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  1. #1
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    Default Biedouw River route advice please

    Early in October I will be spending some time in and around Clanwilliam, Tankwa etc and I have some time to kill. I have made the following plan and would appreciate input/comments from those who know the area.


    Specifically, I'm trying to refine 2 days:
    Day 1: Clanwilliam to Sutherland. Proposed route is via Uitkyk Pass, Katbakkies Pass, Tankwa Padstal, Tankwa Tented Camp and Ouberg Pass. ~400km
    Day 2: Sutherland to Alpha Excelsior. Route via Middelpos and Ganna Pass, then north, then west.


    I would really like to drive the Biedouw River route on day 2, although online sources say that there is a deep river crossing which is likely to close the route most of the year.
    1. Is it likely to be too deep early in October?
    2. T4A has a "bad" road from the river heading east to the R355. How bad is this road really?


    Alternatively, I will drive it from the west on day 3 and then return back along the same road again.


    Any comments?

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Biedouw River route advice please

    We drove the valley middle - end August.
    Saw beautiful flowers.
    We had to turn back at the Doring Rivier - too deep to cross.
    Still worth it.
    "Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity" - Martin Luther king Jr

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  4. #3
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    Default Re: Biedouw River route advice please

    Hi Chris

    I attempted the route from the east, the Tankwa side, early August last year. The approach from the Tankwa was fine, certainly not a bad road at all, see the image titled "Mierkraal/Muurkraal" below, the view is from the east to the west down to the river.

    I was however unable to cross the river, see the second image, taken on the eastern bank at Uitspankraal. We had perhaps even more rain this year compared to 2020 and it is likely that the level will still be too high by the time of your intended crossing.

    One option is to drive to the farm Elandsvlei (accross the R 355 from the Tankwa Tented Camp) and then take the road north on the eastern bank of the Doring via the abandoned farm Re(e)nen and north to the road that goes down to the Doring. On the way you will drive past the abandoned double decker bus, looks like a hippie project from the early seventies. At Uitspankraal you can judge the level of the river yourself. If it is still impassable, double back and go further north to the R 364, no need to go all the way back to the R355, and cross the river at Doringbos. The R 364 will take you to your destination.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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Name:	Doring at Uitspankraal.jpg 
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  6. #4
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    Default Re: Biedouw River route advice please

    Thanks Merwe, I'm translating your words to pictures on T4A That's very helpful.

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    Default Re: Biedouw River route advice please

    Maybe phone Enjo farm before departure to find out how deep the crossing is.

    Bostoe

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  9. #6
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    Default Re: Biedouw River route advice please

    I did the road between Sutherland and Calvinia last weekend - very corrugated, clearly has not been maintained for a long time. Was no good with the snow and all ... wanted to go down Ganagga Pass to Calvinia, but upon leaving Middelpos, same thing, corrugations to kill, especially in a Pajero Gen 4, so turned around, just took the main road to Calvinia. These are corrugations on a clayey road, so far worse than the sandy corrugations of the Northern Cape. Will have to get my 2011 Gen 4 rattles fixed by Ian in CT as soon as possible ...
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  11. #7
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    Default Re: Biedouw River route advice please

    Quote Originally Posted by cainslie View Post
    Early in October I will be spending some time in and around Clanwilliam, Tankwa etc and I have some time to kill. I have made the following plan and would appreciate input/comments from those who know the area.


    Specifically, I'm trying to refine 2 days:
    Day 1: Clanwilliam to Sutherland. Proposed route is via Uitkyk Pass, Katbakkies Pass, Tankwa Padstal, Tankwa Tented Camp and Ouberg Pass. ~400km
    Day 2: Sutherland to Alpha Excelsior. Route via Middelpos and Ganna Pass, then north, then west.


    I would really like to drive the Biedouw River route on day 2, although online sources say that there is a deep river crossing which is likely to close the route most of the year.
    1. Is it likely to be too deep early in October?
    2. T4A has a "bad" road from the river heading east to the R355. How bad is this road really?


    Alternatively, I will drive it from the west on day 3 and then return back along the same road again.


    Any comments?
    search on Facebook for the camp jai yen yen . they are right on the crossing at yitspankraal and will have up to date info

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  13. #8
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    Default Re: Biedouw River route advice please

    Stay with your proposed route but turn off onto the Biedouw road and drive up to the Doring. If you can get through(which I doubt) great. If not, turn around and come back and proceed with your original plan. Not so far and worth it.
    There is never a right time to do the wrong thing and never a wrong time to do the right thing!

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  15. #9
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    Default Re: Biedouw River route advice please

    Quote Originally Posted by Francois Theron View Post
    Stay with your proposed route but turn off onto the Biedouw road and drive up to the Doring. If you can get through(which I doubt) great. If not, turn around and come back and proceed with your original plan. Not so far and worth it.
    That's exactly what I did.
    With the rains in that area, I doubt whether youwill cross the Doring Rivier soon.
    "Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity" - Martin Luther king Jr

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  17. #10
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    Default Re: Biedouw River route advice please

    Thanks everyone for the feedback. My son is fishing inter-provincials down there and for various reasons, we need to go a week early. That then leaves us with a few days to kill mid-week.

    I have wanted to visit the Tankwa area for years, but since I've never been there, I'm full of questions and trying to balance various interests in the family.

    The teenager and I want to see Tankwa and drive a few passes.
    SWAMBO & the teenager are keen on the Sutherland experience.
    SWAMBO would prefer a Cedarberg hike on day 3.

    See attached for my proposed route. Day 1 in red (391km) and day 2 in blue (309km). I'll rather leave some spare time (for punctures or whatever else) and skip the Biedouw river route on day 2. It will always be an option for a day trip on day 3.

    Considering the roads, is the route & distance realistic?
    Specifically, the route from Tankwa Tented camp to Sutherland via Ouberg Pass: Do I need a permit? Are these public roads? Aside from fuel, snot plugs & water, is there anything I should be aware of?

    Thanks again.
    Attached Images Attached Images  

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  18. #11
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    Default Re: Biedouw River route advice please

    On your red route, you cut out the most interesting part if you don't go via Wuppertal. Still easily doable in one day.
    There is never a right time to do the wrong thing and never a wrong time to do the right thing!

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  20. #12
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    Default Re: Biedouw River route advice please

    Quote Originally Posted by Francois Theron View Post
    On your red route, you cut out the most interesting part if you don't go via Wuppertal. Still easily doable in one day.
    Thanks, just the advice I was looking for!

    ZS5CMA
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    Default Re: Biedouw River route advice please

    Quote Originally Posted by cainslie View Post
    Thanks everyone for the feedback. My son is fishing inter-provincials down there and for various reasons, we need to go a week early. That then leaves us with a few days to kill mid-week.

    I have wanted to visit the Tankwa area for years, but since I've never been there, I'm full of questions and trying to balance various interests in the family.

    The teenager and I want to see Tankwa and drive a few passes.
    SWAMBO & the teenager are keen on the Sutherland experience.
    SWAMBO would prefer a Cedarberg hike on day 3.

    See attached for my proposed route. Day 1 in red (391km) and day 2 in blue (309km). I'll rather leave some spare time (for punctures or whatever else) and skip the Biedouw river route on day 2. It will always be an option for a day trip on day 3.

    Considering the roads, is the route & distance realistic?
    Specifically, the route from Tankwa Tented camp to Sutherland via Ouberg Pass: Do I need a permit? Are these public roads? Aside from fuel, snot plugs & water, is there anything I should be aware of?

    Thanks again.
    Ouberg is all public road. If you turn right at the top, you drive a lovely gravel road to just south of Sutherland.

    https://goo.gl/maps/7KDeXsQQwUbkqifM6. If you're looking for a great place to stay I can recommend Blesfontein, Oom Nicol is a legend, and gives great telescope tours of the sky (much better than at the Observatory IMO)

    Just did Biedouw to Ceres via Wuppertal yesterday. Road is wet in places but totally fine. The descent into Wuppertal will test your engine braking. We left Biedouw Valley Wegbreek at around 0800-0830 in the morning and were at Mount Ceder/Grootrivier around 11, with a few stops en route like the Eselbank waterfall.


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  23. #14
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    Default Re: Biedouw River route advice please

    Tyre warning----- those Tankwa stones can shred tyres sidewalls.

    I have just heard of a party there about two weeks ago who lost two tyres.
    I suspect the roads were recently graded which caused those sharp stones to stand upright.
    It takes a while for cars to push them to the side of the tracks. Also do not cross the middlemannetjie. Keep speeds below 60km. Take puncture kits and compressor.
    Could be an expensive trip if you write off tyres.

    ďAfrica changes you forever, like nowhere on earth. Once you have been there, you will never be the same." - Ernest Hemingway

  24. #15
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    Default Re: Biedouw River route advice please

    Tyre loss is very much speed and type of tyre dependent. HT tyres not the best, but can be done, AT's, especially if they are still relatively new, absolutely no problem, but as said, keep speed below 100 km. Look out ahead for rough patches on the road surfaces and be aware of the small "driffies", sometimes encountered just after of before bends. Keep wheels on the smooth wheel tracks, but always keep left over blind rises.
    2011 Pajero 3.8 GLS LWB

  25. #16
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    Default Re: Biedouw River route advice please

    Quote Originally Posted by Francois Theron View Post
    On your red route, you cut out the most interesting part if you don't go via Wuppertal. Still easily doable in one day.
    And just in case you are worried about difficulty, I was warned not to do this part but I did it very easily in my stock 2020 Forester running on factory HT tyres

  26. #17
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    Default Re: Biedouw River route advice please

    We did this part over the weekend. Left early Saturday morning and went N7 to Clanwilliam and then into the Biedouw Valley to the Doring River. I walked across. It's about 50cm deep, but there are some rocks on the bottom, so crossing will be a problem.

    We stayed over next to Enjo. Left yesterday morning for Wuppertal, on that 4x4 only road. It's a bit exaggerated, did it in a Rav4. Went through To Ceres and back to Cape Town.

    Scenery and flowers were spectacular.
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