This approximately 200km of nature reserve has been declared an international heritage site and rightly so. It is completely unspoilt and boasts some of the finest scenery around.
There is only one stretch of about 60km for which you definitely need a 4×4 vehicle and is not a road for the faint hearted in places, but worth every kilometre. It is a gated stretch where you have to buy a permit to travel through.
Apart from the obvious baboons, there are also buffalo and rhino roaming free although we didn’t catch a glimpse of these elusive creatures! We did however spot buck, Verraux’s eagle, kudu and tortoise.
There are lots of places to stay along the way and also campsites a-plenty, although being of the “glamping” persuasion, we opted for the ready made accommodation.
It’s worth taking a few days to meander slowly through the kloof and soak up the wonders of nature.
Hedonist Hippy Recommends
Makkedaat Caves – Unleash the stone-age man in you and stay in one of these lovely caves – all have hot water and showers. No electricity or cell phone reception, which adds to the allure, private spaces with no-one else in sight.
Bokloof Guest Farm – Stay in Kolgans self-catering cottage which is a very private and beautiful log cabin overlooking a dam. Make friends with Skollie, the dog, who will accompany you on hikes and keep you company on your stoep.
Ripple Hill Hotel, Patensie – as you exit the Baviaanskloof it is worth staying a night in this wonderful, old-style country hotel. Great bar, great steaks and friendly locals! All rooms recently renovated and are en-suite.
Waterkloof Hike – A lovely 6km walk from Bokloof Guest Farm (see above) which follows the river bed – in some places if you stretch your arms out you can touch both sides of the cliffs. Some boulder hopping over water involved but nothing too hectic and well worth the effort.
Horse riding – trails through the lush vegetation on the above farm – need to book 24 hours in advance.
Vero’s Restaurant & Baviaans Craft Shop – Just a few kilometres along from Makkedaat caves you come to Vero’s on one side of the road and the craft shop on the other.
Vero’s has a charming, eclectic garden and serves coffee and roosterkoek with a variety of fillings. The craft shop opposite is worth a visit for lovely pottery, locally made items, t-shirts, preserves and honey.
Slowly does it
The speed limit is 40kph and sometimes this is even too fast! It’s worth idling through the lush, semi-tropical vegetation and indulging all the senses in this most beautiful nature reserve.
Where to find it