Road to Tankwa

Agulhas, Bontebok, Table Mountain, Tankwa Karoo, West Coast

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nicholaslemaitre
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Tankwa access question Gannaga pass

Unread post by nicholaslemaitre »

Hi there

I would like to know if it is possible to get from the Middlepos gate of the park to the Calvinia gate of the park without having to drive all the way around via Calvinia? I see that it is possible of Google Maps, but that's not always true and the park map shows that you have to cross private land after the Gannaga Pass.

thanks
Nic
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Bushhappy
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Re: Tankwa access question Gannaga pass

Unread post by Bushhappy »

Yes, you can enter the park via the Gannaga pass and then go out via the gate in the north west. Shortly after leaving the pass you will get to the R355. If you turn right (northerly direction) you directly to Calvinia.
Send me a pm if you want specific directions.
Sam
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jfh
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Re: Road to Tankwa

Unread post by jfh »

I'm off to the Tankwa over the Easter weekend and I have heard of all the tyre shredding. So I'm a bit worried. I've read all the comments but nowhere do I find what tyre pressure is recommended. Some say hard others say slightly deflated. I use all terrain tyres.
The only thing needed for evil to prevail is for a good man to do nothing.
shfish
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Re: Road to Tankwa

Unread post by shfish »

Hi jfh
The problem on this road is the shards of shale, so in my opinion it stands to reason that if you reduce your pressure you are exposing your tyre walls to these shards. I have driven these roads many times without problems. If you speed you are looking for trouble....this is where people come short. The road surface is often excellent so motorists are inclined to travel at 100 kph and up. DO NOT EXCEED 80 kph and you'll be fine especially with your AT's . Also, keep in the vehicle tracks already made.
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Albert
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Re: Road to Tankwa

Unread post by Albert »

Papadoc wrote:In 6 weeks we will be off for a bigger trip along several Sanparks. Starting from Capetown our first stop will be Tankwa Karoo, and from there we will travel to Namaqua (hoping for lots of flowers) and then further to Kgalagadi and lots more. :D

The route to Tankwa will be (obviously) over Ceres and the R355, but my question is about the route from Tankwa Karoo to Namaqua: is it possible to leave the park on the northern border an head for Calvinia, or it is better to pass through the main gate (on the South Western Border, which seems to me an rather big detour)? We think our best guess for shopping would be in Calvinia. I assume from there we should take the R27 to Vanrhynsdorp?

Any other tips will be welcome too!

Regards from a warm and sunny Europe,

Papadoc


I can only partially answer this question: Yes you can leave towards Calvinia (there are 4 "entrances" to the park; from Ceres, from Calvina, from Sutherland and also towards Middelpos). The park does not have entrance gates in the traditional sense.
Also; please note that petrol is not available in the park (diesel is available); from the offices in the park it is about 110km to the fuel station in Calvinia, and 180 km to Ceres.
Latest lifers (572): Red Knot, Bar-tailed Godwit, Protea Canary, White-backed Duck, Namaqua Warbler, Yellow-throated Longclaw, Corn Crake, Buffy Pipit, Eurasian Hobby, Böhm's Spinetail, Green Sandpiper
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TonyK
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Re: Road to Tankwa

Unread post by TonyK »

We were there in Sept 2015. The roads in the park are shocking (literally) and are so corrigated that your fillings feel they want to fall out. We suffered two punctures, both on the stretch from Ceres to the southern gate. It is a wonderful place and we want to return, but not with the Opel Zafira SUV we currently have. Even the door hinges unscrewed themselves and the car is now full of rattles. Such a pity something is not done about the roads.
shfish
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Re: Road to Tankwa

Unread post by shfish »

Howdy TonyK, I think this is an old thread but just for those that may be heading for Tankwa soon, stand by for a pummeling!! I've just come back from a trip...I've never experienced the roads in such bad nick, makes the Kgalagadi corrugations seem like a highway. Picked up yet another puncture in the park. But it was all worth it for Skaapwagterspos - what a bit of paradise( complete with two huge cobras and an irrascible Parabuthus ) :shock:
redsky
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Re: Road to Tankwa

Unread post by redsky »

Hello - we are going to drive from Tulbagh to De Zyfer (Tankwa) in mid-March. Any news for road conditions please?
Should we hire a 4x4?

All advice appreciated thank you
redsky
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Re: Road to Tankwa

Unread post by redsky »

shfish wrote:Hi Redsky
If I remember correctly, De Zyfer is very close to the reception. Do you need a 4x4 - it all depends what you want to do in Tankwa, but basically the roads in the parks are fine for sedans. Having said that, the roads can be extremely corrugated. On my last trip in November 2015 my SUV took an absolute pounding. If you are renting a vehicle for this trip and your budget allows, hire something robust but a 4x4 is quite unnecessary unless you want to do the optional 4x4 trails. Remember to drive cautiously (80kph) on the R355 especially if you are in a sedan, this road is quite a tyre eater. If you should pick up a puncture, do not panic......they will fix this for you at the reception.
You will love the peace and quiet of the Tankwa but be warned......expect 35 to 40 degrees temp.!
Enjoy!


Thanks for your advice! We have hired a baby SUV - 2x4, just for the additional clearance and sightlines. Hot is good! :D
Bookman
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Re: Road to Tankwa

Unread post by Bookman »

Hi

It may be 35 to 40 in the day but will also get quite cool at night so do remember a warm top.
Chipotle
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Re: Road to Tankwa

Unread post by Chipotle »

Planning to go to Tankwa on the 18th of March and a bit nervous about the roads (R355 and inside Tankwa Park). Have they been graded recently or are they still tyre eaters?

Update: Spoke to Tankwa office and the road from Ceres was graded 2 weeks ago. Some parts in the Park is badly corrugated and other parts better.

New Question: Is it easy to cycle in the Park (11yr old who is not a mountain biker)?
shfish
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Re: Road to Tankwa

Unread post by shfish »

Hi Chipotle
If the roads have recently been graded, your journey will be a lot more comfortable but the puncture hazard will always be there. Just drive cautiously , no faster than 80 kph on the R355 and slower in the park and keep in the vehicle tracks already created and you should be fine. As I've said before, don't panic if you pick up a puncture, they will fix this for you at the workshop behind reception. I'm not sure what aspect of cycling you are questioning??..... There is a vast network of gravel roads inside the park, mostly quite sandy and corrugated but I suppose this is what a mountain bike is for. I would think it fairly safe for you and your 11 year old to ride around....any approaching driver would surely slow down and give you good clearance.
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Sandpiper
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Re: Road to Tankwa

Unread post by Sandpiper »

Good afternoon,

I am planning a Trip to Tankwa with my husband for end of September.
Has anyone recently visited the Park and can tell me about the Road Conditions from Cape Town to the Elandsberg Camp. Especially the Road Conditions inside the Park.
We are driving a 2x4 Ford Ecosport.
Thanks very much in advance for answers
Sandpiper
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Albert
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Re: Road to Tankwa

Unread post by Albert »

Hi Sandpiper,
I have just returned from Tankwa. The road conditions that are relevant are those of the gravel roads:
1. The R355 from Ceres to the turnoff to the park (P2250)

a). The first few kilometers (through Hottentotskloof to the R356 turnoff to Sutherland) is a little corrugated, but not too bad.
b) The rest is in good condition; the section for 3 km either side of the Tankwa Pedestal is fairly corrugated, but nothing too serious.

2. The P2250 from the R355 to the Roodewerf offices is good at least to where the road crosses the Tankwa River bridge (about 50 km from the R355 turnoff, 25 km from Roodewerf). Thereafter the conditions are variable. Right now the road 10 km either side of the Roodewerf Offices is quite corrugated. I am unsure about the last bit to Elandsberg Cottages.

Please note that road conditions vary from week to week. In addition the P2250 is a provincial road and is maintained by the respective provinces (Western Cape up to Roodewerf and Northern Cape from Roodewerf onwards). By and large the roads in the park (once you turn off the P2250) are OK.
I will endeavour to update the conditions as time passes; we are often in the park (or at least my colleagues are) so we are able to report changing conditions! The roads are, by and large, a lot better than they were about a year ago... :twisted:

You should be fine in the Ecosport, just drive very carefully. The roads have a reputation of being tyre chewers. Local wisdom has it that you should limit your speed to below 80km/h, do not cross the dividers that separate the tyre tracks unnecessarily, and watch for sharp stones in the road.
Latest lifers (572): Red Knot, Bar-tailed Godwit, Protea Canary, White-backed Duck, Namaqua Warbler, Yellow-throated Longclaw, Corn Crake, Buffy Pipit, Eurasian Hobby, Böhm's Spinetail, Green Sandpiper
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Sandpiper
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Re: Road to Tankwa

Unread post by Sandpiper »

Hi Albert
Thank you very much for the quick and detailled response.
This gives me a good impression about the road conditions in the park.
I will ask about the conditions again when it comes closer to the date of our trip.
Warm regards
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