As campers, we can’t resist the allure of long roads and wide, open spaces – things the Tankwa Karoo offers in spades! However, we must strike a balance between proximity to “nowhere”, access to shade and something to keep up occupied. Cue Die Mond… A true oasis in the middle of the Tankwa Karoo.
“A little bit of everything and a lot of something.”
Let me set the scene for you…
Driving along the R355 – the 250km dust road that cuts through the Tankwa Karoo – you haven’t seen another vehicle or signs of life for the past hour. You check your map to make sure you are on the right track, and it seems like someone mistook the town markers of Ceres and Calvinia for a “dot-to-dot” activity and joined them with a ruler.
You can see for miles in every direction. The landscape is stark but beautiful, and you start to wonder if this promised oasis really exists or if it is simply a mirage experienced by a delirious traveller.
Then, about 70km from Ceres, you come across the Tankwa Padstal – a little bit of everything and a lot of something, in the middle of nowhere. This quirky establishment is a must-see and offers a diner, bar and convenience store that sells anything from sweets, chips and cold drinks to matches, bug spray, airtime, crafts, clothes and more. The food is good, the beers are cold, and there is an excellent playground for kids to release their pent-up energy.
Refreshed, it’s time to hit the road again. The turn off to Die Mond is 30km from the Tankwa Padstal and then another 20km to the farm gate. Driving this 20km stretch, it still seems as if Die Mond is something of a myth until you reach the farm gate. An avenue of palm trees welcomes you, leading to lush lawns and big established trees on the banks of the wide Grootrivier.
What you need to know:
The campsites are spread out along the riverbank of an open-plan grassy area.
Although there are no allocated sites, they can accommodate up to 100 people.
Each campsite has access to:
A braai drum – bring your own grid
Clean ablution block with solar-powered lights and donkey boilers run all day
Ice, wood and soft drinks are available for purchase from the reception.
Kids play area
*Please note: No pets allowed
There are no allocated campsites at Die Mond, and they operate on a first-come-first-served basis. Simply pick a well-shaded spot and set up camp.
The campsites have no power, so pack gear that will allow you to be self-sufficient for your stay – we took Go Camp’s solar panel, battery box and fridge combo (using sunlight to cool your beverages is pure alchemy!). Each campsite has a drum-braai welded onto the base of a wheelbarrow so that you can move it around. Remember to bring your own grid.
The ablutions are set off to the side and are simple but neat. The lights are solar-powered, and a donkey boiler heats the showers throughout the day. Adjacent to the ablutions is a scullery.
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Die Mond offers something for everyone, from walking trails to water sports.
Rent one of our double kayaks or inflatable SUPs to take full advantage of the Grootrivier. Don’t forget to slap on some sunscreen as there is a long stretch of river to paddle down. If you are keen on fishing, bring your rod along. Just take note of the strict catch-and-release rule. The river is full of smallmouth, largemouth and spotted bass.
There is a 1,5 km walking trail along the side of the river that takes you past an impressive collection of rock art.
Take your time and bring a pair of binocs to spot some of the 100+ resident bird species at this oasis.
Otherwise, the sprawling lawns are the perfect setting for a game of rugby, soccer or cricket, or just to lay back and relax, catch some shut-eye or read a book.
Good dust road, although known to eat tyres! Remember to lower your tyre pressure as you hit the R355.
From R150 per person per night
(Please confirm the above pricing with the establishment).
Phone: 023 004 0079 or WhatsApp 073 812 6638
Disclaimer: We do our best to ensure that the information we feature on Go Camp is correct at the time of publication. However, these details provided to us are subject to change over time. Please verify any pricing or locations ahead of a trip with the relevant establishments.