Accommodation in Tankwa Karoo National Park

National Park/Reserve - Self Catering
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Tankwa Karoo National Park - SANP

As luminous clouds of dust swirl through the ancient landscape, a tortoise patiently ambles around in search of some succulent morsel, a lizard basks in the sun while gemsboks and red hartebeest share the arid plains with mongoose, orb-web spiders, skinks and leggy toktokkies…

Tankwa Karoo National Park is situated on the southern boundary of the Northern Cape with the Roggeveld Escarpment in the East, Cederberg in the West, and Klein Roggeveld Mountains in the South. Just a four-hour drive from Cape Town brings you to this truly unique national park.

Situated within the Succulent Karoo Biome, the area is renowned for its rare and endemic plant species, rich birdlife, and landscapes that will take your breath away – from the sheer cliffs of the Roggeveld Escarpment to the moonscapes of the Tankwa Desert. While Tankwa Karoo National Park is still in a developmental and land consolidation phase, expanding from the original 26,000 hectares in 1986 to nearly 143,600 ha by late 2010, it is the ideal destination for those seeking the brightest stars in Africa, a once in a lifetime glimpse of a rare endemic bird or perhaps nothing more than a silence that reaches deep into the soul…

Tankwa Karoo National Park is a Scientific National Park in South Africa. The park lies about 70 km due west of Sutherland near the border of the Northern Cape and Western Cape, in one of the most arid regions of South Africa, receiving 50 to 70 mm of precipitation in an average year. The mean January temperature in the park is 38.9 °C, and in July the average is 5.7 °C. Before this Park's proclamation, the only protected area of Succulent Karoo was the 2 square kilometre patch of the Gamka Mountain Nature Reserve. Succulent Karoo has, together with the Cape Floral Kingdom, been declared a Biodiversity Hotspot by Conservation International. Tankwa's area has been increased from an initial 280 to 1110 km². It is bounded on the east by the Roggeveld Mountains, on the west by the Cederberg, to the north by the Kouebokkeveld Mountains and on the south by the scattered foothills of the Koedoesberge and Klein Roggeveld Mountains, and the Tankwa River. The park's headquarters are located at Paulshoek on the Renoster River in an old farmhouse converted to offices and a visitor reception area. In 1998 Conrad Strauss sold 280 km² of sheep farm to the South African National Parks. The park has started with the reintroduction of game that used to occur naturally in the area. Research was done beforehand to ensure that introduced animals would survive on the overgrazed veld. The vegetation in the park falls within the Succulent Karoo biome and has been described as very sparse shrubland and Dwarf Shrubland. The park is home to a large variety of birds, such as the Black-headed Canary, Ludwig’s Bustard, and the Blackeared Sparrowlark. Peak birding season is August to October.

Room Description at :

Paulshoek Cottage
The Paulshoek farmstead, restored in 2003, is quaintly furnished with antique furniture and able to accommodate up to six guests.
The cottage is situated approximately 5km from the park offices at Roodewerf and has beautiful views of the imposing Roggeveld Escarpment and plains between.

Two bedrooms, 4 beds (1 double bed and 1 single bed per room)
One bathroom (shower only)
Open-plan kitchen and living-room
Fully equipped with linen, towels, cutlery, crockery cooking utensils etc.
Gas two-plate stove and fridge
Paraffin lamps and candles (provided)
“Donkey” / boiler, wood supplied
Wood stove for lighting during cold spells

Varschfontein Cottage
The Varschfontein Cottage, also an old farmhouse, was renovated in 2005 and is able to accommodate up to nine guests.
The cottage is situated 45km from the park offices at Roodewerf within the dry westerly section of Tankwa National Park.
The desolate beauty of the area is truly breathtaking and the cottage is the ideal getaway for those seeking a reprieve from the human masses.

Three bedrooms, 6 beds (1 double bed and 1 single bed per room)
One bathroom (shower only)
Open-plan kitchen and living-room
Reservoir for swimming purposes
Accessibility by low-clearance vehicles hampered by the occurrence of water relay humps in road
Access through sedan & 2x4 vehicles not advisable in winter
Fully equipped with linen, towels, cutlery, crockery cooking utensils etc.
Gas two-plate stove and fridge
Paraffin lamps and candles (provided)
“Donkey” / boiler, wood supplied
Hearth inside house for cooking or lighting of fire during cold spells

Elandsberg Wilderness Camp
The development of the Elandsberg Wilderness Camp was initiated in September 2006 and completed by April 2008. The five cottages are situated 18km from the park offices at Roodewerf in the hills known as Elandsberg. Each cottage boasts beautiful views of the Karoo plains and imposing Roggeveld Escarpment.

By the use of the locally made unbaked clay-and-straw bricks with sections of walls built with rock, a bygone era is evoked, one of simpler times… Examples of this building method can also be found in the many ruins within the park.

3 x One-bedroom Cottages, double bed
1 x One-bedroom Universal Unit, double bed
1 x Two-bedroom Cottage,
1 x double bed & 2 x single beds
Queen-sized sleeper-couch in living room
One bathroom (shower only)
Open-plan kitchen and living-room
Covered Braai / Stoep
Fire-place in living room
Splash-pool per unit
Fully equipped with linen, towels, cutlery, crockery, cooking utensils etc.
Gas appliances
Paraffin lamps and candles (provided)

Tanqua Guesthouse
The Tanqua Guest House is very conveniently situated on the southern boundary of the Tankwa National Park and a stone’s throw from the Oudebaaskraal Dam. Built somewhat like a desert fort, the Tanqua Guest House was formerly owned by Esther and Alewyn Burger and later incorporated into the Tankwa National Park in 2007. The guest house offers a range of accommodation and has played host to weddings, teambuilding exercises as well as film and commercial shoots. Also situated next to the main building is a 900m air strip, allowing fly-ins by guests.

Main House (A)
Two units with 2 bedrooms (1double bed + 2 single beds per unit) with shared bathroom One unit with double bedroom and bathroom Kitchen and living area shared by these 3 units Braai facilities Fireplace in living room Fully equipped with linen, cutlery, crockery, etc.

Self-catering Family Unit (B)
Four bedrooms, 1 double and 3 twin Two bathrooms (one en-suite) Open-plan kitchen, living-and dining room Braai-facilities Fireplace in living-room Fully equipped with linen, cutlery, crockery, etc. Only self-catering accommodation available at present. However, catering can be provided if an advanced request is made.

Only self-catering accommodation available at present. However, catering can be provided if an advanced request is made.

DeZyfer Cottage DeZyfer
Cottage is an old farmstead dating back from the early 1900's. It was lovingly renovated just before Easter 2009. The cottage, with its welcoming stoep and hearth, is a must for the nostalgic heart. Birding enthusiasts will also enjoy the many little visitors to the earth dam nearby.
Two bedrooms:1 bed (1 double beds in each)
Queen-sized sleeper couch in living room
Bathroom (with shower only)
Open plan living area/kitchen with fireplace Lighting by candles only (provided)
Two-plate gas stove and fridge
Fully equipped with linen, towels, cutlery, crockery and cooking utensils.
Braai facilities "Donkey"/boiler wood supplied

Camping Facilities
Formerly an informal campsite, Langkloof has been upgraded with ablution facilities and running water during early 2011. The campsite is situated approximately 18km from the Park Reception at Roodewerf, within the scenic upper reaches of the Langkloof (Afrikaans for Long Gorge). Kudu, other small antelope and mammals frequents the area and, with you, are the only ones to experience the awesome power of thunder storms and the ensuing wonder of the Rhenoster River in flashflood.
•2 x campsites, each with own bathroom and kitchen
•Bathroom - toilet, shower, basin •Kitchen – no cooking facilities supplied
•Braai facilities, no braai grid supplied
•Gas geyser
•Paraffin lamps
•No electrical points
•Access by high clearance 2x4
•4x4 advisable in rainy seasons

Singing cicadas and the westerly wind in the branches of gnarled Karee trees, is the soundtrack to a hot January day.
February brings the anticipation of rain, daily, with soft towering cumulonimbus clouds hovering over the Roggeveld Escarpment and the might of Thunder, finally, ending the wait in its mighty afternoon displays.
March, and Tankwa Karoo lulls into a light slumber in anticipation of shorter days, longer nights.

Informal Campsites
Fully self-sufficient campers are allowed to camp at designated spots on an “only leave your footprints”- basis. Each site is for the exclusive use of the party reserving such a site. Ask for more info.

Inclusions / Exclusions

Rates Include:
Accommodation, VAT @ 15%

Rates Exclude:
Optional excursions

Daily Conservation Fees for 1 November 2010 to 31 October 2011
South African Citizens and Residents (with ID): R20 per person, per day
SADC Nationals (with passport): R40 per person, per day R20 per child, per day
Standard Conservation Fee (Foreign Visitors): R80 per adult, per day R40 per child, per day

Wild Card: Year Permits available for all our guests

Prices subject to change. Please confirm with consultant.

Extra information

A list of over 200 species have been recorded from the area. The parks 20 odd pairs of black eagles are an attraction. Other birds of prey to watch for include Booted Eagle, Jackal Buzzard, Pale Chanting Goshawk and Rock Kestrel, while birding on the plains route, larks and chats are prominent.

Office Hours
Mondays to Fridays 07:30 to 16:00 - The reception office is open from 07:00 to 20:00.

Gate Hours
05:00 – 22:00   Arrivals after 22:00 are not permitted.  The reception office is open from 07:00 to 20:00.   Visitors with reserved accommodation who arrive after 20:00 must make prior arrangements to collect the keys to their accommodation at the entrance gate. Please call the camp at Tel +27 (0)27 341 1927

Annual rainfall totals 260 mm, with the plains being hot in summer, and the mountain areas relatively cool throughout the year. During mid-winter snow occurs regularly on the peaks of the Nuweveld Mountains.

Handy Hints
Cool clothing for summer and warm for winter – the region is subject to sudden changes in weather, particularly in the mountains. Bring a hat, walking shoes, sun block, camera, binoculars and bird and mammal reference books.  Hikers on day trails must always carry sufficient water.

Take Note
Pets are not allowed in national parks. Firearms to be declared at reception where they will be sealed. The seal will be broken upon departure. Motor cycles or bicycles are not allowed.
Hospital, doctors, pharmacies, as well as vehicle repair and police services in Beaufort West. Fuel available in Beaufort West.

Wheelchair Access
The rest camp has three units accessible to wheelchair users.(Two 3-bedded bungalows and one 6-bedded guest cottage.) The reception area and shop can be accessed easily enough (there is a small step at the entrance to the building.) Descending into the restaurant is currently achieved via an exceptionally steep ramp, and even the strongest of wheelchair users will need assistance.

The highlight of the park from an accessibility perspective is a fossil trail that has Braille facilities for the visually impaired and most of the circuit is on a smooth, firm surface with an appropriate gradient. A bird hide and a couple of other walks are not accessible, but wheelchair users can follow the road down to the picturesque campsite and make their way around it absorbing the fauna and flora.

South African National Parks (SANParks) needs to receive enough revenue to be able to successfully manage the parks under its control, and it needs to gain the support of all the people in South Africa either through visitation, or an appreciation of the importance of conserving South Africa’s natural heritage. Your daily conservation fee is payment for the use and maintenance of facilities such as road networks, trails, picnic sites, ablutions, viewing hides, water supply for humans and waterholes for game etc. Fees differ for each park and for local and foreign visitors. As an alternative to paying daily conservation fees, you can purchase a Wild Card.