Day 1, Night 1
Port Elizabeth to Baviaanskloof
Meet and greet by Alan Tours at your place of residence in Port Elizabeth before our departure for the Baviaanskloof, a World Heritage Site.
Here we travel through the agricultural centers of Hankey and Patensie with its neatly maintained citrus and vegetable farms on either side of the Gamtoos river. We continue to the entrance of the Baviaanskloof Mega-reserve where on arrival we check in at the reception, take a comfort break and enjoy a cup of coffee at the comfortable picnic site.
After check in we continue through the imposing cliffs that line the riverbanks in this picturesque part of the Baviaanskloof.
We travel in a westerly direction deeper into the Baviaanskloof valley, entering the wilderness section of the reserve where we do a final check in as we enter the reserve itself.
Here the road is shaded by large trees as we cross the clear waters of the river. If the weather is good, we park in the shade, take our shoes off and wade through these cool, clear waters as a ceremonial cleansing ritual. Refreshed we continue into the valley of the Baboons.
We make our way out of the shade of the valley floor up onto steep passes as we move through this Rift Valley climbing up and descending once again only to climb back up again. The views of the surrounding mountains and valleys from the top of the passes is spectacular with views over wide portions of the valley in places.
We take photographs along the way and stop at selected spots on the road for a picnic lunch and a swim in the deep river pools when the weather is good.
After traversing the wilderness area, we keep a keen eye open for the bird and wildlife which includes Cape Buffalo, Kudu, the rare Mountain Zebra, Bushbuck and Red Hartebeest as well as the secretive Leopard, the endangered Black Rhino and of course the many Baboons that call this valley their home and who in turn have bequeathed their name to this mythical valley, The Baviaanskloof, the Valley of the Baboon.
Completing the memorable journey through the wilderness area, we make our way to our overnight Farm style accommodation, or similar. After check in we make ourselves comfortable before meeting for a traditional farm dinner.
After a delicious meal we can take a seat in the old lounge or on the porch recollecting the stories of the day before making our way to bed for a comfortable night’s rest under the clear, star encrusted night sky.
Overnight Baviaanskloof accommodation, picnic lunch, dinner, bed and breakfast
Baviaanskloof to Port Elizabeth
We wake up early for a fresh cup of coffee and rusks, a traditional oven dried bread roll before exploring the area a little more thoroughly.
We return to the farmhouse for a wholesome breakfast. After breakfast we pack up, check out and set off to explore a little of the Kloof as it is locally known. We visit a beautiful grove of Wild fig trees that proliferate around an up-welling of crystal clear water said to have its origins a few hundred kilometers away in the Great Karoo.
Here, with a permanent supply of pure water, the fig trees grow huge and thrive in these fertile soils, bearing large quantities of edible fruit, a bonanza for both the bird and wildlife of this predominantly arid area.
Leaving the Baviaanskloof behind us, we prepare for our return trip via a rugged 4 x 4 route.
This is a spectacular route over the mountains and the rough winding road at times seems to carry on forever. Around almost every corner there is a picture perfect scene, or landscape, animal, or bird to stop you in your tracks. It is almost impossible for a camera to capture the sheer expanse of the scenery, shaded mountains, layered into the distance, cut with deep valleys for as far as the eye can see.
We bring a picnic lunch along with us and stop at a convenient spot to rest and take our lunch break.
With 7 biomes converging in one area, the Baviaanskloof / Kouga wilderness area has a wealth of plant diversity, simply bundled together as Fynbos where such diversity is difficult to compare with anything else in the world.
It is for this reason that the area has been declared as a World Heritage Site and afforded the protection necessary to maintain its integrity into the future.
We finally drop down along the southern slopes of the Kouga Mountains and enter the valley thickets interspersed with beautiful stands of Proteas, Leucadendron and other Fynbos plants as we make our way back along the well maintained farm roads with one more river crossing at which to stop and take a refreshing swim before making the final leg of our adventure back home.
Drop off in Port Elizabeth at your place of residence and end of the tour
2 persons on tour: R 7 700.00 per person sharing
3-4 persons on tour: R 5 900.00 per person sharing
5-6 persons on tour: R 4 300.00 per person sharing
Minimum 2 persons
Single supplement applies
Wamkelekile iAfrika – Welcome to Africa