Matjiesfontein to Tankwa Karoo National Park - 228km, three to four hour drive.

Today's ride is a long one through an area where there are little or no accommodation for nature tourists, so bite the bullet and push through to the park and know the destination will make up for the longish and sometimes boring drive. Normally accommodation can be found on www.linx.co.za, so I will include a link to each town's camping and accommodation facilities along the way.

The towns passed:

Sutherland, the town with the giant telescopes, which will also form the centre of the new developments regarding the array of telescopes that will be built in several countries. If one get there early, it may be possible to organize a tour through the observatory. We were too late, so I cannot comment on the tour. We just stocked up on fuel and other necessities and moved on to Tankwa.

Tankwa Karoo Park.This park is definitely not for those who are looking for action and luxury. It is rather a haven to those who like to be alone in nature and who appreciate beauty and the uncluttered sounds of nature.

Although they offer self-catering in relative luxury, the informal camping is what we liked most. It is a wonderful experience to camp at Steenkampshoek and to look down into the Basin of the park, with the rows of mountains far in the distance and to finally watch the sun go down in many splendid colours. If you visit at the right time, you may just be lucky to find the Tankwa in full bloom, which is an experience you will not forget easily. September and October are normally the flowering months, but to make sure, just phone the park before you go. The Park's information can be found at their website here.