all the pictures and reading the stories this must be an awesomeplace.
But what is the weather in beginning of june? I don't mind the cold but rain wouldn't be very nice.
Do i need a 4 x4 to get there?

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Re: Tankwa Karoo NP

Unread post by annie R » Tue Apr 26, 2011 9:05 am

Bart, I'm not sure about rain although I think it gets only about 25% of its rain in summer so there's a good chance of rain in winter (I'm open to correction here.) I know it can be very cold - June temperatures are usually in the region of 8-15 or so degrees, but ask @moggiedog, who was there in the snow last June about how cold and squishy it can be! You don't really need a 4x4 to get to reception and some of the areas, but if you're camping you'll need one because the roads are pretty rugged. Even to get to some of the farmhouses a 4x4 is advisable in winter. Also, if it has been raining or snowing, a 4x4 is a must. I suggest you phone Tankwa reception and ask, tel 027 341 1927. The very helpful Juliana or others will be able to advise you. Another tip is to carry extra fuel too, because there's none sold in the park and the nearest fuel stations are at Ceres, Sutherland, Middelpos and Calvinia 100km or more away.

I think there's a Tankwa guru on this forum so she should be able to answer you questions more fully.

Elephant's Eye
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Tankwa Karoo bees at Elandsberg cottages

Unread post by Elephant's Eye » Fri Oct 14, 2011 6:43 pm

http://elephantseyegarden.blogspot.com/ ... tages.html

We wish that SANParks had a waterhole for the wildlife,
instead of an unusable plunge pool.

These 'problem bees' are solitary, building their nests in the mud walls. Using pollen to feed the larva, in the flower season. They need water to seal the mud nests.

No idea if the plunge pool is usable out of the flower season. But we came to see the flowers, and were sad to spend time skimming drowning bees and wasps off the surface. And to see birds battling desperately, to cling to the concrete rim, against the stiff breeze, and the water being circulated by the solar powered filter.

Come on SANParks we need a wildlife friendly waterhole. Please?


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