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4X4Cape News
Baviaanskloof 21-25 September 2018
Created by Craig Parsons in 10/24/2018 9:36:04 AM

 4x4 Cape in the Baviaanskloof


 4x4 Cape in the Baviaanskloof

Close your eyes, sharpen your senses and picture this:  narrow gorges, flowing streams and river crossings, steep and narrow mountain passes, vast plains with waving grasslands, views of unspoilt wilderness with various wildlife and birds.  Can you picture it?  Then you may start to have some idea of what a group of member from 4x4 Cape experienced from 21 till 24 September 2018 in the Baviaanskloof.  True to the name (Valley of the Baboons) we were welcomed into the Baviaanskloof by many suspicious and curious baboons.  We were after all entering into their territory.

 

Nine eager 4x4 adventurers in 5 vehicles started their journey bright and early on Friday 21 September from the Winelands 1stop and traveled via the Seweweekspoort pass, with refreshments in Willowmore, to our first overnight destination, Baviaans Uitspan.  The other 6 adventurers decided to have an early start by adding another day to their journey and joined the group at Baviaans Uitspan from various routes, i.e. Mosselbay, Plettenberg Bay, and Calitzdorp.  The crackeling sound of a huge camp fire, joined by animals calling, laughter and camp fire stories made the tiredness of more than 500 km behind us something of the past.  More importantly the camaraderie of the next three days started bonding 15 individuals together.

 

On Saturfday morning, after a few brave hearts had a walk and climb to the waterfalls and back, it was time to pack up and be on our way to Doringkloof Bushcamp, ready for more unforgettable experiences.  The journey was truly a family outing with “water crossing”, “traffic from the front”, “donkeys in the road” and some very interesting information about the area shared over the radios, all to ensure that every person’s experience is something never to be forgotten. 

 

Shortly after leaving Baviaans Uitspan, we encountered another reason to return to this majestic area as we visited the Makkedaat Caves.  Words cannot do justice to describe these chalets built into the natural rock caves where visitors become one with nature.  Wow! Wow! Wow!  We will definitely have to come back and stay a few nights in these cave enclosures.

 

After we experienced the Baviaanskloof Craft shops and meeting Miss Baviaanskloof at “Babes se Winkel”, it was time to set up camp at Doringkloof Bushcamp.  Unfortunately it became too late to experience any of the six 4x4 trails.  This is just another reason to return. We settled for some more camp fires, braaivleis and fermented grapes (or potatoes) next to the tranquility of the dam and at the foot of more majestic mountains.

 

Day 3 started early as we had a long stretch ahead of us.  With all 8 vehicles packed and ready, the convoy took to the road, entering the Baviaanskloof Nature Reserve.  We made a quick brunch stop at Smitskraal before we took to the water.  With Jaco’s guidance and traffic management skills, we all safely went through an amazing stretch of driving in the water, through a narrow pathway with high reeds on both sides.  Again we felt like one with nature.

 

Then it was time for the two track steep and winding road up and down the mountains, with the precipice being literally a little too close for comfort to some.  I am sure though Philip did not mind having his wife on his lap, trying to get to safer ground.  We were very fortunate that all vehicles from the front allowed the convoy to pass as there is no space to pull over to let traffic pass.  Thank you to Lindsay as the tail gunner for closing the traffic comms.  While continuing on this road, we just became increasingly aware that this is an area where the Creator worked alone on this gift of nature.

 

We also stopped at the Winston le Roux cable way, built in 1967 across the 386 meter deep gorge between the two main farms, to enable farm workers traveling between the farms to shorten their travel time from 3,5 hours to 12 minutes, transporting farm produce.  The cable way, to our knowledge the only privately built cable way in Africa, had a span of 410 meters and a carry capacity of 5 tons. What a sight, but thankfully we did not have to use it to travel across the gorge. 

 

After another wow day of travel, we reached our last overnight destination, Kudu Khaya, where we again had an amazing night of laughter, storytelling and entertainment around the camp fire.  Thank you Trevor for your stories and wine & chocolate pairing.  The next morning a few of us again walked, crawled and climbed our way to the most amazing rock pools, and overcoming some fear of heights in the process.  Then it was time to pack up camp and say our good buys before each one started their own back home via Patensie over more than 700 km.  This was surely an adventure imprinted in our memories forever, hopefully to be repeated someday.  A great thank you to Dik Daan for organizing this amazing trip.

 

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