What to Pack for your trip:
PASSPORT ( Valid for 6 months with at least 2 consecutive blank pages. Please check Visa requirements for your country of origin, prior to travel, with your local agent )
DRIVER'S LICENSE (Must be in English with a photo. Alternatively an accompanying official translation or International License.)
MEDICAL AND TRAVEL INSURANCE DETAILS
The Karoo and Cederberg are VERY REMOTE AND OUT OF CELL PHONE SIGNAL RANGE therefore most establishments operate on a CASH (South African Rand) only basis. Some establishments do have card facilities as well.
GENERAL - REMOTENESS is what you will get when visiting the Tankwa, and in order to ensure an enjoyable trip it is advisable to pack the following
TYRES AND TOOLS: if you are not entering the Tankwa with a tour company, you should check your vehicle/motorcycle to ensure that your spare wheel (vehicles) or and extra tube (motorcycles) is ready to be used. The R355 and surrounding routes are notorious for punctures.
WATER HYDRATION PACKS/BOTTLES: The Tankwa temperatures can reach up to 50degrees Celcius in the summer months and ensuring you always have enough water on hand is the most important part of your trip.
SMALL MEDICAL KIT
SUFFICIENT FUEL: The R355 is the longest uninterrupted dirt road between two towns, with no fueling stations along the way
SUNGLASSES and SUNSCREEN
LIGHT RAIN GEAR / RAIN JACKET
CASUAL WEAR for evening dinners
WARM JACKET and PANTS for our winter months (April - September. - It can still get cool in the evenings and mornings during the rest of the year)
South Africa's currency is the rand, which offers visitors great value for money. The rand comes in a range of coins (R1 = 100 cents) and note denominations of R10, R20, R50, R100 and R200.
In urban areas tap water is usually of high quality and safe to drink. However, The Tankwa stretches over a more remote area and therefor all facilities and establishments uses borehole water. Although in most cases the water is not unsafe to drink, it might taste either salty or have an odour.
The South African electricity supply is 220/230 volts AC 50 HZ. Eskom power does not run into the Tankwa Karoo and in most cases electricity is either supplied by way of solar, wind or generators and in a few instances Grid electricity. When the opportunity arises to charge your phone or use Grid tied electricity please bring the correct adaptor plug, as South Africa has a unique 3 point power outlet.
South Africa has a well-developed communications infrastructure however being very remote , in most instances there is little to no cell phone signal. Some of the overnight establishments offers WiFi.
Divided into 9 provinces, it also has 11 official languages: Afrikaans, English, Ndebele, Northern Sotho, Southern Sotho, Swazi, Tsonga, Tswana, Venda, Xhosa and Zulu. Most South Africans speak English which is accepted as the business language. French, German and Italian are also spoken in most of the larger hotels. Most of the Tankwa Community and residents are proficient in either English or Afrikaans and some cases both.
TIPS AND TIPPING
As a rough guide: give 10% to 15% to a waiter in a restaurant.
Most of South Africa is malaria-free, however precaution should be taken when visiting the Kruger National Park or low-lying parts of northern KwaZulu-Natal.
Although there is no risk of yellow fever in South Africa, South Africa requires a valid yellow fever certificate if your journey starts or entails passing through the Yellow Fever Belt of Africa or South America.
TRAVELLING BY ROAD IN SOUTH AFRICA
South Africa has an extensive road infrastructure including national highways and secondary roads. The Tankwa Karoo consist of a network of 100's of kilometers of gravel road Distances from the nearest towns to the Tankwa and Cederberg are long (in most instances ranges from 80km - 150km) .
In South Africa, we drive on the left side of the road. Please ensure to adhere to this at all times. Due to travelling on dirt long distance vision can be obscured by passing cars from either the front or the back. In these instances speed limit needs to decrease drastically for your own safety.
You may use a valid driver’s/motorcycle license issued in your own country as long as it has a photograph, the signature of the holder and is in English. Alternatively, you may carry an official translation of your license or obtain an international driving license before you leave home. You should always have your driver’s/motorcycle license with you when you are driving as you will be asked to produce it if you are pulled over for any reason.