Tankwa Karoo National Park

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Tankwa Karoo National Park
Satellite image of the park, with its boundaries highlighted
Map showing the location of Tankwa Karoo National Park
Map showing the location of Tankwa Karoo National Park
Location of the park
LocationNorthern Cape, South Africa
Nearest cityCeres
Coordinates32°15′S 19°45′E / 32.250°S 19.750°E / -32.250; 19.750Coordinates: 32°15′S 19°45′E / 32.250°S 19.750°E / -32.250; 19.750
Area1,436 km2 (554 sq mi)[1]
Governing bodySouth African National Parks

Tankwa Karoo National Park is a national park in South Africa. The park lies about 70 km due west of Sutherland near the border of the Northern Cape and Western Cape, in one of the most arid regions of South Africa,[2] with areas receiving less than 100 mm of average annual precipitation,[3] moisture-bearing clouds from the Atlantic Ocean being largely stopped by the Cederberg mountains. Other low areas receive little more, as the Roodewerf station (co-ordinates: S32°14’27.9” E20°05’44.5”[4]) with 180 mm of mean annual rainfall. In the hottest areas of the park, the mean maximum temperature in January is 38.9 °C, and in July the mean minimum temperature ranges from about 5 to 7 °C. Before this Park's proclamation, the only protected area of Succulent Karoo was the 2 square kilometre patch of the Gamkaberg Nature Reserve. Succulent Karoo has, together with the Cape Floral Kingdom, been declared a Biodiversity Hotspot by Conservation International.

Tankwa's area has been increased from an initial 260 to 1436 km2.[1] It is bounded on the east by the Roggeveld Mountains, on the west by the Cederberg, to the north by the Kouebokkeveld Mountains and on the south by the scattered foothills of the Koedoesberge and Klein Roggeveld Mountains, and the Tankwa River.[5] The park's headquarters are located at Roodewerf (GPS co-ordinates: S 32° 14’ 27.9” E 20° 5’ 44.5”). Distances from the nearest towns to the park's headquarters are: Ceres (180 km), Sutherland (120 km), Calvinia (110 km) and Middelpos (52 km).[6]

In 1998 Conrad Strauss sold 280 km2 of sheep farm to the South African National Parks. The park has started the reintroduction of game that used to be found naturally in the area. Research was done beforehand to ensure that introduced animals would survive on the overgrazed veld. The vegetation in the park falls within the Succulent Karoo biome and has been described as very sparse shrubland and dwarf shrubland. Several unique succulent genera occur here, such as Tanquana, Braunsia and Didymaotus. The park is home to a large variety of birds (188 species – 2015 figure),[7] such as the black-headed canary, Ludwig's bustard, and the black-eared sparrow-lark. Peak birding season is August to October.[8]

List of mammals[edit]

List of birds[edit]

The Park's bird list currently includes 187 bird species.[8] Birds found in the park include:[7]


  1. ^ a b "Tankwa Karoo National Park – Introduction". South African National Parks. Retrieved 15 February 2012.
  2. ^ "Tankwa Karoo National Park". southafrica.net. Retrieved 13 July 2017.
  3. ^ http://www.sanparks.org/parks/tankwa/tourism/general.php
  4. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 3 July 2013. Retrieved 22 May 2013.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  5. ^ "Tanlwa Karoo National Park Space and tranquillity in abundance". capetownmagazine.com/. 2017.
  6. ^ http://www.sanparks.co.za/parks/tankwa/tourism/get_there.php
  7. ^ a b http://sanparks.org.za/assets/docs/groups_birders/tankwa-birding-bonanza-bird-list-2015.pdf (dead link)
  8. ^ a b "South African National Parks - SANParks - Official Website - Accommodation, Activities, Prices, Reservations". www.sanparks.org. Retrieved 23 March 2021.

External links[edit]