Baviaans Camino Hiking Trail

Baviaanskloof, Eastern Cape

The majestic Baviaanskloof Mountains and Wilderness Reserve is begging to be traversed by foot, however, the selected north-south route of the Baviaans Camino lends itself for novice horse riders to accompany hikers. Hikers and riders are supported in this remote wilderness area by a support vehicle, the trail is catered, and overnight accommodation in old farmhouses.

The trail starts in Baviaans Region, part of the Karoo, from where hikers and horses cross the Baviaanskloof Mountain to get into the Baviaanskloof, and continue to traverse most of the Kouga Mountain Range towards the coast. The trail is 93km long (give or take) over 6 days and 5 nights (arrival and departure days included, giving you four full days of hiking).

Hikers and riders meet in Willowmore on arrival day, with dinner and overnight accommodation in the Willow Historical Guest House.  Staying together ensures an early start, and the group will be transported to the foot of the mountain straight after breakfast.

The trail ends in the outskirts of Kareedouw, so you can either arrange transport back to Willowmore after breakfast on departure day, or leave your vehicle in Kareedouw and arrange for transport to Willowmore on arrival day.


Dates for 2022:

  • 7 – 12 March

  • 18 – 23 April

  • 9 – 14 May

  • 6 – 11 June

  • 27 June – 2 July

  • 18 – 23 July

  • 12 – 17 September

  • 3 – 8 October

  • 24 – 29 October


Group size:

  • 14 (of which 6 can be on horseback).

  • 50% deposit will confirm your booking, and the remainder of the deposit is payable 3 weeks prior to your hike.

  • We can also assist with additional accommodation before or after the hike as well as with transfers.

 

The Trail:

The Baviaans Camino is a journey of 9km over 4 days, traversing the Baviaanskloof Mountains and Kouga Mountain Range by foot or on horseback.

Hikers must be in Steytlerville the day before the start of the Camino, where we all will stay together in a local accommodation establishment. This gives us time to familiarize ourselves with the area, the route, the horses, and one another.

The Baviaans Camino is a journey of 93km (give or take) over 4 days, traversing the Baviaanskloof Mountains and Kouga Mountain Range by foot or on horseback.

Hikers and riders meet in Willowmore on arrival day, where we all stay in the Willow Historical Guest House.  This gives us time to get to know each other and be ready for an early morning start.  Route briefing is over dinner.


Day 1:

Nakop to Doringkloof, 18km

The route starts on the outer edge of the Baviaanskloof Nature Reserve, at the foot of the Baviaanskloof Mountain, in an area known as Nakop. Hikers immediately tackle a climb of almost 4km, with an elevation of 400m, to get to the highest point at the Telkom Tower with an unimpeded view over the Karoo to the north, and the Baviaanskloof to the south. After you have walked through shoulder high fynbos, a 7km rocky road leads down to the main road of the Kloof, and eventually to the overnight point at Doringkloof Farm where you stay in a farm house.

 

Day 2:

Doringkloof to Modderhuisie, 24km

On the second day you tackle the southern side of the Baviaanskloof, again with high climbs and long descents, traversing the Kouga Mountain Range. The chance of seeing another human is almost impossible, which gives hikers the chance to become one with nature. The Baviaanskloof is home to 7 of our 9 biomes, which are clearly visible as you hike – karoo thicket and spekboom, aloes, cycads, fynbos and proteas. Accommodation for this night is the most basic and in two rooms with bunk beds.  We all will have to assist to make ourselves comfortable.

Day 3:

Modderhuisie to Nooitgedacht, 23km

The hike starts on old roads through many kloofs, giving birders ample joy, before another long climb takes you to the top of one of the highest hills of the Kouga mountain range. A long descent takes you to the Nooitgedacht Farming Community, allowing for a soft introduction back into civilization as you stay in an old farmhouse on a working farm.

Day 4:

Nooitgedacht to Nguniland, 30km

The Moordenaarskloof Mountain Pass gives hikers the last chance to enjoy the spectacular scenery, typical of the Baviaans. A descent leads to the Kouga River, where the welcome tranquil waters await, and time can be spent swimming (weather and time permitting).  What comes down must go up – from here you continue the road towards Kareedouw, but will venture off, using the old Mail Trail to the outskirts of the town (which includes three last climbs).   Although this is the longest day of the Camino, it is not the most difficult.  Accommodation is in self catering units at Nguniland with a final braai under a starry sky.

 

Accommodation

We stay in old and considerably basic farmhouses, and only shared accommodation is available.  You will need a sleeping bag for two of the nights.  All food and lunch packs are provided, and hikers will be required to assist with making fire etc from time to time. You will have to carry a lunch pack and enough water during the day. 


Need To Know:

The 93km route is split over 4 days, between suitable overnight points.  Everything we need for the four days must be taken into the area, hence the need of a support vehicle.

Communication in the Baviaans Wilderness is basically non-existent (and absolute bliss) with extremely limited cell phone reception.  We have a satellite phone for emergencies.

We transport your luggage, plus firewood, water, food, tents, sleeping bags and more.

These are all the elements we need to really “get away from it all” for a few days but adds to the costs.  You will also be accompanied by Hercules and Anieka on horseback, with Eric and one more person in the vehicle.

To make it as cost effective as possible we require a group size of 14.

All you will need for the four days must be taken into the area, hence the need of two support vehicles.  This also is a safety measure should an evacuation become necessary.

Communication in the Baviaans Wilderness is non-existent (and absolute bliss), but groups will be able to communicate amongst themselves with two-way radios and a satellite phone for emergencies.

Everything we need must be transported with us – firewood, water, food, tents, sleeping bags and more.

These are all the elements we need to really “get away from it all” for a few days but adds to the costs.

You will also be accompanied by Hercules on horseback, and for larger groups one more experienced rider, plus Esti on foot – together with Eric and one more person in the vehicles.

In order to make it as cost effective as possible we require a group size of 12.

 

Pertinent Information:

No single supplements are available; people must be willing to share rooms and bathrooms. 


Rates:

  • R8 700.00 per person plus R3 900.00 if you want to do it on horseback.

 

Admin Fee:

  • R55.00 admin fee once per reservation

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Fagala Voet is marketing and booking agents for hiking trails in South Africa and Namibia. We assist private hiking trail owners to market their trails to our database of hikers and handle bookings for them as well. We also help our database of hikers to find new hiking trails. We also do GPS mapping, development of trails and remarking of trails.

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We hike on Saturday, Sundays and Public Holidays.


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