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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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