Despite only having been to the Karoo a couple of times in my life, I’ve always had this inner love for this beautiful area of our country. May it have been through photos, stories told or magazine articles about the area, I’ve always had the urge to explore the Karoo. With the Tankwa Karoo accommodation often being fully booked, when I had the opportunity to go, I made full use of this! Myself and 7 other friends all packed our bags, filled our vehicles with fuel and headed off into what was an incredible weekend away!
Our travel groups were split into 3 vehicles, all luckily capable off-road vehicles as with the rough Karoo terrain and the recent rainfall, we had no idea what the road ahead would look like, although we were secretly hoping that there would be some dirt to play around in with our bakkies! The photo on the right shows the typical terrain that you will find in the Karoo. Dry and flat with views as far as the eyes can see. The Friday that we drove through was overcast with some good rain on the way through and into the evening too. With a good playlist and good company, the drive is an absolute breeze and fun to drive too, or perhaps that’s just me being in my special place in nature. If there is one word of warning that I will give you before heading out on a trip into the Tankwa, is to ensure that you have good tires, and a spare or two..! I’ve driven this specific road twice before with trips to Kagga Kamma, and never even thought about issues with my tires. However, with this trip I was told a couple of times that others have done trips to the Tankwa recently and lost 2 or 3 tires on a single trip. Because of this thought sitting in the back of my mind prior to the trip, I thought I would just double check my spare tire and take my tire repair kit with (which I always take on trips anyway), and oh how this came in handy…

The one group of 4 people left about an hour before us out of Cape Town, and as we turned into the Tankwa Karoo Padstal, they were on their way out. Driving up next to them and lowering my window to find out how their trip had been going so far, I could hear the dreaded glug glug glug sound of a flat tire, and I wasn’t impressed. Although, no trip is worth the books if there isn’t any drama, and this gave us all the chance to relax at the Padstal and use my tire repair kit for the first time.

Having successfully plugged the tire, we were on our way again.

We were camping at Perdekloof, which is one of the formal campsites that the Tankwa have to offer, so there are ablution facilities and a small kitchen area.

The area surrounding the campsite is absolutely stunning, and as the name suggests is located within a kloof/valley with beautiful bush.

Having successfully plugged the tire, we were on our way again.

We were camping at Perdekloof, which is one of the two formal campsites that the Tankwa have to offer, so there are ablution facilities and a small kitchen area, which is all nice and clean with good running hot water.

The area surrounding the campsite is absolutely stunning, and as the name suggests is located within a kloof/valley with beautiful bush all around you. There are 6 back-to-back campsites, making for 3 of these little huts (each of which have their own toilet, shower and kitchen), with a maximum of 6 people per unit.

So if you’re a group of more than 6 people, try to make sure that you get a campsite with both your sites together, otherwise you may have to share an area with another group.

Across from our campsite, from where this photo overlooking the camp area was taken, is a small hill which we liked to have a little wonder up and enjoy the surrounding views whilst brewing some coffee or enjoying a sundowner! The one evening, perfectly still with billions and billions of stars above, with the Milky Way directly over us, we attempted some astrophotography and just laid under the stars for a few minutes to appreciate the viewability of them from this clear Karoo sky.

Roughly 25kms from the Tankwa Karoo Information Centre is the Gannaga Pass as well as a 4×4 route which we were all keen to give a go. The views from the Gannaga Pass are absolutely amazing, and at the top is the Gannaga Lodge too, where we surprisingly still managed to watch the Springboks vs Australia rugby game, although that definitely wasn’t a highlight of the trip, as well as this, we managed have some good warm lunch too before heading out again.

On the way down from the lodge, we took on the Watervlei 4×4 route, which wasn’t a very difficult or technical route, although we didn’t complete the entire track due to time constraints so might have missed out on the worst parts. There was a view point with stunning views of the valley below with just over a 1 000m drop down to the bottom which you can’t miss out on if you’re ever in the area!

The image on the left below is of the Gannaga Pass, and on  the right of the viewpoint.

As you may have guessed, the first flat tire wasn’t the only one for the trip.. And yes, both had to happen to me!

This time, after 2 plugs in another tire and air still coming out, we decided to stop and put on the spare tire. This time the puncture occured roughly 5kms from the Tankwa karoo Padstal, and the first one just as we were turning in. Hope this to be just a coincidence!

This was an incredible trip, and one that I would do again in a heartbeat and recommend to anyone looking for a little adventure filled weekend with family and friends!