Extended Outing to Baviaanskloof
Sun 09 to Sat 15 February 2020

 

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 Baviaanskloof.

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 Lodge)

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 (Rooihoek Camp)

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 Campsite)

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 (Steytlerville)

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!

General information.

• This trip is limited to 6 vehicles (including myself)
• 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.
•Fuel and supplies will be obtainable at Willowmore, Patensie and again at Steytlerville.
• 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.
• Please confirm your bookings by 15 January 2020 so we can confirm campsites etc.

Equipment

• Preferably two spare wheels
• Puncture repair kit
• Recovery gear
• Two-way radios. We can organise radios for those without at a fee
• Drinking water


Acknowledgement
The general information on the Baviaanskloof is by courtesy of Drive Out, Routes that Rock, 2013 Special Edition.

Kind regards
John Runciman
+27 82 444 9959

Bank First National Bank
Branch Code 250655
Account name Four Wheel Drive Club of SA
Account number 58810022334
Reference Surname, initials and (reason)

 

 

Download the booking form here 


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