Tankwa and Beyond

The Tankwa Karroo National Park

In summer it is harsh, arid and hot, but after the winter rains, the landscape takes on a soft green tinge as it stretches off into the distance.

Closer inspection if the greenery shows very little grass, but a wide variety of rare and endemic plant species for which the region is famous.

Many of the old farmsteads have been renovated by Sanparks and are now available as self catering accommodation which allows the public to experience the solitude and silence of these remote locations.

The original residents are long gone, but their memory lives on…

To get the best views over the seemingly endless extent of the Tankwa Karroo, you need to climb to the top of the nearest koppie.

Luckily there are an abundance of 4×4 tracks which afford access to some stunning viewpoints, but I have the feeling that there is at least one of our party who would rather have walked to the top.

Close to the Tankwa guesthouse stands the old farm tractor, a Ransomes steam engine, a reminder of times gone by. The Quiver trees or Kokerbome are indigenous to the N.Cape, but not prevalent in Tankwa.

Katjiesberg stand high above the surrounding plains and dominates the landscape as one heads towards Sutherland via the Ouberg pass.

The Middelpos Hotel – cozy rooms, excellent farm style food, but not exactly a warm and welcoming reception. In fact, no reception at all. Must have caught them on a bad day.

Pre-dinner drinks – I got the impression that we had taken over the owner’s personal lounge. Drinks were not immediately forthcoming so I got the wine-box from the car….

Our host eventually arrived to open the bar – said that he had been feeding the dogs!….

There are two things for which Middelpos is well known – one is breeding Boerboels (S.African Mastiff) and the other is making goats cheese. This is probably why most folk have never heard of the place.

In fact the town, which is privately owned, is one big farmyard….

which, apart from the hotel, has a shop, a post office and even a police station.

We were impressed by the talent of an unnamed artist….

whose work is proudy displayed on a dusty mound in downtown Middelpos.

We were amused by this poster which was pinned up in the local store – I have named it “Tit for Tot”….

Heading home via the Gannaga pass, we deviated from the route to visit a viewpoint which provides a stunning view over the escarpment…

The Renoster river winds its way down the valley below…

Gannaga pass disappears off into the distance….

as we descend the escarpment….

back into Tankwa…..

where the recent rains have encourages an early display of desert blooms.

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