Baviaanskloof Tours
Baviaanskloof Scholtzberg Panorama
Baviaanskloof Mountain Range
Baviaanskloof - Scholtzberg
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Our tours to the Baviaanskloof are tailored to suit the requirements of our guests.

Duration

Standard options are one and two day tours but we are often requested to do three to four day trips.

Our standard one day tour takes us from Port Elizabeth to Bergplaas and back.

Two day trips cover the Wilderness area and return via the same route.

Three and more day trips offer one the opportunity to visit the upper part of the Baviaanskloof and meet some of the people who make their livings there. Options are to return via the Grootrivier Poort or via the Kouga Mountains, covering lesser known areas.

Please contact us and we will gladly customise a tour to meet your interests. Click here for information on accommodation options.

Number of passengers

The nature of the road restricts us to 4x4 vehicles with limited passenger capacity. We can accommodate up to four passengers in a vehicle but the ideal is two to three guests

The Cost 

Trips are arranged on demand for single clients, whether the client be an individual or a group of up to four persons, and costs are therefore calculated on a sliding scale depending on the number of persons.

Fees include light refreshments, meals and overnight accommodation. Please note that no alcoholic beverages are supplied but can be arranged at the overnight stop for the client's separate account.

Route Description - (You can read more about the route here.)

Port Elizabeth is the primary point of departure with Loerie the first town.

Flanked by the foothills of the Elands and Groot Winterhoek Mountains, Loerie consists only of a railway station, a church, a store and a couple of houses. It used to be the terminal point of Portland Cement's overhead cableway system, reputedly the longest in the country. Limestone was transported over a distance of 8 km to the narrow gauge railway station which is also the end point of the well known annual Great Train relay race between Port Elizabeth and Loerie, where man pits his strength against the power of the steam locomotive.

Cockscomb Mountain is a prominent landmark while we travel through the little known Stinkhout Berg Nature Reserve wedged between Loerie and Hankey. This area offers excellent wilderness hiking and birding for the fit and adventurous. Should you be interested in pursuing these activities please let us know  and we will be only too happy to make the necessary arrangements.

Hankey boasts some of the most spectacular views of the broad fertile Gamtoos valley floodplain. Our first stop after experiencing the lush valley bushveld is at a giant sundial. It is usually too early in the morning to synchronize our watches with the sundial time. The grave of Sarah Baartman is also located here and worth visiting. After this brief delay we continue to Patensie 14 km away.

Patensie is surrounded by a mosaic of cultivated lands and orange groves. Morning coffee and rusks at a farm stall is the last stop in civilization and allows for a quick browse through the wide variety of typical South African curios on sale. (If open, otherwise we will have our coffee in the Groot Rivier Poort.)

At Andrieskraal we stop to have a closer look at the bust of Queen Victoria and the Enon conglomerate, a cemented matrix of water borne pebbles. The road cuttings are characterized by sheer cliffs of this geological formation.

Shortly after this we arrive at the gravel road between Patensie and Willowmore. The gravel road is infamous for its condition, numerous river crossings, as well as the steep mountain passes and is usually not recommended for sedan vehicles. During the wet season the road is often closed for lengthy periods.

The Grootrivier Poort takes us past Komdomo, a Nature Conservation overnight campsite, and for the next ten kilometers we encounter exquisite rock formations and lush vegetation which provide us with an idea of the splendour to follow. 

Cambria is a farming community where some of the sweetest citrus in the region is produced. The name Cambria (Welsh for the country of Wales) was bestowed on the area by a early visitor who was struck by its resemblance to his homeland.)

In the Poortjies Valley, watered by the pristine Witrivier, we will encounter Knysna forest vegetation. It is also the true portal to the Baviaanskloof wilderness area proper. 

This ecologically sensitive system contains a number of gems, including the George Lily and the red finned minnow, a tiny freshwater fish. 

Both will be encountered on our short hike towards the waterfall, one of the lesser known marvels of this unique area. Depending on the temperature, the pool at the foot of the waterfall is the ideal opportunity to experience the crystal clear water of the Baviaanskloof first hand.

After this, we travel up the steep and very scenic Combrink's pass where we can admire this feat of engineering and speculate on the hardships suffered by early pioneers in the area. 

On top of the pass is Bergplaas, a staging point for various hiking trails in the area. Cape mountain zebras were reintroduced in the area and if we are fortunate we will encounter them and/or other antelope species which frequent the plateau.

Dry stone walls bear testimony of long departed farming folk.

One of the farmers, Winston le Roux, erected a cableway to bridge the gaping Waterpoort thereby providing an effective link between the Enkeldoorn and Bergplaas farming communities.

Constructed in the early 1960's, the system transported farm produce (wheat, potatoes, vegetables and even livestock) between the two areas bypassing the tortuous and time consuming road route.

Descending the Holgat Mountain Pass we will admire Langkop a conical hill set against the backdrop of the waters of the Kouga dam. Fynbos such as proteas, pincushions and cone bush occur in profusion. Heaven for the botanists!

At the bottom of the pass we will briefly stop at Doodsklip wilderness camping site. Legend has it that certain individuals died under strange circumstances at the site, hence the imaginative name! Originally named Lemoentuin or Orange Grove this area was extensively farmed until 1970. Flooding and buyouts by the state put an end to farming in the area.

Five kilometers upstream we encounter Rooihoek wilderness camp which sports a natural swimming pool fringed by an expansive stretch of white sandy beach.

Once again, depending on the temperature, we might decide to cool off in the (usually) inviting waters of the Kouga River.

Four kilometers further on is Kruisrivier, located at the confluence of the Kouga and Baviaanskloof rivers. This area is a favourite haunt of a variety of antelope species such as Eland, Kudu and Bushbuck.

Shortly afterwards we will negotiate the Grassneck/Keerom Pass.

On reaching the summit of Grassneck Pass, the sentinels of the Baviaanskloof range will come into view with Scholtzberg  (1626m) dominating the Karoo skyline.

Next we will arrive at our destination for the day.

Here we will enjoy true Baviaanskloof hospitality and traditional South African cuisine.

The rest of the afternoon can be spent exploring the area's 4X4 and/or hiking trails or simply relaxing.

Our departure back to civilization will be with heavy hearts but the return route is bound to be as pleasant and exiting as our journey so far.

Should you wish to accompany us on a Baviaanskloof or any other excursion in the region please obtain further details by emailing us.

 

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