Die Mond

Flowering succulents, Tankwa Karoo

We stayed at Die Mond when we left booking accommodation in the Tankwa Karoo National Park too late. Nothing will prepare you for the surprise at finding this oasis in the middle of the arid landscape!

Getting there: leave Ceres on the R46 which becomes the R355 and then swings north. Alternatively, include the Katbakkies Pass in your trip by heading north up Gydo Pass from Ceres on the R303. There is no fuel available in the area, so be sure to have a jerry can on hand.

Our campsite was right on the water’s edge, with weaver birds’ nests forming a fringe across the vista. Upon booking, we were warned that insects would be a problem, so we stocked up on Tabbard. Luckily we have a gazebo with net walls; this made all the difference. The insects were numerous, but luckily they appeared to be of the bugging kind and not of the biting kind.

The ablutions were great with 12V LED lighting and plenty of hot water from the almost constantly stoked donkey boiler.

A hot but easy walk of less than 1km upstream will bring you to some rock art. You might still be gobsmacked at the sight of so much water in the middle of the arid landscape, and it is worth walking further up the river to admire the cliffs on the other side.

We used Die Mond as a base to make a day trip to the Tankwa Karoo National Park. If you do this be aware that you are in for a long, bumpy, hot and dusty day of driving! This was our first trip of this kind and fortunately, I had remembered to take two 10 litre fuel canisters along.

You can buy ice and firewood from reception. There is no cell reception. We loved the renewable energy — the wind turbine was whirring constantly in the breeze.

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