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Return again to the Tankwa Karoo

Its almost one year since my last visit to the Tankwa Karoo. During the previous trip I was plagued by punctures and retired early due to shear exhaustion and time spent changing and repairing tires. During this trip my constant anxiety of another blowout proved futile, the trip passed without any such events.

The Tankwa is very dry suffering from virtually no rainfall for two years so the colours are somewhat muted. One always (at least me as a photographer) wishes for some drama in the skies to compliment this spectacular arid landscape. Alas, apart from the first evening we had only bald-blue skies, so the quest to create unique images under the latter circumstances becomes more challenging.

It is getting more and more difficult to navigate the 4x4 track to the Elandsberg escarpment - one of my favourite locations. I guess its due to the increasing amount of traffic as this National Park destination becomes more popular and vehicular erosion takes its toll, we managed one sunrise, then went in search of new locations.

Through Langkloof, apparently, there was an old wagon track used before Thomas Bains built the Gannaga Pass to reach Middlepos. This track followed the water course in this virtually shear-sided ravine. This old road is now closed beyond the Langkloof campsite - one of my favourite locations to stay in the Tankwa. Whilst spending time here previously I have always wondered what it would be like to be on the top of this magnificent surrounding escarpment above the campsite, so we went in search of this elusive high veld.

Having had several attempts before, we found a track at the top of the Gannaga Pass. A 30 minute drive, then a 15 minute hike, and there 1000 metes below was the Langkloof campsite, and clearly the old track visible in the valley below. The following morning at 4:30 in the darkness, we set off to our new found location for the sunrise. As I said, clear blue skies are not by any means conducive to great landscape photographs but the rising sun etched out the endless contours of the magnificent vista. A further hike north along the escarpment revealed more exciting photographic locations, not the best of light, however once discovered these locations will be explored on future expeditions.

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