About Tankwa Camino

South Africa's version of the Spanish Camino Santiago, the Tankwa Camino is a long and demanding 10-day trek through the Karoo that introduces people to this incredibly beautiful part of the country.

Which is about where the comparison with the Spanish version ends, for the Tankwa version is considered tougher, according to those who've done both.

Now in its fifth year (it was started by Danie and Rhina Pieterse in 2011), the Tankwa Camino is tackled by those with at least an Otter Trail or Fish River Canyon hike, if not the Comrades, under their belt.

You will need a mental endurance beyond anything you've experienced before. According to Melanie van Zyl, who wrote about the Tankwa Camino for Getaway, the going gets really tough on about day three.

You will have to endure the heat, blisters, a backpack (make sure you carry the least possible!), and the eternal, limitlessness of the Tankwa Karoo.

Every 25 kilometres Danie and Rhina Pieterse set up a refuelling station - potjies of food, Afrikaans delicacies like cinnamon-sprinkled pumpkin fritters (there has to be something to look forward to), and makeshift loos – either on a farm or alongside the gravel road.

There is a lot of time to think.

No WhatsApp, traffic, work, family or obligations. No goal beyond reaching the next 25 km mark.

The Tankwa Camino is a slack-packing trail.

You are responsible for carrying a daypack with food, water and essentials for your day (although fresh fruit, and afternoon tea and coffee are provided). The rest of your gear and food is transported by truck to the next camp for you. But you set up your own tent upon arrival.

See accommodation in Calvinia for a place to stay the night before the hike, and the night at the end of the hike.

Fitness: fit, with a mental tenacity of steel if you are to do the full 10 days
Our tips: take a light day pack, dead comfortable boots (blisters will be your nemesis), minimal lightweight, clothing for layering, enough breakfast, lunch and snack type foods to last the full 10 days, a collapsible bucket for foot soaking, a flask.

Need to Know

WhereStart in Calvinia and end in Ceres.
55 Church Street, Calvinia, Northern Cape

WhenThere are four departures annually, in May and September.

How muchPrices on request.

TelephoneContact info @ tankwacamino . com

OvernightStay nearby in Calvinia, in Northern Cape


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FIND / South Africa Accommodation / Northern Cape Accommodation / Upper Karoo Accommodation / Calvinia Accommodation

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