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Tankwa Karoo NP: INFO

Agulhas, Bontebok, Table Mountain, Tankwa Karoo, West Coast
Dave Moore
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Unread post by Dave Moore » Sat Jul 26, 2008 8:14 pm

Hi
I am planning a trip to the Tanqua Karoo park in September. My plan is to stay at Elandsberg Wilderness Camp for two nights and then at the campsite for another two nights. I see there is one with ablutions etc now. Can anyone who has stayed here, particularly the two I have mentioned, let me know a bit about their experience. We are hoping to see some flowers and also pick up a few new ticks on our bird list. We hope to return home via Karoo National Park and check out the new loops they have opened up and spot some rhino! Then on to Storms River and back home to PMB via the Wild Coast.

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eh0109
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Re: Tankwa Karoo NP: INFO

Unread post by eh0109 » Tue Sep 16, 2008 12:33 pm

This is my 2nd visit to TNP. Here are a few photos.

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Namaqua sandgrouse, Pramberg. November 2007.



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Lanner falcon, right outside the house at Paulshoek. November 2007.



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Katjiesberg, on the road back to Sutherland. November 2007.



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Skoorsteenberg, just before the turnoff to Oudebaaskraal. August 2008.



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Weird landscape at Oudebaaskraal dam. August 2008.



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The house at Paulshoek. August 2008.



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Unidentified flower behind the house at Paulshoek. Any guesses? This one is for Letsie. August 2008. Correction: The name of the flower is Lachenelia Violacea.



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Inside Paulshoek. August 2008.



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Unit #5, Elandsberg. The road is very bad, drive carefully. August 2008.



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Inside unit #5, Elandsberg. August 2008.








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Wall to wall flowers at Varschfontein. The mind cannot comprehend. August 2008.



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Fun and games at Varschfontein. Bad weather on its way. August 2008.
Last edited by eh0109 on Thu Sep 18, 2008 8:58 am, edited 1 time in total.

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eh0109
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Re: Tankwa Karoo NP: INFO

Unread post by eh0109 » Thu Sep 18, 2008 9:11 am

Thanks guys, and thanks Letsie for the flower info. Here is one last photo of the Oudebaaskraal dam. Incredible.

Image

Oudebaaskraal dam overflowing. August 2008.
Last edited by eh0109 on Thu Sep 18, 2008 11:45 am, edited 1 time in total.

Solvej
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Re: Tankwa Karoo NP: INFO

Unread post by Solvej » Thu Oct 09, 2008 8:32 am

Has anyone information on accommodation at Die Mond in the Tankwa Karoo Park? I can see that there is self catering accommodation looking at Slingby's latest map of the Cederberg.

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letsiec
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Re: Tankwa Karoo NP: INFO

Unread post by letsiec » Thu Oct 09, 2008 10:08 am

Hi there,

Die Mond is indeed situated within the Tanqua Karoo Region but NOT in the Tankwa Karoo National Park. You can contact Mr & Mrs Hough at 027 341 2330 or 027 341 2334 for further details with regards to Die Mond. For bookings at Tankwa National Park, you can contact our office directly at 027 341 1927 - as we are not on the central booking system of SANParks, all bookings are currently handled from the park itself.

If the map indeed indicates that Die Mond is situated within TKNP, I would appreciate it if you could let me know in order for us to rectify the problem as soon as possible and thereby prevent further confusion.

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Re: Tankwa Karoo NP: INFO

Unread post by Solvej » Thu Oct 09, 2008 10:43 am

Thanks for this information and apologies for stating that it was in the Park itself! The map does NOT indicate this, it was my mistake.

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francoisd
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Re: Tankwa Karoo NP: INFO

Unread post by francoisd » Mon Jun 29, 2009 11:47 am

I see on the accommodation page that the following are listed:
Car Biesjiesfontein (CK15)
Car Volmoesfontein (CK15)

I manged to locate Volmoesfontein close to Pramberg but cannot find Biesjiesfontein.

Both seems to be the "leave your footprints only" camping areas. The "Car" prefix supposedly means that you can reach these with a sedan. Having travelled the road to Volmoesfontein from Elandsberg Camp side I think this might be true only if there was no rain in a long time as in February 2008 there was evidence of large patches of clay that would bog down 4x4s never mind a sedan. When I was there these clay areas was however dry. I assume in August it would still be too wet to do in a sedan, also coming down the slope from Maansedam side.

What is the road condition like coming to Volmoesfontein form the Tanqua Guesthouse side? On the map one would turn right at the T-junction after the guesthouse for the shortest route to the Volmoesfontein. If one turn right at the T-junction there is a spot with thick sand close to the no entry sign/exit of the road leading to Tweefontein. That patch of sand was impassable in 2008 with a sedan.

Can someone maybe indicate where Biesjiesfontein is located on the map?
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letsiec
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Re: Tankwa Karoo NP: INFO

Unread post by letsiec » Mon Jun 29, 2009 2:36 pm

Hi there,
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! :wink:

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!

Letsie
Last edited by letsiec on Mon Jun 29, 2009 3:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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francoisd
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Re: Tankwa Karoo NP: INFO

Unread post by francoisd » Mon Jun 29, 2009 3:05 pm

letsiec wrote:Hi there,
Please see an excerpt of the Park map below, with an indication of where Volmoersfontein and Biesjesfontein are in relation to each other.

Hi Letsie,
Thanks for the reply. Map was not included though.
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letsiec
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Re: Tankwa Karoo NP: INFO

Unread post by letsiec » Wed Jul 01, 2009 10:43 am

Hi there!

Sorry about the map - my technological brain ceased to function properly on Monday! :redface:

An updated map of the park was loaded onto our website - http://www.sanparks.org/parks/tankwa/im ... june09.jpg . Biesjesfontein is indicated on this.

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you require further info on the road conditions or any other matters related to Tankwa.
Letsie Coetzee
Section Ranger
Tankwa Karoo National Park

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eh0109
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Re: Tankwa Karoo NP: INFO

Unread post by eh0109 » Fri Jul 03, 2009 8:22 am

Hallo Letsie

I have a few questions regarding the new Tankwa map:

I assume the blue flags are park entrances. The road through Jackalsfontein towards the guesthouse, marked 11.7 km on the map, is it open to the public? (I do not want to tresspass on private property!!!)

What is the Jaghut?


I also assume the guesthouse now falls under SanParks. Do we phone you guys for reservations?

Baie dankie sien julle weer

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francoisd
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Re: Tankwa Karoo NP: INFO

Unread post by francoisd » Fri Jul 03, 2009 9:06 am

eh0109 wrote:I assume the blue flags are park entrances. The road through Jackalsfontein towards the guesthouse, marked 11.7 km on the map, is it open to the public? (I do not want to tresspass on private property!!!)

Not Letsie but...

I also noticed that the legend for the blue flags are not on the new map.
On the 2008 map the legend for the blue flags is "Main Access Points".

As the there is a blue flag at the end of the 11.7km stretch my assumption would be that one may travel on that road. I did a birding trip in the Tanqua Karoo area in February 2008 and also spent 2 days in the Park. At that time the turn off to the Tanqua Guesthouse from the P2250 unto that 11.7km road was not clearly indicated. I missed it on my way to the Park and on my way back home I vaguely saw a rock with Tanqua Guesthouse painted on it. If it is not clearly signposted now, the turn off is about 27.6km after you've turned onto the P2250 from the R355. (according to SA Birdfinder)

The guesthouse does seem to fall under SANParks now as it appears on the accoodation page for Tankwa.
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letsiec
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Re: Tankwa Karoo NP: INFO

Unread post by letsiec » Sun Jul 05, 2009 12:32 pm

Hi guys,

Yes, the blue flags indeed indicate the main entrance points to Tankwa NP – the crossed squares indicating where access is not allowed. The road through Jackalsfontein is only open to guests who have been booked in at one of the Tanqua Guesthouse Units. All other guests still have to report to our offices at Roodewerf. I am at present busy sourcing signage for these turn-offs, and if all goes according to plan, it should be erected by the end of September.

The Oudebaaskraal and Ymasqua Properties, on which the Tanqua Guesthouse Complex is situated, was bought by SANParks during late 2007. Currently the accommodation is only used on a self-catering basis and is ideal for larger groups – the main building can accommodate up to 10 guests with the smaller unit, about 100m away, able to accommodate a maximum of 8 guests. You can contact our office for reservations, do an online booking or contact the Central Reservations office for a booking.

Die Jaghut was used as an overnight facility for duck hunters after the construction of the Oudebaaskraal Dam. At present it is not included into our accommodation for rent as it currently only has the bare essentials. However, guests who are interested in staying at Die Jaghut and willing to “rough-it”, can contact the Park office for more info.
Letsie Coetzee
Section Ranger
Tankwa Karoo National Park

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francoisd
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Re: Tankwa Karoo NP: INFO

Unread post by francoisd » Fri Jul 31, 2009 9:00 am

Are there any flowers in the park yet as well as the surrounding areas?

I'm doing a birding trip up the R355, Skitterykloof and maybe someway up the P2250 next week Sunday (9 August) and was just wondering if the flowers started showing in that area yet.

How wet is it in the Park at the moment and what is the condition of the roads like as far as travelling with a sedan?
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eh0109
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Re: Tankwa Karoo NP: INFO

Unread post by eh0109 » Mon Aug 03, 2009 7:13 am

Hi all

Yes, there are flowers in the Tanqua. On the R355 Between the turnoff to Die Mond and the Western/Northern Cape border there are spectacular patches of yellow. I did not visit the park itself. Also bear in mind the flowers only show in the afternoon.

The R355 is hard and dry with a few wet patches along the road. Beware Ceres is freezing cold.

Here are a few photos. They were all taken in the Tanqua Karoo on Sunday, August 2nd 2009.


Image

Table Mountain and the Spout, world famous for its rock-climbing.


Image

Gazanias in the Tanqua Karoo


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Another famous mountain, the Skoorsteenberg.

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Patches of red, seems to be some kind of grass. Any guesses?


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