The Baviaanskloof Mega Nature Reserve
Now, you may ask, “What is all this fuss about The Baviaanskloof?” Well, it is only THE most stunning Wilderness Area that lies tucked between the Baviaans and Kouga Mountain ranges, approximately 120 km west of Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape Province, South Africa. This World Heritage Site is a showpiece of natural wonders that spans approximately 270 000 Ha. Expect rugged, mountainous terrain, interspersed with green grazing areas, pristine natural forests, fynbos, valley bushveld and rocky riverbeds. Trees here have been around for yonks -keep an eye out for the Outeniqua Yellowwood tree which has an estimated age of 800 + years. Two surviving species of the ancient Cycad species are found in the Baviaanskloof; and one particular plant, believed to be over 3 000 years old, stands at the viewpoint, which offers a panoramic view over the Cambria Valley. There are more than 1000 different plant species, including those of South African favourites, the Erica and Protea families, in the nature reserve.
The area is characterized by many diverse geological, topographic and climatic features. Check out the psychedelic and colourful rock formations and cliff faces – you would be forgiven if you thought you were on a 70’s high from all the fresh air!
A fail-safe way to start your exploration of this stunning site is to first visit Tolbos for some good food and expert advice on the area. After fuelling up on refreshments and some padkos, drive straight through Patensie for 40-odd km’s- past meandering citrus groves until you get to Komdomo and the Cambria Valley. Watch for antelope, birdlife and baboons throughout the Groot River Gorge. Keep driving – the fun has only begun! This route continues for about 203km’s to the Karoo town of Willowmore in the west.
Want to stay over? Not a problem. There are all sorts of amenities, to suit every budget. Pick from guest houses, B&B’s, camping sites, tented camps, hotels or working farms – you will be spoilt by the locals who are known for their hospitality and genuine, down-to-earth friendliness.
Quite simply, it is a place like this that inspires and drives eco-recreational enthusiasts!
Whether you prefer getting lost in the wild or sweating it off up an impossibly steep hill on a set of wheels, you can do here, in the Baviaanskloof. These valleys and hills literally beg you to ‘take a hike’ and you get to choose the pace and views!
Tourists who prefer to maintain their dignity can partake in a spot of bird-watching or keep an eye out for the rich and diverse wild animal population, which includes the species Cape Buffalo, Kudu, Cape Mountain Zebra, Red Hartebeest, Bushbuck, Mountain Reedbuck and Eland.
The Baviaanskloof is an eco-tourism destination right on our doorstep and it offers the traveller the perfect opportunity to explore South Africa in a safe and beautiful setting. Come on, what are you waiting for?