Monday

Tankwa Karoo National Park South Africa - ultimate road less travelled destination

An incurable plague could rage across the globe and you would not hear about it. Tankwa Karoo National Park is the the ultimate road less travelled destination. It is suitable for real adventure seekers, but also for families with children, and the good thing is, that it is only a short four hour drive from Cape Town. The Karoo is the heart of South Africa. Vast. Silent. Harsh. Tranquil. Elegant. 

If you visit Tankwa you can save your money for that scheduled meditation class. There is no electricity and (shriek) no phone reception. Really, there is not even a very low signal. Nothing. It is going to be only you and your very own thoughts. There is actually nothing to entertain you but the untamed beauty of the arid landscape. Did I mention there is no TV? There are no restaurants, no shops, no filling stations, no credit cards and no banks. I cross fingers that it stays that way. This is the place that will touch you, and the experience will be with you forever. You know when sometimes you have to face a tough situation, simply think of the happiness you felt here and everything will be a piece of cake. Spending time here is a detox for the soul. Visit Tankwa to experience nature in its purest form. Just be and do nothing much.
 

Places like these show that we won’t need a lot to have a good
life. The Elandsberg cottage is built from clay-and-straw bricks and decorated sparsely yet amazingly stylish. There is a gas stove but no electricity, a braai area, and all cooking utensils including cutlery. When was the last time you were in a kitchen with a peach pip floor? See. Life in the cottage is easy and simple. There are huge windows in every room that allow unspoilt views over the plains. And when I say unspoilt, I mean it, there is nothing built near your cottage at all. 
  
This is what I call a shower with a view




How to best spend the days

Get up at sunrise, and go for a hike near your cottage. You could do this in your pyjama, and be one hundred percent sure that no one would ever find out. Not many can say I walked through South Africa in my nightgown. People have been walking this very earth for as long as 10 000 years. Look out for gemsbok, red hartebeest, springbok and the tall standing ears of wild hares and just be in this wonderful surrounds.

Back at the cottage, brew yourself water on the tiny stove and in the enamel jug. Sit down on the porch (call it stoep from now on, you are in South Africa) to drink a steaming hot cup of coffee and take in the scenery. The colours of the mountain range are changing constantly depending on the position of the sun. Prepare a simple, healthy but hearty breakfast before you drive up the 548 metres of gravel road through the Roggeveld Mountains on the Gannaga Pass. It is just the right amount of hair rising experience, and so worth it. Try to find the Botterboom forest, the trees are poisonous to cattle but won’t harm you. Standing on top of the pass feels like sitting in a small Cessna - gliding over the vast plains. From the top it is only a short drive along a very dusty road to Middelpos. See a privately owned South African village with only 300 citizens. Park your vehicle, buy a cold drink at Die Winkel and stroll around this unique town where noise is absent and bustle seemingly unheard of. 



Before it gets too hot better jump into your vehicle and head back home. The boiling afternoons are best spent as close as possible near your splash pool and on a sun lounger. When night falls, light candles and lanterns, and sit on the stoep and listen to the silence. You are on time and the show is just about to begin. Wait a few more moments and there will be thousands of stars in the sky. Thanks to the unpolluted sky they will be right there in front of your cottage. You might as well try to touch a star. 





Later at night, climb into your bed and slip under the stark white bed linen, you sure will have the best rest ever. Get up at sunrise … and repeat …

Sunrise - another day in Africa

So far I visited Tankwa three times and can’t get enough of it. For more info go to South African National Parks.

From Berlin with love

2 comments:

  1. I agree with you 100%. We've camped in the Tankwa Karoo and we've stayed in these lovely old-fashioned cottages, and it's always balm for the soul.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Roxanne, it is perfect really, one can't visit Tankwa often enough.

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Greetings stranger. I always try to be myself and to be a tourist as often as I can. I would love to get in contact with lots of hard travelling tourists who love to be out and about as much as I do. I am looking forward to all your comments. Thanks so much in advance.