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Tankwa Karoo NP: INFO

Agulhas, Bontebok, Table Mountain, Tankwa Karoo, West Coast
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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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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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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
SR Planning & Development
Mapungubwe National Park & World Heritage Site

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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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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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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
SR Planning & Development
Mapungubwe National Park & World Heritage Site

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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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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


Image

Another famous mountain, the Skoorsteenberg.

Image

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

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Re: Tankwa Karoo NP: INFO

Unread post by letsiec » Tue Aug 04, 2009 11:07 am

Hi there,

There are indeed flowers in the park – Varschfontein & Pramberg/Volmoersfontein area, and scattered throughout the Park for that matter. Bulbs are not out yet (in Roggeveld section of the Park) due to the prevalent cold temperatures.

The Karoopoort Area, as you cross from tar to gravel from Ceres, also promises a beautiful show of Mesembs and other flowering shrubs.

The Park is quite dry – the last rains worth mentioning occurring around the 14th of July. No rains are predicted for the coming weekend. From Ceres the road is in very good condition as this has been graded. Just be aware of a couple of points from about 50km from Roodewerf, which has not been fixed yet. Roads in the park have not been graded recently, so some care will be required when using a sedan during this coming weekend. Please also see our “Dirt Road Driving Tipshttp://www.sanparks.org/parks/tankwa/tourism/general.php.

Regards,

Letsie

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Re: Tankwa Karoo NP: INFO

Unread post by Lightbearer » Wed Sep 23, 2009 10:35 pm

:hmz: Hi All, and a special Hi to Letsie, the tankwa angel. I hope that with all these new signs it will not spoil the 'adventure' of getting 'lost' and finding oneself again. Getting lost allows one to talk to the locals, when you can find one, and get a 'feel' for them.
:D a couple of questions - Elands- - - , how far apart are the accomodations ? Far enough not to intrude on one another ?
:hmz: Have the boundaries been finalized and been marked yet ?
I will definitely warn you, Letsie, when I intend to come that way again - the last two occasions resulted in flash floods and mud slides for roads.
Can you, anyone, recommend a clear, detailed map of the area with most, if not all, of the roads shown. Mapstudio help me to get lost. Infomaps don't tell me anything and I discover 'new' roads.
Looking forward to my next visit.

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Re: Tankwa Karoo NP: INFO

Unread post by MATTHYS » Wed Jan 27, 2010 3:45 pm

Message from Letsie (thank you, Letsie ! :D )

It is my pleasure to provide some more information on the camping available here at Tankwa National Park.

At present, we have 7 informal campsites scattered throughout the Park with no facilities, water, ablutions, etc., and thus campers have to be fully self-sufficient in this regard. Camping is allowed on a “what you bring in, you take out”-basis. I include a table below with a brief summary of each campsite’s specific attributes.
Image
Image
We are also in the process of developing a campsite within the Perdekloof Section of the Park – EIA have been completed and awaiting final drawings before construction can commence. This will provide about 6-8 stands, each with their own ablutions.

I hope this helps. Please feel free to contact me if any further information is required. Guests are also more than welcome to contact our office via the telephone number below and chat to Elmaré van Wyk, Duty Manager Tankwa National Park, or Juliana de Vries, Receptionist, or on the e-mail address tankwa@sanparks.org.

Kind Regards,
Letsie
Ms. Letsie Coetzee
Section Ranger
South African National Parks (SANParks)
Tankwa National Park

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Tankwa National Park first visit.

Unread post by Capetonian » Wed Feb 08, 2012 11:13 am

This is my first visit to Tankwa National Park and I was hoping that some one could answer some questions for me.

Is unleaded fuel available in the park?

I am staying at Elandsberg cottages and want to visit as much of the park as possible.
Can I travel from there to the Gannaga Pass and Watervlei 4x4 route. The map shows that the road from Elandsberg to Gannaga Pass goes through private property and shows the road as No Entry?

Looking forward to your replies, thank you.

Capetonian

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Re: Tankwa National Park first visit.

Unread post by okie » Wed Feb 08, 2012 12:35 pm

I've only driven through a corner of the park from Calvinia to Ceres , and no fuel inbetween . The following info . is from the Sanparks website .

Access from from Calvinia, Ceres, Sutherland and Matjiesfontein


Distances

Ceres to Tankwa is about 180km - nearest petrol-point will be Middlepost.
From Calvinia to Tankwa 110km.

Remember , its all gravel road , and not necessarily nice gravel road . The R355 between Ceres and Calvinia is the longest single stretch of road anywhere in South Africa between two towns , without another town or village on it .

Enjoy the ride - great scenery for those who like far distances .
Tread softly , and let your departure not be spoiled by the damage of your arrival

Next :
3 - 6 Sept 2013 - Punda.
7 - 10 Sept 2013 -Shingwedzi .
11 - 13 Sept 2013 - Balule .
14 - 17 Sept 2013 - Satara .

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Re: Tankwa National Park first visit.

Unread post by Bush Baptist » Fri Feb 10, 2012 1:02 pm

Don't think there is any fuel available in the park.
Whatever (according to BB): "You are correct but I don't want to admit it".

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Re: Tankwa National Park first visit.

Unread post by picnic » Fri Feb 10, 2012 2:27 pm

Travelling times: There are restricted travelling times in the park. No travelling is permitted within Tankwa National Park during the following times:

1 October to 31 March 19:00 – 05:30
1 April to 30 September 18:00 – 06:30
Exemption granted to visitors arriving on a Friday by no later than 21:00 at reception, to travel by means of most direct route to the reception and from the reception to their booked accommodation.

Last stops for fuel (measured from park offices) are Ceres (180km), Sutherland (140km - closed from Saturdays 13:00 for weekend), Calvinia (110km) and Middelpos (52km).
Vehicle fuel is available in all parks (or is available on the park periphery) - South African legislation stipulates that fuel stations will accept legitimate petrol/fuel/garage/credit/debit cards or cash as a form of payment for any fuel purchase.
Arrivals for accommodation from 14:00 only, departure at 10:00.
No shops, restaurants, public phones or ATMs in the park.
General Dealer and Bottle Store in Middelpos.
No cellphone reception within the park as well as main access roads.
Credit card facilities are available.
Prosopis Wood for sale in park.

:thumbs_up: Hope this will help. :D


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