TANKWA KAROO - for more info, click on highlighted words (page links)
The Tankwa Karoo has arid landscapes and the true meaning of the word Tankwa is not known, but said to possibly mean "Turbid water", "place of the San" or "Thirst land", all of which paints the perfect picture for the plains of this vast open piece of Africa. It is teaming with weird and wonderful creatures big and small, and boasts a national park of 146,373 hectars.
The Tankwa National park is also one of only 35 biodiversity hots pots in the world and have 18 Geosites to explore. The indescribable silence in the park makes way for the sounds of over 188 recorded bird species. Mammals ranging from Black Backed Jackal, Porcupine and Duiker as well as larger mammals such as Eland can be found in the park.
It is hard to believe that this dry ancient landscape could sustain a 5 star BIG 5 game reserve, but Inverdoorn Game reserve is a welcoming surprise and a symbol of hope for our endangered species as their focus is to save threatened species and the return of animals to their natural environment. Inverdoorn offers amazing safaris where you can view free roaming Lion, Rhino, African Buffalo, Elephant and Leopard, and also visit their Cheetah Rehabilitation center for interaction with these amazing animals.
The small town of Sutherland is the dream of many travelers for various reasons. Not only does this town have dramatic snowy winters, it also holds claim for being the coldest town in winter in South Africa with temperatures going as low as -16 degrees celcius. Besides snow crazed fans, Astronomers from all over the globe, also flock to Sutherland, not only to see the multitude of shows the milky way puts on display in the clear night skies, but to visit SALT. SALT houses the Largest single optical telescope in the Southern hemisphere with a hexagonal mirror that is 11 meters wide.
The true magic of the Tankwa Karoo however is found within the people. Everywhere you go and every place you visit will renew your sense of awe, as their hospitality, friendliness, kindness, generosity, lust for life and sense of humor will make you fall in love with this place they call the TANKWA KAROO. Visitors return annually to relive the peace that the Tankwa offer. And if this is not enough you can always visit the world famous bar and eatery-Tankwa Padstal for some quirky treats and more info on the Tankwa.
If Sci-fi and Alien tracking is more to your liking, then the Tankwa will not disappoint. A Recent discovery of an "ancient alien skull" on a local farm has the UFO spotters on high alert. From a "blieper" being added on top of a tower to discussions of a possible undisclosed crash site that has the community talking and telling tales...Myth or Truth? Who knows, but sure makes for an interesting trip.
The Tankwa offers something for everyone and for the History masters researching days from way back when, you will find ample gravesites and a recently erected memorial for Dirk Ligter.
The majestic Cederberg mountain range is a true Gem in it's own right. 90% of the roads leading through or over this mountain range is gravel which makes the feeling of remoteness surreal. It has no less than 10 spectacular mountain passes and holds secrets around every corner. The Cederberg also has the most rock art paintings per square kilometer than anywhere else in Southern Africa.
It is the only place on earth where Rooibos tea are cultivated, and a a few Rooibos farms offer amazing day tours where travelers can learn and experience everything about this unique farming technique.
The Central and Southern Cederberg wilderness area offers rock formations and amazing picnic spots next to crystal clear rivers. Waterfalls and rock pools for swimming can be found at Algeria Forrest station. The Endemic Snow Protea flower and the endemic Clanwilliam Ceder tree (now a threatened species) can also be found close to here.
For a taste with a difference there are a few wineries and breweries. A visit to Nieuwbrew however is a one of a kind experience where you can sip on one of their brew's whilst the sun set over the mountains. This very farm also has the famous Disa pools and Kromrivier Cave in close proximity.
Cederberg mountain is also home to The Cape Leopard Trust Foundation, one of South Africa's leading authorities in predator conservation. They offer many different excursions in and around the Cape for a minimum of 2 people at a time. Should any of our guests/site visitors wish to donate or purchase any of their product please visit The Cape Leopard Trust foundation.
Wupperthal is a small little village in the Tra-Tra mountains Valey and in 1834 Johann Gottlieb Leipoldt opened the Wupperthal shoe factory. The velskoen was manufactured here and grew in popularity. 87 years after inception Reverand Willy Strassberger took the factory over. The factory was moved in 1950 to the nearby town of Clanwilliam and the company of Strassberger is now in its fourth generation. Be sure to visit Strassberger showroom and purchase your pair of velskoene.