General Info

Our three dwellings accommodate from four to ten guests depending on one's choice of cottage. Each is uniquely located, styled and detailed to offer a different yet equally stunning and luxurious take on the serene Tankwa life. All have their own sparkling pool, while Dragon Rock additionally features a wood-fired pool. Beyond their well-appointed indoor bathing facilities, Serenity boasts an outdoor shower and bath and Dragon Rock an outdoor shower. All houses feature at least one outdoor barbecue area and, for those snug winter stays, a modern wood burning fireplace. High quality, dry firewood is supplied.

All the cottages are fully equipped with top quality modern appliances and amenities. High-speed internet, USB enabled plug points and Bluetooth mini-speakers are supplied for those unwilling to leave the 21st century completely behind.

Importantly, the relative locations of each dwelling and the intervening topography between them, ensure complete line-of-sight privacy, seclusion and silence. However, they are within close enough walking distance such that all three can be booked out concurrently by large groups, and The Fort is perfect as a central gathering, entertainment and catering facility in such cases.

Bedding and bath towels are provided, and cottages can be serviced on request (this incurs an additional cost over weekends).

Access

Access to the farm is via gravel roads. While we often host guests travelling in compact two-wheel drive cars, a high clearance vehicle is an advantage and will turn a slow and careful trundle into a relaxed drive through the veld.  Assistance is readily available to guests experiencing any doubts or difficulties.

Travelling to the farm requires driving on twenty kilometres of dirt roads, with the last five being on the farm itself.

Access

Area

Just 195 km from Cape Town and 60 kilometres north of the town of Ceres, Tierkloof is a 1 200 hectare wilderness area situated on the mountainous edge of the famous Tankwa Karoo plains.

Our unique location straddles two distinct biomes and underlying topographies, which themselves incorporate multiple sub-environments and terrain types. Consequently, as you progress westwards, the characteristic thorny, dry Tankwa scrub of the flat and sandy eastern plains quickly metamorphoses into gently sloping fields of thicker, succulent-rich shrubland and then into steep and rocky "quartzite mountain fynbos" - all within less than 8 kilometres. This allows Tierkloof to play host to a wide and abundant array of floral, avian and other animal life.  The topography also affords more energetic visitors the opportunity to enjoy a wide range of terrain-related outdoor activities and sporting pursuits.

The area has a fascinating geological and paleontological past, while it also boasts a rich anthropological and social history which stretches all the way back to the stone-age San Bushmen and more recently, for instance, the Boer War. Exploration of these aspects, both online and on foot, will be richly rewarded.

A major advantage of being located far from any significant urban population - which guests will realise once a typically spectacular sunset fades to reveal the most incredibly beautiful starry sky - is the complete absence of artificial light and airborne pollution. These factors, along with its dry climate, radio silence and geological stability, are why the region plays host to the most powerful combined optical and radio telescope facility in the world (google MeerKAT, SKA and SALT).

Wildlife

Serious birdwatchers are in for a treat as the area boasts a wide range of endemic birds as well as large raptors such as Verreaux’s Eagle. Those seeking terrestrial wildlife will be rewarded with sightings of buck such as the majestic gemsbok (oryx) and smaller steenbok and klipspringer, while baboons and countless other small animals such as mongeese, rock hyrax (dassie) and tortoises are relatively common. Lucky guests may even spot an aardvark, the weird and wonderful nocturnal animal that digs the human sized burrows you may encounter on the lower plains.  Also prevalent here is the beautiful Cape leopard but most will never see anything other than its spoor. Due to their small size (roughly half the size of their northern cousins) and elusive nature, Cape leopards are not considered to be a danger to people.

Wildlife
Activities

Activities

Tierkloof offers multiple walking, hiking, climbing and cycling prospects across routes varying from smooth gravel district roads to gnarly jeep tracks, steep slopes and sheer rock faces. Or you could simply blaze your own non-invasive trail through untouched karoo plains or rocky mountains. Guests are welcome to ask us about routes and sights to visit in the area.

Climate

As the driest part of the Karoo, the Tankwa experiences very low rainfall along with mostly sunny skies and a relatively wide range of temperatures. Cloud and thunderstorm activity during the late afternoons in summer is often spectacular. Night-time skies tend to be absolutely clear, affording some of the best stargazing in the world. Summer temperatures peak around February and the sun can be quite fierce so hats and UV cream protection are a must. Winters are short with a crisp, clear climate and it can be quite cold at night. Days warm up quickly under the direct sun and make for perfect hiking/cycling conditions - not too hot and not too cold.

Climate
Explore

Explore

Guests wishing to use Tierkloof as a base from which to explore the broader region by motor vehicle can choose from a number of stunning routes and attractions. Activities and destinations within easy proximity range from day trips incorporating scenic mountain passes or a game drive on the neighbouring "Big 5" reserves, Inverdoorn and Aquila, to a must-do pink gin and tonic at the Tankwa Padstal (Farmstall) - the most famous stop on the 300km gravel road between Ceres and Calvinia. For those who don’t wish to travel too far, our neighbouring farm offers a lapa and restaurant: Zwartkop Stoepsitters Farm Kitchen (visits by prior arrangement only). 

Tierkloof is also a perfect stopover on longer trips to the many wonderful destinations and towns to be found along the nearby routes serving the broader Karoo.

Fires and barbecues

Each house is equipped with its own wood burning fireplace and dedicated outdoor barbecue area/facility. High-quality dry firewood is supplied free of charge.  Note: the area is extremely dry and outdoor fires should be safely contained at all times.

Fires and barbecues
Fuel and supplies

Fuel and supplies

Tierkloof is self-catering only, and 60 km away from the nearest towns and fuel stations (Ceres and Touws River), so when the opportunity arises, we recommend topping up on fuel and any other necessities before you get here.

Pets

By prior arrangement with management, guests may be accompanied by pets that conform to the following requirements:

  • They must be socialised and controllable. We have our own, very gentle and friendly dogs who may come and pay a visit and/or you may encounter them or other guests' pets while out on an excursion.
  • They must not be in any way inclined to chase other animals or birds.
  • They are strictly not allowed to swim in the pools or climb onto or lie on couches and beds. We have encountered serious issues removing animal hair from pool filters, furniture and bedding and our light-coloured fabric covered couches tend to mark.
  • Any damages resulting from pets will be for the client’s account.
Pets

Power and Water

All cottages are completely self-sufficient, and water and electricity (PV Solar) are generated sustainably and abundantly enough such that there should be no shortage of either.  Our water is completely safe to drink. The use of electrical heating appliances such hair dryers/straighteners/coffee machines/microwaves and clothing irons is not possible due to their excessive energy demands on the PV Solar system batteries. For this reason, while our bed linen is always guaranteed to be freshly washed, it is not ironed. For the same reason we are unable to run air conditioners, however we do supply fans.

Our Name

Tierkloof is an old Afrikaans name which literally translates as Tiger Canyon but in reality, should mean Leopard Kloof (hence our logo). This anomaly arose because the Dutch immigrants who settled in Southern Africa from the late 1600's on did not realise that tigers are not endemic to Africa and that the large cats they saw in South Africa were in fact leopards. Leopards still roam the area freely but they are of the small Cape leopard strain, roughly half the size of their counterparts further north. Due to their small size and elusive nature, Cape leopards are not considered to be a danger to people, and there are no reports of unprovoked attacks.

Our Name