• "Smitskraal"
  • "Bergplaas"

Baviaanskloof Motor Trail

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Baviaanskloof Tourist Route T1 (R332)

Taking the Baviaanskloof/Gamtoos off-ramp from the N2, 40 km. from Port Elizabeth, the westward bound R331 takes the traveler through an area sometimes known as the "valley of a thousand and one hills". The route offers a panoramic view of the Eland and Groot Winterhoek Mountains dominated by the 1 759 meter high Cockscomb Mountain known to earlier tribes as T'Muniqua, meaning "covered in clouds".

The road leads past the town of Loerie, through Hankey (established 1881) and Patensie, along the thriving citrus farms of the Gamtoos valley, past the turn-off to the Kouga Dam towards Komdomo, which is the Eastern entrance and gateway to the Baviaanskloof Mega-reserve.

Komdomo To Cambria (20 km./30 min./Accessible by normal on-road vehicle)

Komdomo, the eastern entance to the Baviaanskloof Nature Reserve and Wilderness Area is the starting point of the gravel road, constructed under the supervision of Thomas Baine between 1880 and 1890.

The road winds its way through the Grootrivier Poort with its spectacular, colorful rock formations for approximately 10 km. and opens out into the Cambria valley. The Cambria valley, boxed in by the magnificent Baviaans and Kouga mountain ranges, forms the gateway to the Baviaanskloof Nature Reserve and Wilderness Area

Entering the Cambria Valley with its excellent overnight facilities, ranging from campsites to full-board accommodation, a signboard on the right indicates the turnoff to the Goedehoop/Sandrivier area and the Osseberg 4x4 route, as well as the Tjaart van der Walt monument. In 1798 he was appointed commandant of the Swellendam district by the governor of the Cape Colony, to stop the cross border raids by tribal bands. After numerous clashes with these tribesman he was ambushed and fatally wounded. He's grave on the farm Onverwacht in Cambria marks the location where he was killed and buried in August 1804.

One of the oldest Outoniqua Yellowwood trees in the area, estimated to be in access of 800 years, can be located at the entrance to Baviaanskloof Lodge. An ancient specimen of Cycad, approximately 3 000 years old can be found at the view point, near the Lodge.

Cambria to Doodsklip & Rooihoek (27 km./2.5 hours/Accessible only with 4x4 or 2x4)

Leaving the Cambria Valley the road winds its way through Poortjies with its sparkling mountain streams and Knysna forest type of vegetation. This ecologically sensitive area also harbors the delicate George lily as well as the protected fish species, the Red Finned Minnow.

A steep and laborious climb up Combrink's mountain pass provides opportunity to give thought to this feat of engineering as well as the hardships endured by earlier pioneers to the area. At the top of the pass a viewpoint offers a breathtaking panorama with a view of the towering Mac mountain 1 582 meters high.

The grassland of Bergplaas plateau offers excellent opportunity for game viewing, which includes Red Hartebeest, Mountain Reebok as well as Mountain Zebra.

Before roller coasting down Holgat Mountain pass in the direction of Doodsklip, the old cableway is situated on the right hand side of the road. The cableway constructed in the 1960s, once bridged the gaping Waterpoort gorge providing a link between the Enkeldoorn and Bergplaas farming communities. Before descending a viewpoint provides a magnificent view of the conical hill called Langkop seen against the backdrop of the Kouga dam.

The wilderness camping sites, Doodsklip and Rooihoek is located at the upper reaches of the Kouga dam and offers excellent eco-recreational opportunities.

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