Patensie Bergvenster

We uncover the truth behind Patensie, the so-called Southern gateway to the Baviaanskloof.

The little town of Patensie lies virtually at the mouth of the Baviaanskloof Mega Reserve. You can find it in the southwestern region of the Eastern Cape. It is only an hour’s drive from Port Elizabeth and even less from Jeffreys Bay & Humansdorp – once you turn off from the N2 national road, the roads remain very well maintained and accessible to all vehicles, in fact, the routes are even popular with motorcycle enthusiasts who enjoy a the odd breakfast run. It is a scenic drive no matter which direction you travel from. Heading towards the Baviaanskloof, it is your last stop before entering the serene wilderness.

Patensie Citrus Orchards

Patensie is largely a citrus producing community, although arguably some of our country’s best peppers, cucumbers, salad and many other types of fresh produce come from this region (including our famous “Patensie Aartapels”). The name “Patensie” is of Khoi origin and means “cattle resting place”. Because of its easy access to the Baviaanskloof, game farms and scenic surroundings, the area has quickly become a destination of note for international and South African tourist’s alike.

 

Kouga Dam Wall

Kouga Dam Wall

 

You can easily see the Cockscomb Mountain from here with its five crests resembling a rooster’s comb. Just 25 kilometres outside of Patensie you will find the Kouga Dam, the lifeblood of the valley.

A 1967 Tunnel Kouga Dam

A 1967 Tunnel at the Kouga Dam

Fantastic picnic spots are available to enjoy as you head towards the dam wall. For those who may find it interesting, the Kouga Dam was the first double-arch dam built in South Africa. Initially called the Paul Sauer Dam, it also supplies Port Elizabeth with most of its water.

Excellent Picnic Spot at the Kouga Dam

Queen Victoria’s bust is also visible in the conglomerate cliffs along the Gamtoos River. You can only see it from the west, so you will need to stop and look back. It is worth mentioning that on the way to Patensie you will pass through the town of Hankey, home to the home to the largest Sundial in the Southern. The Hankey sundial was erected in 1989 at the entrance of the town, right below the Vergaderingskop Mountain. It has an impressive diameter of 34.6 metres with a gnomon (the pole that casts the shadow) of 18 metres. It weighs a hefty one ton.

Sundial

Hankey Sundial

The easiest way to enjoy your journey, without having to plan too much in advance, is to make a stop here at Tolbos before setting off on one of many rambles through the area. Established in 1988, we have always had a major focus on being a tourist info hub with friendly, knowledgeable staff and a massive choice of free tourism leaflets which contain tons of info about local attractions, guest houses, restaurants, shops and more. If you were enticed with the idea of a picnic, we put together a delightful Picnic basket which you can order in advance and pick up on your way in.

Tolbos | Deli – Bistro – Info

So, if you are looking for something fun to do with the family, as a couple or a group of friends this holiday season, do yourself a favour and make a day or weekend trip of it and head for Patensie. There is something for everyone in or on the way including: 4 x 4 routes, Accommodation, Restaurants, Farm Shops, Bird Watching, Mountain Biking Routes, Citrus Orchards, Kouga Dam, Gamtoos River, Golf Course, Hiking Trails, Picnic Spots, Gorgeous Scenery, the Friendliest People in the Gamtoos Valley and more!

Eat, See, Do, Fall in love.

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Cedar Falls Baviaanskloof

11 Awesome things to do in Baviaanskloof

Baviaanskloof Hartland 6-day Hike

Baviaanskloof Hartland 6-day Hike

Where? Gamtoos Valley
Start: Rietrivier

Finish: Rietrivier

Duration: roughly 12 km a day

Fitness: you need to be fit to cope with steep sections, rock surface and rough terrain

Tip: This is a slackpack trail, but you will need to provide your own lunch and drinks every day.

Select here for more details

Vondeling Optel Craft

Vondeling Optel Craft

Where? Vondeling, near Willowmore, Eastern Cape, South Africa

When? Please enquire.

How? Call +27 (0)73 565-0813

How much? Price on request

Overnight? Stay at accommodation in Vondeling, in Eastern Cape

Vondeling settlement consists of an isolated scatter of homesteads, made up of only 29 families, on public and private land close to the now disused Vondeling railway siding. It is located 47 km west of Willowmore in the Eastern Cape, close to the boundary with the Western Cape Province.

The infrastructure at the settlement consists of a primary school and a church hall. There is no electricity supply. The town use to be connected to the outside world by train, but they have long since stopped running. Vondeling Optel Craft is recognized as a reliable supplier to the top craft retail stores, and niche Christmas decoration stores in South Africa, and is also exporting successfully.

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Soetendalspoort 4×4 Trail

Where? 46km from Willowmore in the Baviaanskloof Region, Eastern Cape

When? Please enquire.

How? Call +27 (0)44 923-1872

How much? Price on request

Overnight? Stay at accommodation in Willowmore, in Eastern Cape

Experience the haunting beauty of the Karoo in a very special way when venturing out on the Soetendalspoort 4×4 Trails. These trails are situated less than 50 kilometres from Willowmore in the province of the Eastern Cape. They are secluded from the bustle of city life, allowing the drivers and their passengers to experience the South African landscapes in their most unadulterated state.

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Doringkloof 4×4 Trails

Where? About 80 km from Willowmore in the Baviaanskloof, Eastern Cape

When? Booking is required.

How? Call +27 (0)49 839-1160

How much? Price on request

Overnight? Stay at accommodation in Baviaanskloof, in Eastern Cape

Deep in the ancient formations of the Baviaanskloof Mountain Range lie the Doringkloof 4×4 Trails. This area is characterised by rugged landscapes, enormous mountains that burst from sometimes arid ground, and an abundance of plant and animal life. It remains popular amongst campers and explorers from all over the world; those wanting to be part of the untouched part of the South African countryside.

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Longmore Forest MTB Route

Longmore MTB Route

Where? Longmore Forest, Off N2, towards Hankey, Baviaanskloof

When? Monday to Sunday from 07h00

How? Call +27 (0)41 368-7244

How much? Price on request

Overnight? Stay at accommodation in Hankey, in Eastern Cape

This long trail is perfect for the intermediate mountain biker and can take between 2 hours to a few days to complete (if you wanted to come back to cover all routes of course) depending on how long you want to ride for and what routes you decide to take.

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Eden to Addo Hike

Eden to Addo Hike

Where? The hike starts in Knysna and ends in Addo.

When? At the moment, the hike is not yet formal, and happens only once a year in September. Contact for full details.

How? Call +27 (0)44 533-1623

How much? Price on request

Overnight? Stay at accommodation in Addo, in Eastern Cape

The Eden to Addo hike is considered by some as the longest, if not the toughest hiking trail in South Africa. Regarded as a ‘mega’ hike, the Eden to Addo entails an 18-day haul from Knysna to Addo and the Addo Elephant National Park, on its way to being one of the largest national parks in southern Africa. The ‘eden’ in the title no doubt suggests a ‘lost’ paradise; a play on what would once have been deep forests along the coast.

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Gonjah 4×4 Trails

Gonjah Trails

Where? Gamtoos River Valley, Baviaanskloof, Eastern Cape.

When? Please Enquire

How? Call +27(0)42 283-0596

How much? Price on request

Overnight? Stay at accommodation in Gamtoos Valley, in Eastern Cape

The exciting Gonjah 4 x 4 Route is a fabulous way to explore and discover the gorgeous area of the Gamtoos River Valley in the Eastern Cape. This area borders the Baviaanskloof region, which is one of this province’s most prized natural jewels and tourist attractions.

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Baviaans Heritage Tours

Baviaans Heritage Tours

Where? 70 Wehmeyer Street, Willowmore, 6445, Baviaanskloof, Eastern Cape

When? Booking is essential.

How? Call +27 (0)44 923-1574

How much? Price on request

Overnight? Stay at accommodation in Willowmore, in Eastern Cape

The Baviaanskloof is a majestic mountain range that is not only significant for its natural abundance, but also for its historical and cultural heritage, particularly when coupled with the valleys, kloofs, farms and even villages around it. It is no wonder, then, that this is a renowned UNESCO World Heritage Site, inviting tourists from all over South Africa and the world to see the bounty and beauty of the Eastern Cape Province.

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Cedar Falls Day Hike

Cedar Falls

Where? Go Baviaans, Ceder Falls, Studtis, Baviaanskloof, Eastern Cape, South Africa.

When? Only available to guests staying overnight at Cedar Falls Base Camp at Go Baviaans in Baviaanskloof.

How much? Falls into price group R1 to R100 per person. Confirm with the provider.

Overnight? Stay at accommodation in Studtis, in Eastern Cape

The magnificent Baviaanskloof Mega Reserve is one of the Eastern Cape’s most exquisite treasures, acclaimed for the dramatic mountain ranges and unique array of vegetation that make it so scenic. The Cedar Falls Day Hike is in the heart of the Baviaanskloof, and hikers can drink in the beautiful South African landscapes as they follow streams, negotiate rugged pathways, and descend into breath-taking kloofs.

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Bushmen Painting Walk

Bushmen Painting Walk

Where? Ceder Falls, Studtis, Baviaanskloof, Eastern Cape

When? Only available to guests staying overnight at Cedar Falls Base Camp at Go Baviaans in Baviaanskloof.

How much? Free

More? See website

Overnight? Stay at accommodation in Studtis, in Eastern Cape

Within the spectacular beauty of the Baviaanskloof, a number of hiking and walking trails lie in wait for eager adventurers. The Bushmen Painting Walk is ideal as it combines history and culture with the untainted splendour of this pristine part of the Eastern Cape.

Select here for more information

Tolbos | Bistro – Deli – Info

Where? Patensie, Fred Ferreira Way (R331), Eastern Cape

When? Tolbos makes for a perfect stop on your day trip. Open daily

How? Call +27 42 283 0437

Overnight? Stay at accommodation in Patensie, in Eastern Cape

Tolbos is a fully licensed restaurant, country shop and tourist information point in the heart of the Kouga Mountain Range and surrounding orchards. It offers a cosy indoor venue as well as a charming outdoor courtyard garden with children’s play area that is great for children and families to enjoy . Browse through the rest of this website for further information.

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For the love of coffee

7 Scientific reasons why you should collect your FREE loyalty card today!

In recent years and decades, scientists have studied the effects of coffee on various aspects of health and their results have been nothing short of amazing.

1. Coffee can make you smarter

Caffeine potently blocks an inhibitory neurotransmitter in the brain, leading to a net stimulant effect. Controlled trials show that caffeine improves both mood and brain function.

2. Coffee can help you burn fat and improves physical performance.

Caffeine raises the metabolic rate and helps to mobilize fatty acids from the fat tissues. It can also enhance physical performance.

3. Coffee may drastically lower your risk of type II Diabetes.

Drinking coffee is associated with a drastically reduced risk of type II diabetes. People who drink several cups per day are the least likely to become diabetic.

4. Coffee may lower your risk of Alzheimer’s and Pakinsons.

Coffee is associated with a much lower risk of dementia and the neurodegenerative disorders

5. Coffee may be extremely good for your liver.

Coffee appears to be protective against certain liver disorders, lowering the risk of liver cancer by 40% and cirrhosis by as much as 80%.

6. Coffee may decrease your risk of premature death.

Coffee consumption has been associated with a lower risk of death in prospective epidemiological studies, especially in type II diabetics.

7. Coffee is loaded with nutrients and antioxidants.

Coffee contains a decent amount of several vitamins and minerals. It is also the biggest source of antioxidants in the modern diet.

Tolbos Coffee Loyalty Card

What more reason do you need to come and pick up your Loyalty card? Every 1oth cup will be on the house! Please note that even though coffee in moderate amounts is good for you, drinking way too much of it can still be harmful. The bullet points above have been compiled from other websites on the internet and re-blogged here.

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Curry can keep you chirpy for longer!

Over thousands of years curry has been a staple flavour-enhancer in many countries around the world. Curry is a complex blend of spices that can be mixed and blended to suit all tastes or enhance an array of dishes – from vegetables to goat! Sometimes it may even serve as a handy tool to ‘mask’ a rather miffy meal? Curry makes it all good – including your health, it may seem! Those foods that pack a punch in flavour could improve our chances of living longer.

Consuming curry-flavoured dishes on a daily basis – or at least twice a week – could lower the chance of an early death. So it seems that adding a little spice to your life would be worth the hot sweats, numb tongue and adrenalin charges brought on by a choice chicken tikka masala!

Of course a quality curry is a special blend of spices and ingredients, which may include cumin, coriander, cinnamon, ginger, garlic, curry leaves, paprika, cardamom or star anise (perhaps even a little apricot jam if you have any South African heritage in you.) But the most commonly used hot-as-hell spice remains the chilli. Whether fresh or dried, big or small, red or green, with or without the seeds, any cook worthy of his salt will know when a dish requires a bit of this magic ingredient to take the flavour up a notch.


Medical professionals continue with this interesting research, but seem to agree that the spice, capsaicin, contains a bioactive ingredient which has long had anti-obesity, anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, amongst others.


Of course, this is fantastic news for us here at Tolbos, where the winters bring with them such chilly nights. Hence, we added a dose of good medicine in the Patensie Valley with a Currie Evening last week. By the time guests left after a long evening of chatting, ‘chilli’ing and chowing at the buffet, bellies were bulging, cheeks were rosy and grins were wide. Definitely a bill of clean health and some feel-good for all who attended!

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Tolbos Coffee Loyalty Card

Warning! This post may contain dangerous information for Coffee Addicts!!!

Caffeine connoisseurs, get your newly launched COFFEE Loyalty card at #Tolbos. Keep caffeine levels at optimum level, on every visit ….. and fill up with the 10th cup on the house! For Free! #Gratis! Niks! That’s how we roll at Tolbos.

We understand long, hectic days are just not the same with a coffee shot. And that is why we pride ourselves on using only the best coffee beans from our supplier, #mastertons in Port Elizabeth. This family-owned Roastery has been in the coffee business for yonks – and boy, you can taste it in the freshly brewed cuppa joe! The girls at Tolbos pride themselves on being somewhat snobbish when it comes to their #caffeine fix of choice. If it is not wine o’clock, it is most definitely a quarter past  where’s-my-coffee?!?

First Loyalty Card User - Marieka Mostert

First Loyalty Card User – Marieka Mostert

Whether you are passing through #Patensie for pleasure or some serious business – boost your spirits with a shot of espresso. Locals, whether yummy-mummies of the PTA  or salt-of-the-earth farmers,  rely DAILY on our #bistro for their coffee fix to bolster their mood! REMEMBER TO PASS BY AND COLLECT YOUR LOYALTY CARD from Tolbos. Its legal and FREE! For more info about Mastertons coffee, visit their website at mastertonscoffee.co.za or go and check out their Facebook page.

Aaah, I’ll take mine with hot milk and 2 sugars, please…

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