Tarkastad, Eastern Cape

tarkastad

War memorial at the centre of Tarkastad.

Tarkastad is a bridge-town between the deep Eastern Cape and the Karoo.

It’s an attractive little place in the Winterberg Mountains, especially pretty when the first snows fall and give it a ‘Victorian-Swiss’ look.

Outside Tarkastad on the way to Queenstown, you’ll see the Martha and Maria flat-topped hills in the distance. That’s Tarkastad’s answer to Middelburg’s Teebus and Koffiebus pair of hills.

The real beauty of the Tarkastad area lies on the farms that surround the town. On one of them you’ll discover some amazing San rock paintings. On another you’ll finally catch the trout of your dreams.

Possibly the best place to visit around Tarkastad is the legendary Blanco Guest Farm. South Africa has a few establishments that have been popular with families for many generations. You visit them as a small child and you still check in regularly over the years, even into your dotage.

Blanco is such a place. It’s been providing a family haven for the holidays for nearly a century, and will still continue well into the next.

The food is excellent and generous, as are the welcoming smiles that greet you when you arrive. In this old mountain hideaway, where you can play all the family games like snooker, tennis and putt-putt, it’s time to exhale and breathe in the exquisite air.

You hike, you feed farm animals, you ride a horse, you jump up and down on a trampoline for as long as you like, you catch a fish, watch a bird or hop on your mountain bike and disappear up a trail.

And in the evening after supper, you can’t wait to snuggle into bed and rest up for the next day…

locovers0001  Find our newly-released e-Book, 101 Karoo Towns, HERE.

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3 Responses to Tarkastad, Eastern Cape

  1. Beverley July 27, 2013 at 8:47 pm #

    Thank you for this, it was so nice to read and has truely made me homesick. I love Blanco and it is well worth a family holiday ;)

  2. Liz January 17, 2015 at 1:01 pm #

    Gosh, looking at the War Memorial brings back memories; I remember attending a ceremony there with my father, it would have been 1959 as he passed away early the next year – one of the few memories I have of him. Those days there were no tarred roads in town, or out of town either for that matter. My father was a member of some sort of council and got the road tarred from Cradock to Queenstown. What memories – I haven’t been back to Tarka since 1998 (or Sth Africa for that matter). All my family and memories lie there, school in Tarka, East London and Cradock; sponsored by Cradock Rotary on exchange to Australia, then teachers college in Graaff Reinett. Lots of memories!

    • Julienne du Toit January 17, 2015 at 6:29 pm #

      Thank you so much for that! This is the kind of history we love hearing and reading about.

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