220kms north of Cape Town on the R355 lies the entrance to the Tankwa Karoo national park. I recently spent 5 days chasing the light on this amazing patch of Earth – clocking up 2000kms exploring the park.
I first encountered the Tankwa back in April when I went to AFRIKABURN. “The Burn” (as its called) takes place about 100kms further north in the Tankwa once every year and if you really are up for something different then try and make it to this, er, uhm, Party!
When I was a kid growing up in the 1950’s in the north east of England reading was my escape; the term, “the big skies of Africa” always puzzled me, surely the sky is the sky, its just that big. Oh no its not, get into Africa and see what a big sky is. The Burn was my intro to this region; and so I returned 5 months later without distraction to indulge in my passion.
According to science this bit of Southern Africa hasn’t moved around much so it’s old. I mean there is no glacial reconstruction or recent tectonic design changes so it’s old, I mean old! It feels old; none of the mountains are much more than 2 thousand meters high. Many of them have similar shapes, smooth symmetrical conical with intermittent rocky terraces caused by millions, no billions of years of wind and water. If you live in South Africa stick a pin in your map; if you live in Cape Town, well just visit before you die.