“If we had a keen vision and feeling of all ordinary human life, it would be like hearing the grass grow and the squirrel’s heart beat, and we should die of that roar which lies on the other side of silence.”

George Eliot may never have visited the Tankwa Karoo, but when confronted with the thundering silence of this awe-inspiring landscape, it is impossible not to contemplate her timeless words.

In this blog we showcase the beauty of this often overlooked, but stunning part of the Karoo. We also suggest a few stunning stays for world-weary readers in search of a getaway devoid of noise pollution. It’s time to traverse the Tankwa with TravelGround!

Quick facts

  • The Tankwa Karoo is wedged between the Roggeveld Mountains in the east, the Cederberg Mountains in the west, and the Kouebokkeveld Mountains in the north.
  • Vegetation in the park falls within the Succulent Karoo Biome.
  • Even though the average rainfall of this arid region is less than 100 mm annually, it has been declared a Biodiversity Hotspot by Conservation International.
  • Nearby towns: Ceres (180 km), Sutherland (120 km) and Calvinia (110 km).
  • A 4×4 vehicle is recommended.

Pristine landscapes

The Tankwa Karoo’s vast plains of intermittent veld and shrubbery stretch endlessly to creased mountains in the distance. On a clear day you see the silence and sense millenia of unchanged topography.

Tankwa Karoo National Park

  • 188 bird species have been identified in the Tankwa Karoo National Park including the black-headed canary, Ludwig’s bustard, and the black-eared sparrow-lark.
  • Game such as kudu, steenbok and springbok has gradually been reintroduced to the area.
  • The area around the Oudebaaskraal Dam boasts the highest concentration of species.

Tankwa Padstal

No visit to the Tankwa Karoo is complete without a visit to this legendary farm stall. Take a load off at the Workshop bar, enjoy a delicious burger on the porch, and stock up on jam and rusks before you continue your Tankwa adventure.

Nearby Accommodations

Accommodation in the Tankwa Karoo is hard to come by. Luckily TravelGround has stunning stays in charming towns on the edge of this wilderness!

Tankwa Tented Camp on the R55 between Ceres and Calvinia is ideal for travellers who want to explore Gannaga Pass, Ouberg Pass, and the Ou Posroete to Wuppertal. It is also the farm where AfrikaBurn ligths up the sky every year.

Rogge Cloof is 15 kilometres from Sutherland and has a restaurant on the premises and offers volcano tours to Salpeterkop, game drives, fossil hunting, and much more!

Kambro Kind & Middelfontein Farm in Sutherland boasts a B&B in town and 3 houses on a farm. Breakfast is included in both accommodation options.

Located in the heart of Sutherland, Sterland Doekvoet is ideal for visitors in search of the best stargazing experience in South Africa.

Oumeule Guest House in Sutherland sleeps 10 and boasts a lovely dam on the premises for guests who want to cool down during the sweltering summer. Breakfast can be arranged at Ou Meule Restaurant.

Tankwa Lodge in Calvinia offers country hospitality, a splash pool, and conference facilities.

Gelukshoop Cottage is located on a 3000-hectare working game and sheep farm between Matjiesfontein and Sutherland ─ an ideal off the grid experience!

Blesfontein Guest Farm sits on top of the Roggeveld Escarpment 28 kilometres from Sutherland and offers game viewing on horseback, game drives, and the splendour of the Namaqua wild flowers in spring.

Treat yourself to the silence and the big sky of the Tankwa Karoo. Book your Tankwa getaway with TravelGround today!

Image attributes: Unless indicated otherwise, all pictures are from TravelGround establishments.

Feature image: Bigstock