When we left Augrabies, we stopped for a night in Kenhardt. This was a first and we stayed in a quaint guesthouse, the Oude Herberg, where Linda, our hostess, gave us a wonderful meal. From there we drove down via Calvinia to the Tankwa. Rain and wet roads hampered our progress, but we made it to our destinatiuon at the Tankwa Guest House, close to the Oudebaaskraal dam. The evening was beautiful with rain and rainbows enhancing a magnificent sunset. We hoped that the next day would clear.
One shares the Guest House and we had a group of mainly journalists with us. Luckily we had the main suite, but it was not uncomfortable sharing kitchen and living quarters as they were nice people and we got on well. The kitchen is huge and each group is allocated cupboards and a fridge, so there is no cross-pollination of food and facilities!
Next day dawned with an almost cloudless sky and we were able to see the snow on the Cedarberg to the west. We spent the day walking and driving through amazing fields of daisies and chasing larks all over the place. It was fascinating to see how the vegetation follows the moisture which is retained in the joint patterns in the underlying shale, giving rise to unique rectilinear vegetation patterns.
Corrugated roads are a feature of the reserve and we wondered why the authorities don’t smooth them out as it would make for a far better experience. That said, we were not deterred and when we left the park after our second night, we went out through the north-east, up the Ganagga Pass, which was also a great drive, until we reached to top, where the recent rains had made a quagmire of the whole area. The road was apalling and we slithered and skidded along for about 30 kms before reaching the dry section.
We had been advised that the southern portion of the park was the least interesting, but with the magnificent flowers in bloom, it was quite the reverse – it was the best area and we were very glad that we had been allocated accommodation in the Guest House. We will certainly return to this beautiful and remote part of the world.