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About Tankwa Karoo National Park:

Size:  1,436 km²

Location: Northern Cape's southern border near Sutherland, South Africa.

Getting There: 

By Air: The closest airports for commercial flights would be Cape Town and George (Garden Route). Charter flights - There is a 900 metre airstrip in Tankwa Karoo National Park at Oudebaaskraal near the Tanqua Guesthouse.

By Road: It’s a 4 hour drive from Cape Town.

What To Do: 

Adventure Activities (River Rafting, Bungee, Mountain Biking, etc), 4X4 Trails, Beach Access, Birding, Fishing, Whalw watching, Flower Season, Guided Game Drives (Night and Day) and Guided Walks, Historical Exhibits, Horse Riding, Motorcycling.

When To Go:

The best time to visit Tankwa Karoo National Park is from autumn through winter to early summer of April to September. 


Named after the Tankwa River that runs through the park as the main water provider in an otherwise semi-desert area, the Park was proclaimed in 1986. Lying between the Cederberg Mountains and the Great Karoo escarpment, it incorporates three distinct ecosystems - pure desert in the west, open grasslands in the centre and the Roggeveld Mountains in the east. The Roggeveld range is the start of the escarpment and a vital contributor to the park's water supply. The true meaning of the word "Tankwa" is unknown, but it is said to be "Turbid water", "Place of the San" or "Thirst land", all of which fits this arid yet picturesque park so well.

Self-drive Game Viewing - Visitors may enjoy wildlife viewing in their own vehicles during the Park's allowed driving times. Times may vary according to season.

Bird Watching - The ideal place to see various Karoo endemics on self-drive viewings during the Park's allowed driving times. Not to be missed is the annual Tankwa Birding Bonanza held during April, where birders, beginners to expert twitchers, can have a friendly competition to test their knowledge against others'.

4x4 Trails - The park has a number of off-road tracks with two major 4x4 routes for the more advanced enthusiast, namely Leeuberg 4x4 Eco-trail and the Watervlei 4x4 Route.

Hiking and Cycling - No hiking or bicycling trails currently exist within the Park. However, overnight visitors are allowed to make use of marked roads within the immediate vicinity of their booked facility. No walking or bicycling is allowed in the rest of the Park.

Scenic Viewpoints - The park has two viewpoints, namely Gannaga Pass and Elandsberg, where visitors are allowed to exit vehicles.

Note: Visitors only pay the conservation fee per day or per night for overnight visitors.