Destinations & Attractions in Baviaanskloof, in Eastern Cape

Baviaanskloof Destinations & Attractions

Baviaanskloof is a region of the Eastern Cape that is known for its endless panoramas of scrubby South African vegetation and tall, rugged cliff faces, giving it a mysterious beauty all of its own. The area comprises small, but well known, towns like Hankey, Loerie, Willowmore, Patensie and Steytlerville. The area most popular amongst local and international tourists is the u-shaped World Heritage Site that is nestled between the Baviaanskloof and Kouga mountains, which is an important conservation area.

The Baviaanskloof offers an authentic wilderness experience for all who want to experience the true South African landscape that is similar to that of the Karoo. The vegetation is largely typical of drier mountainous regions, but also includes lush indigenous forests. The vistas are punctuated by ice-cold mountain streams and thundering waterfalls that demonstrate the true power of nature. There is even fynbos, which offers magnificent variety of colours and textures. The area is also littered with stock farms and orange orchards.


Due to the rugged nature of the landscape of the entire Baviaanskloof region, there is a number of fabulously exciting 4x4 routes. They vary in terms of distance and degree of difficulty. But all share a very distinct sense of fun and adventure. Some popular routes include the Kamerkloof 4x4, Makkedaat Cave, Uitslag 4x4 and the Doringkloof 4x4. River crossings and challenging terrain are the order of the day.

Of course, due to this magnificent countryside, hiking and mountain biking are also excellent ways of immersing yourself in this largely unspoilt beauty. There are a number of trails throughout Baviaanskloof. Some are marked, while others are far less formal. Caves along the way are often hiding paintings and drawings left behind by the original Khoisan inhabitants of this area. Along the way, hikers and riders should look out for baboons, rhebok, mountain zebra, and a seemingly endless variety of bird species.

The weather in this mountainous region is known for its extremes. Summers are very hot and dry, while winter temperatures can plummet to surprisingly low temperatures. Therefore, visitors should visit during the spring and autumn seasons to avoid extreme weather conditions, particularly if they plan to camp.

Elands River Valley

The untouched beauty of the Elands River Valley is part of the wonder of the Eastern Cape. This area, just 60 kilometres from Port Elizabeth, is considered to be the gateway to the Baviaanskloof, where rugged mountains meet lush ...

Gamtoos Valley

The name Gamtoos catches in the back of the throat with a guttural stop so typical of the wonderfully descriptive Afrikaans language. The word probably originated from Dutch settlers, who called the Khoikhoi clan in the area ...


Hankey is one of three towns that make up the Gamtoos Valley - an exceptionally beautiful part of the world due mainly to its ability to remain largely undetected and thus unspoilt - that stretches up to Komdomo and the start of ...


The little town of Loerie - probably named due to the prominence in the Baviaanskloof and surrounding area of the rather elusive Knysna Loerie that reveals itself only when absolutely necessary - is one of three towns in the ...


The little town of Patensie lies virtually at the mouth of the Baviaanskloof Wilderness area, hidden away in the south western corner of the Eastern Cape only an hour’s drive from Port Elizabeth - it’s the last stop before ...


The town of Rietbron has pride of place as one of three towns that form part of the Baviaans area in the heart of the Cacadu in the Eastern Cape. This is the real Karoo, off the beaten track, and the gateway to the ...


The little town of Steytlerville, with its wide streets - originally to allow ox wagons to turn around - is exceptionally beautiful and worth a visit for this reason as well as the richness of local game and bird life. ...


It is a telling sign when the guesthouse establishments in a place advertise that they offer Eskom electrical power to guests, and indeed the little town of Studtis also claims remoteness as one of its major selling points, ...


The little village of Vondeling, a euphemism for a smattering of homesteads grouped together alongside the now disused Vondeling railway siding, lies roughly 47 kilometres north west of Willowmore in a district known as the ...


When people describe the little Karoo town of Willowmore as the western gateway to the Baviaanskloof, it is more literal than one thinks. People entering or exiting, depending on how they choose to drive it, the wilderness ...
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