Tankwa Karoo National Park is situated on the boundary between the Northern Cape and Western Cape, with the sheer cliffs of the Roggeveld Escarpment in the east, Cederberg in the west, and Klein Roggeveld Mountains in the south. Tankwa Karoo National Park is the ideal destination to see Africa’s brightest stars and enjoy the kind of stillness that speaks straight to your soul. Like the pages of a dusty old book, this ancient Tankwa Desert landscape has many treasures to unfold.
The park lies within the Succulent Karoo Biome, the only arid region recognised as a biodiversity hotspot, boasting the world’s richest succulent flora, rare and endemic plant species, rich birdlife, high reptile and invertebrate diversity, and striking, arid landscapes. The Succulent Karoo Biodiversity Hotspot covers 116,000km² of desert along the Atlantic coast, from south-western South Africa into southern Namibia, and is one of the 25 richest and most threatened areas of plant and animal life on earth. Biodiversity hotspots cover only 1.4% of the planet, yet contain 60% of all terrestrial species diversity.
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 hectares by late 2010, the park is already a popular destination for birding enthusiasts. The park’s list currently includes 174 of the 178 bird species known to the region. And for those who aren’t birders, keep an eye out for small creatures like the tortoise and mongoose, creepy crawlies like orb-web spiders, skinks, and leggy toktokkies, and a variety of antelope including gemsbok, red hartebeest, and springbok.