Tweespoor in the Tankwa

GeelKameel's picture

Points: 11

Recently I discovered a wonderful tweespoor in the Tankwa.

Many riders may know it, but it was new and exciting to me, very much worth a ride.

It was on day 2 of our trip to Cape Town from Patensie/Baviaanskloof.

The day started in Prins Albert, riding to Merweville and via Rammelkop pass to Sutherland. From there to Ouberg pass and then the Tankwa where we rode this particular tweespoor.

Overnight at Oppi-Plaas on the Klaarstroom road.

Our route to Ouberg

I took no pictures between Prince Albert and Merweville because the road had very little to offer, besides dust and vlaktes. 

The pictures below were taken north of Merweville, en route to Sutherland.



Approaching Rammelkop pass

Starting the climb up the Rammelkop

A gradual climb, then a quite sharp uphill turn

Wonderful vista at the first stop, past the first turn.

Actually, no picture can really be as impressive as the real view

The upper part of the climb has a tarred surface, making it quite easy. I imagine it was quite a challenge before the hard surface was laid down, especially in wet or snow.


Still on the pass, but leveling out.

Great views to the east and west.

The first of a number of gates


A farmstead in the most peaceful environment. And a permanent view out to the Karoo plains to the east.


Ahem, I felt the rear starting to feel unsure of grip. Fortunately i had soapy water to find the tiniest piece of wire right in the thickest part of the tread.


Puncture fixed and shortly thereafter we reached the R354.

We had a lekker koue bier and a lunch at the White House in Sutherland.


North of Sutherland is this beautiful valley


Ouberg is waiting for us over theeeeere

Entering Ouberg pass at the summit

First stop to enjoy a most magnificent view.

One can easily get the feeling that you would see the West Coast if you stand on your toes!




Looking back uphill

Snaking down in low gears.



The road from Ouberg joining the road that goes North to Gannaga pass and Middelpos


Quite a bit of greenery at the driffie of the Tankwa river. No water in sight....

And a short distance after the driffie, the turn-off leading to the Tankwa National Park.


About 20km south of the Tankwa turn-off, we came to turn-off which was bit confusing. Also I did not enter a specific way-point on my route, so Garmin tried to re-route whenever we changed direction.

There was one turn-off from the main road, immediately followed by a fork....bit confusing.

The first (southern) road we took had a locked gate, fortunately very close to the main road. After a bit of backtrack and discussion, we decided to follow the northern track. Garmin with T4A route seemed to be happy with that decision.


The road was a proper tweespoor. We kept going, hoping and trusting that we would not find a locked gate.

First gate was unlocked!

What followed was 28km of sheer pleasure to ride

Slow, easy pace, continuously changing surface

Some hard surface and rocky ridges


A little detour to a small memorial (I lost the detail)

Another turn-off, but Garmin said "keep straight" --- so we kept straight even though the tweespoor to the right looked in better shape..

At times we were worried that our tweespoor would become a dead-end.

Still going. The road was a bit technical in this area.

Fortunately no sand 

What a lekker ride!


We went past some farm buildings and a large dam. 

Suddenly the road improved! It was a clear sign that it was used much more than the tweespoor behind us.

This is where the battery in my action camera decided to shut down.

So, unfortunately no pictures of the last 6 km to the last gate where we turned onto the R356.

Once on the R356, we picked up our pace because it was getting late. We had in mind to do a stop-over at the Tankwa Padstal. However when we reached the Padstal, it was already closed.

We pushed on to Peerboom pass and Katbakkies pass.

The going up Peerboom pass was really difficult and outright dangerous. The sun was low on the horizon, shining directly into our eyes. We had to shield the sun with one hand and drive with the other. At the same time the loose gravel made the bike snake a bit because of the one-hand driving. And all along you were worried that a vehicle may appear in the road ahead. The moment you dropped the shielding hand, all visibility disappeared into a shiny white haze. I was really worried.

Once on the Kragga Kamma plains, riding was easy again because you could see the road ahead. And see oncoming vehicles, which actually did pass from ahead, fortunately not while we were ascending Peerboom pass.


Long shadows on the Kragga Kamma plains between the two passes.

 And a quick photo-stop at the Kliphuis.

Beautiful rock formations in the late-afternoon sunlight.


A fast run from Katbakkies to our accommodation for the night: 

Houdenbek Farm Cottages at Op-die-Berg

Tired bodies, Happy Hearts and Pleasant Memories.

(Outside the dusty bikes are ready for the next trip)


I very often wonder whether we really appreciate the privilege we have to be able to do rides like this.


Andyman's picture
Joined: 2007/06/22

Wow thanks,
I'll follow those tracks soon.

Anyone can ride a bike fast....   But can you ride your bike real slow???

Joined: 2016/07/01

Uitstekende post Geelkameel

Sal hom moet gaan kyk een dag!

The problem is not the problem. Your opinion of the problem is the problem.

Joined: 2014/02/13

Thanks .. great ride report !

dtv's picture
Joined: 2007/11/06

Danie, mooi paaie daardie!  Ek het verlede week 'n solotrip gedoen, o.a. van Sidderland na Merweville.  Nie geweet die pas se naam is Rammelkop nie! (ek het in Merweville gevra: hulle het van Rooiwalpas gepraat?)

Hulle het so drie weke gelede 90 mm reen daar gehad in 'n baie kort tydjie, en die Rammelkoppas se pad is redelik sleg verspoel!  Veral die steil afdraandes het redelik skade gehad, en die teergedeeltes het heelwat los gruis op.  Was amper 'n bietjie scary so alleen - ek is net bly ek het hom nie op gery soos julle nie!

As ek reg onthou was daar 4 hekke.....

God gave you a gift of 86 400 seconds to-day.  Have you used one to say Thank You?

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