31 Oct 2011
This past weekend we went to the Cederberg with some friends to relax.
We wanted to explore the area between the Biedouw Valley and Kagga Kama
So the first night we camped at Mertenhof. The farm is situated on the road towards Wupperthal . Just as you went down the "Hoek se Berg Pass" you will get the road that turns out to Uitspankraal. Just 100 metres before the T-junction to Uitspankraal, Mertenhof is on the right hand side of the road.
You can call them on 027-482-2845. In Oct 2011 the cost was R150.00 p/p for the house and R50.00 p/p for camping.
There is a house which has been divided into two units. Right next to the house is a nice camping area with grass and trees for those who would like to camp.
The camp site's ablution facilities is very basic and nothing to write home about, BUT there is hot water showers which is a plus point.
The House at Mertenhof
Camping site at Mertenhof
Camp site and ablution facilities at Mertenhof
The house and camp site at Mertenhof
The next day we left at about 9 to go over the Tra Tra mountains to De Mond, our next stop.
This is a spectacular drive. When you leave Mertenhof you turn left at the T-junction towards Uitspankraal. Just about 500 metres from the junction you will find a little unmarked road to your right. That is the one to take. (You can download my track at the end of this article)
The view from the Tra Tra mountains over the Biedouw Valley
We stopped for a quick cup of tea and a snack
The best time to do this trip is between November and April, in the dry season. We had to do two river crossings and in winter it would not be possible to cross these rivers. It is also advisable to always call some of the farmers in the area to enquire about the rivers.
This is a lovely tri[ with breath taking views and a large variety of plants and geology. You will need a 4x4 for this trip and if you drive one of those LaLiDa 4x4 vehicles I suggest you do not do this trip. There are areas where you drive through bushes on the path and your vehicle will pick up some minor scratches (which can be polished out afterwards)
The day's trip ended at one of my favourite camping sites, Die Mond. It has been a while since our last visit and not much have changed. One big improvement though is that they now went green and installed LED lights and solar power at the bathrooms and most of the houses.
At Die Mond you can either camp or rent a house.
The camping site is right next to the river. The sites are on neatly cut grass and big trees.
You can book your camp site at Die Mond on 023-317-0668
Camping site at Die Mond
Camp site next to the river
Because the rest of the party are all retired couples Elmi and myself had to depart the next morning and leave them behind. They would enjoy another day in the Tankwa area before returning home.
We just love to explore the quiet tracks where you normally do not find other people. We asked the lady from Die Mond if one can drive from them to Kagga Kama and she said she would not suggest it. She said the road has been washed away during the winter roads and not even the guys from the nature reserve use the road.
That sounded like just the kind of road for us.
You will not easily find this road. It is only a two track little road running from the "main" road. If you use the recorded track at the end of this article you will find it.
The lady was right. A part of the track was washed away and we had to navigate our way through a river bed with some big sharp rocks at places. This track was well worth taking. There were nobody else and there were not even tracks of other vehicles. In the beginning we saw tracks of another vehicle but after we took the right side of a fork the tracks disappeared and we were all on our own.
We came across these lovely aloes. Not their funny flowers, nothing like the usual Aloe flowers.
We also saw some Hoodia plants in various stages. From flowers, seeds and ripe seeds.
At lunch time we took a well deserved break.
We followed this track all the way through the Kagga Kama reserve and went out the main gate.
From there we went on the normal road, down the Katbakkies Pass, to Op die Berg, Ceres and then home.
View from the Katbakkies Pass
Click here to download the track in gdb format or click here to download it in gpx format