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.

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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.

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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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Shuffle and shake, we never stop – almost!

Statistics tell us that businesses younger than 5 years have a staggering (and rather worrying) 80% chance of failing. That number drops significantly after year 7. Our beloved Tolbos has been a premier stop-over, eatery, shop and general social venue for tourists and locals for almost 30 years, however that gives me little comfort in today’s ever changing world of instant gratification and consumer culture.

As business owners in this modern age, we can no longer sit back and hope that things will always be “well” like people used to do “back in the day”. There is always the looming possibility that larger (or other) players in an industry can muscle you right out of your game (think larger national brands killing the independent corner shop, or the national pizza or burger chains who stifle local businesses).

I was thinking about this very scenario the other day and how sad it can be for a community when a national brand moves in. “But surely a national brand moving into your neighborhood is a good thing that will attract even more visitors?” -I hear you say. I am not so sure. Most of the profit made by “Mr & Ms local business” is pumped back into the local economy. Sure, the national brands provide employment, but then so do the independent businesses. The (big) difference is that most of the profit the national brands make are “shipped out” straight to head office and does not make it’s way back into the local town’s economy.

I also see the trend where people actually prefer to see fewer of the national brands when they are on holiday or exploring – after all, they are traveling to experience something new, not go to the same coffee shop they do in the city.

These are just a few of the reasons why we keep innovating, reshuffling, refreshing. We keep praying and we keep our faith. We have a passion. They say a change is as good as a holiday, and to a certain extent I must agree. We have only recently re-branded and renovated, and already we find ourselves regularly moving things around, improving efficiencies and processes and we keep on carving away at being better and better, for our customers and for ourselves day after day.

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World-Class Women in the Valley

Don’t think that because we are stuck in a small little town between there and nowhere, not much goes on and women just stand behind their farming men. Oh no, sister – here in the Gamtoos Valley the Girls have been making a name for themselves since the Bean Family exported the first boxes of citrus way back when!

We have ladies who labour away in the kitchen and are renowned the world over for their delicious fare – like Tannies’ Joey and Denise who makes the most awesome pies and darling Danika, who bakes and ices whimsical, romantic cakes. Let’s not forget about Jeannie du Preez whose macaroons are pure magic and the Melville Madam’s catering cuisine.

It doesn’t stop with food, mind you – we have women heading up the most fashion-forward clothing empires for kiddies and yummy-mummies alike. Take Max and Lulu who have managed to put out beautiful ranges of toddler’s clothing, with spiritually inspiring messages; then there is Nicky of Blume and Co., who sells jammies, baby wear and even chic ladies’ attire to clients all over South Africa. For an authentic ‘boeretwist’ look no further than Boer-e-Nooi Design Studio , owned by Anmagreth van der Merwe – who is always busy in her studio.

Speaking of studios, the Valley is ecstatic that Hilde Malan finally has a creative space to call her own – where she will continue to create her signature pieces that grace walls across the country. Another stalwart in the creative line is Hildie du Preez, who is continually busy scrapping – whether it be on spoons or crockery! To make sure everyone knows of the girly going-on’s in the Valley, you can rely on female professional photographers, such as Erin or Anneli, to get it on film. Heck, you can even have your hair and nails done by expert stylists in their studios!

Of course, it is not all arts and crafts here in the Patensie area: add in a couple of well-respected female doctors; a few headmistresses; businesswomen who are heading up cosmetic companies, the Irrigation Board and restaurants alike; and you will soon realise what a Female Powerhouse this Patensie really is! That would be physically powerful too – we have girls that run, cycle, hike and take part in triathlons and marathons.

Girls in this area can do everything. Do you need to organize a wedding at a ‘Grand’ venue, train up farm workers, audit a pack house or sell some fruit? We’ve got you covered. The P.T.A., W.A.A., and the Tourism Organisation are driven by dynamic Dames, such as Estelle, Rene and Nichola (who, along with Jansie, can give you a solid lesson on wines). Almost all the guesthouses are run and owned by women, too; and there are a number of ladies who successfully farm for themselves – whether they are harvesting strawberries or broccoli at the end of a hard day’s work. Rest assured you will almost always find a strong-and-in-charge woman in the admin offices too, who keep things growing smoothly.

Yup, this ladies’ list reads like who’s-who of women. Not sure if it is all the fresh air or the extra potent oestrogen emanating from the fertile farming lands – but girls in this Gamtoos Valley do not stand back for anything; we go out and make it happen! All of this while having babies and looking gorgeously good, too! A+ for Girl Power!


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Drip, drip…here’s looking at the last drop.

 

By Carin Scheepers:

After taking a drive up the road to the #Kouga Dam this past weekend, we had the opportunity to meet #Drought face-to-face. And it was damn scary – if you would excuse the pun. In fact, it was nauseating to realise how deep (sorry, again?) in the dwang we are in this little Eastern Cape corner of #South_Africa. It felt like we were visiting a terminally-ill relative in hospital. The water was eerily still and grey as we were experiencing yet another uncharacteristically warm day for this time of year. The Dam seemed as if it was on its last legs, so-to-say…. It has resigned itself to its fate.

We have been fortunate enough to see the water spilling over this same dam wall not even 2 years ago. We had so much rain that our back roads were flooded for weeks on end. It was glorious.

Now, the dam level sits at a disturbing 20%. It is hard to comprehend what the implications are, until you are standing on the dam wall again and trying to do the Math. You guestimate how many acres of land have to watered here in the Valley and then you start figuring out the litres of water that still has to then pump through all the way to #Port_Elizabeth and surrounds for the millions of folk in the Metro. Yes, Houston, we do actually have a problem!!!

Please take the guys in charge seriously – we all have to do our part. Whether you farm or work in a factory, implement #water_saving measures now.  That old cliché, “Every drop counts,” is yet again very relevant. We take things for granted – think it is our ‘right’ – and then there comes a little reality-check.

South Africa is ranked as the 30th driest country in the world, so realistically our drought problem will always be around. In the meantime, we are praying for the miracle of rain – and some forward-planning from the authorities, so that our water-supply can be better managed in the future.

Kouga Dam

 

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A time to Chillax

Here, in our part of South Africa we live with the advantage of diverse, multi-seasonal days – not unlike the Rainbow Nation that populates the country! It makes things very exciting – you never know what to expect, but you can bet your bottom buck that no matter the weather, there is always time to take a moment.

Summers are really long and the early mornings stretch out into long, hot days. Over weekends, brunch and lunch turn into all day alfresco affairs. Just when the soul grows weary of the roaring temperature, dusk settles in and to pay tribute to the day that was, there is always a little wine-time in the cool shadows of the trees or on the stoep with the dog. (Although this kuier can get noisy – there is strictly no moaning or whining allowed!!) Refreshments are cold – food is snacky and delish – and the conversation is light hearted.

 

The Winter months bring with them mellow sunshine to flush cheeks and defrost stiff limbs. The opportunity to get cosy around the fire – maybe inside in the lounge; or outside around a braai is a temptation that is eagerly given in to. Soon the chilly air is forgotten as chatter heats up. The food is nourishing and hearty and the tipple is rich and full-bodied.

 

In between, there are crisp, chilly mornings to contend with; mozzies to fight off; some rain (here’s hoping and praying) and work to wade through. The wind blows every now and then; and on extremely rare mornings there may be a visit from Jack Frost. But we survive, if just to have an excuse to take a moment to chillax.

 

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Gamtoos - Patensie Valley

What a great place to wake up every morning!

I have had the privilege of living in so many parts of the world, but the best place to see the sun rise and set every day remains right here, in the farming community of the #Gamtoos Valley.

Patensie - Gamtoos Valley

I may be somewhat prejudiced because I was born and bred right here on the family farm, #Gonjah, en-route to the world-famous heritage site, #Baviaanskloof. But that aside, I still feel smug that I get to live this life and take in the scenery, while other poor souls are slogging away in the city, grinding through daily traffic and trying not to get too depressed by the concrete jungle. On a bad day, while travelling to #Tolbos, in the centre of our #citrus town of #Patensie, me getting ‘caught’ in the traffic may involve slowing down for a tractor or waiting for a guinea fowl family to scatter across the road!

“Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man (or woman!) healthy, wealthy and wise,” is such a relevant proverb – especially here in the country. Luckily, most mornings we are blessed with the most stunning sunrise, which gets every one pumped for the long days, filled with the productive busyness that goes with running a farm and providing essential services to all members of the community. And then, just when you think the day will never end, the sun is setting into the horizon we are engulfed by a spectrum of feel-good colours.

Time for retrospection, gratitude and a cold one on the stoep….

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