Baviaanskloof, Eastern Cape
The majestic Baviaanskloof Nature Reserve is begging to be traversed by foot, however, the selected north-south route for the Baviaans Camino lends itself for novice horse riders to accompany hikers. Hikers and riders are supported in this remote wilderness area by two vehicles, and overnight accommodation is in farm houses and/or tents.
The trail starts in the Klein Karoo, from where hikers and horses traverse the Baviaanskloof Mountain Range into the Baviaanskloof, and continues to traverse most of the Kouga Mountain Range towards the coast. The trail is 75km long over 4 days and 5 nights.
Hikers and riders meet in Steytlerville where all will stay together to ensure an early start. You will be transported to the foot of the mountain.
You can either arrange transport back to Steytlerville after the hike, or leave your vehicle in Kareedouw and arrange for transport to Steytlerville before the hike.
Our available dates for 2018 are:
- 16 – 21 April
- 7 – 12 May
- 4 – 9 June
- 9 – 14 July (school holiday)
- 17 – 22 August
- 10 – 15 September
- 12 (of which 5 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 Baviaans Camino is a journey of 75km 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.
Nakop to Doringkloof, 17km
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 1 208m at the highest point, with an unimpeded view over the Karoo to the north, and the Baviaanskloof to the south. After you have walked through shoulder height fynbos, a 7km rocky road leads down to the main road of the Kloof, and eventually to the overnight point at Doringkloof Bush Camp where you stay either in a farmhouse or a tent.
Doringkloof to Modderhuisie, 25km
On the second day you tackle the opposite 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 tents. We all will have to assist to make ourselves comfortable.
Modderhuisie to Ragels River, 24km
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 a remote farm, allowing for a soft introduction back into civilization as you stay in a farm house (or in a tent), on a working farm, also home to a beneficiary of this hike, the Nooitgedacht Primary School.
Nooitgedacht to Kouga River, 9km
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 kayaking. Accommodation again is tented.
One/two nights in farm houses (limited availability), two/three nights tented (on first come first serve basis). All food and lunch packs are provided, and hikers will be required to assist from time to time. You will have to bring your own sleeping bag for the tented nights and carry a lunch pack and enough water during the day.
- The cost is R7 200 per person plus R1 500 if you want to do it on horseback.
- R55.00 admin fee once per reservation.
The rate includes dinner and a hearty breakfast on the farm outside Steytlerville to get everyone ready for the first day. For 2 of the hiking days breakfast will be early coffee and rusks or instant oats, we will stop after 5km (give or take) for brunch, you receive a snack pack to get you through the day and then we do a good cooked dinner. Our final day includes breakfast before we all departure our different ways. For the rest, we transport the luggage and you have fun!
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.
No single supplements are available; people must be willing to share rooms and bathrooms. We stay 3 nights in farm houses/a lodge, and two nights in tents.