The Baviaanskloof, someone once said, is best
described as a blend of the Sani and Bloukrans Passes, with a stiff dose
of the Tsitsikamma and Kruger’s natural beauty. And do not forget the
wildlife, the wide open spaces and tranquillity of the area, or the
sense of seclusion and feelings that they do things differently here in
the Kloof that stretches between Willowmore in the west and Patensie in
the east; between the Kouga Mountain Range in the south and
The Kloof’s crown jewel is the 185 000ha
Baviaanskloof Nature Reserve, also known as the Baviaanskloof Wilderness
area, one of the biggest conservation areas in South Africa. It contains
seven of eight biomes in South Africa with 1300 plant species. Also 57
reptile, 23 raptor, 17 frog, 15 fish and more than 300 bird species.
Here the wilderness simply overwhelms you, in
a wonderful way!
The road through the Kloof was built by master
road engineer Thomas Bain between 1880 and
1890. It was one of his last projects before his death in 1893.
Sunday 9 February 2020 (Willowmore)
Meet the group of intrepid adventurers in
Willowmore at the Engen Zaaymans Filling Station (44 Knysna Street) at
12h00. Here we top up fuel tanks and then, in the town, buy last minute
supplies. We then drive along the R332 to our campsite near the
entrance to the Baviaanskloof Reserve.
Monday 10 February 2020 (Makkedaat)
Depart the campsite in
time to be at the main gate by 10h00. If there is anyone that would
prefer to meet us there (Monday morning) rather than camp Sunday night,
please feel free but you need to let me know ahead of time so that I can
confirm the number of campsites. Paperwork completed, we wind through
the Nuwekloof Pass, a deep split in the sandstone cliffs that marks the
western entrance to the kloof. From here we turn off the main road and
follow the signs to Makkedaat Campsite. After setting up camp we can
explore the area at leisure. The campsite has limited facilities
including: one electricity point, one toilet and one shower with hot
water heated by a donkey boiler.
Tuesday 11 February 2020 (Baviaans
After breakfast we follow the Riet River through
the valley till we get to the turnoff to the Rust en Vrede 4x4 trail.
This historic trail crosses the Kouga Mountains. The road is steep and
rocky and I believe overgrown in parts where there is a possibility of
your vehicles getting scratched. At the bottom of the pass we reach the
Le Roux farm where we will camp for the night.
Again, there are limited facilities so it is vital to be
self-sufficient. Points of interest along the route include the Campbell
Monument and Klienpoort.
Wednesday 12 February 2020
The planned route is back up over the Rust en
Vrede pass stopping along the way to enjoy the spectacular views. When
we have conquered the pass and are back in the reserve, and if there
is time, we can explore some of the
interesting places in the Doringkloof camp. From here we follow
the R332 towards Patensie and after about 12km we reach the western gate
of the Baviaanskloof Nature Reserve. The next section is known as the
Baviaanskloof 4x4 Trail which we follow over the Grasnek Pass till we
reach Rooihoek Camp considered to be one of
the most impressive camp sites in South Africa.
Thursday 13 February 2020 (Komdomo
We enjoy a leisurely breakfast, appreciate the
views and the nature around us, check the vehicles and then head off
along the 4x4 trail towards Patensie. The road takes us over Holgat
Pass, to the old cableway, to Combrink’s Pass,
and to the Poortjies Picnic site. After this we depart the
Baviaanskloof Nature Reserve at the eastern gate and make our way
over the Grootrivier Pass to the Komdomo Camp
where we spend the night.
Friday 14 February 2020
From Komodo we follow
the R332 towards Patensie. Shortly before we get there we turn off on a
gravel road to Steytlerville, over the Antoniesberg Pass, finally
reaching Steytlerville. Here we spend our last night together.
Saturday 15 February 2020
Time to head on home!
• This trip is limited to 6 vehicles (including
• The cost is R 2000 per person
• Children over 12 pay
full price, children under 12 are free (you may be asked to pay extra at
the formal camps, usually half the camping fee)
• A non-refundable
deposit of R1500 secures your place. Strictly first come first served.
• As I have said, many of the campsites have limited facilities, so
I suggest you be completely self-sufficient to really enjoy the outing.
• The whole area is notorious for baboons. Every precaution must be
taken with keeping windows and doors closed, food and drinks
safely stored and children under strict supervision.
supplies will be obtainable at Willowmore, Patensie and again at
• The route over the Rust en Vrede pass is steep and
rocky and towing a trailer is not an option.
•There is limited
cellphone coverage in the Kloof.
•After rain the roads can turn into
a slippery mess, river crossings can become hazardous and flood damage
can make driving difficult.
confirm your bookings by 15 January 2020 so we can confirm campsites
• Preferably two spare wheels
• Recovery gear
• Two-way radios. We can organise
radios for those without at a fee
information on the Baviaanskloof is by courtesy of Drive Out, Routes
that Rock, 2013 Special Edition.
+27 82 444 9959
Bank First National
name Four Wheel Drive Club of SA
Account number 58810022334
Reference Surname, initials and (reason)
the booking form here