Tankwa Karoo Road Trip: 9-13 Aug’17

We previously toured Cedarberg Wilderness Area as well as the lower part of Tankwa Karoo.  With the road trip we did in Aug '17 we combined these two trips but this time travelled dirt roads which we previously did not.



The highlight of the road trip will be Day 3 when we leave Calvina for Holhoed Gasteplaas (our next overnight stop) driving through 3 passes along the P2279.  First pass is  Keiskie se Poort followed by Kareehoutrivierpoort then on to Perseshoogte.

These roads are synonymous with flat tyres and I quote:

" Note that the R355 and some other gravel roads in the Tankwa Karoo have something of a reputation for destroying tyres. This is caused by sharp shards being thrown from the RF (right front) wheel towards the LR wheel caused by road camber – the  LR tyre is the one where the majority of tyre failures occur. The solution is to drive in the middle of the road where there is negative camber. This hot tip was originally given to us by Johan Viljoen, owner of 1st Alignment Centre in the Western Cape. We follow this advice in the Tankwa and have never experienced tyre failure there. It works! "

Wish I knew that last year.


Here is our itinerary:

Day 1 (9th Aug '17) – left early for Mount Cedar Lodge and enjoy brekkie at Beans about Coffee in Riebeeck Kasteel. Being a holiday the place fileld up in like 5 nanno seconds.  Their Special of the Day was quite intriguing.

We booked Kliphuis at Mount Ceder because it features a fireplace in the main bedroom – ideal warmer for winter nights in the Cederberg.


Unfortunately the staff at Reception lacked friendliness made us feel as if we have just met Darth Vader – we did not feel welcome at all so we decided not to have breakfast there the next morning but rather push on and visit Cederberg Oasis.

We did however discover some very nice camping spots there which we will definately visit shortly.  It is miles from anybody and even your camping neighbour is some 200m away.


Day 2 (10th Aug '17) – sees us leaving early after Ann made a humongous breakfast for me – just to help clear the head of the night before.  We headed out for Cederberg Oasis for some lekka perculated coffee priced at R10 per cup.  From there we took the back road to Wupperthal over Eselbank Pass and then right towards Calvinia.

Eselbank Pass to Wupperthal was most enjoyable (for me that is) and next time I'll drive from Wupperthal to Eselbank (the opposite direction) as that could be challenging.  Destruction of the massive fire of December last year is still very evident so the landcsape did not have much to offer other than to be glad you were not caught up in it.

Our overnight stop in Calvina is Tarantula Guest House – hopefully with no reference to the infamous spider so I took some Doom with just in case….  What a pleasant surpise.  Frans


Day 3 – 4.  The trek from Calvina to Holhoed Guest Farm via the P2279 and driving through 4 passes will be the highlight of this trip.  The first pass is Keiskie se Poort, then Kareehoutrivier Poort followed by Perseshoogte and finally Oupoort Pass on the R354 – cannot wait.

We'll also spend a day in Tankwa Karroo as I believe there is a 4×4 route one can drive.


Day 5 – Our route back home will be over Ouberg Pass, then on to the R355 to Ceres.  We have never stopped at the Tankwa Padstal and this time it will definately be one of our Port o'Calls. Then back home via Bains Kloof.

We'll add some pics as we go along.