There is a Gorge that lies in the Valley, stretching for over 100 kilometres, between the Baviaanskloof Mountains to the North and the Kouga mountains to the South. Recently awarded World Heritage Site status, this 192 000 hectare u-shaped reserve lies about 120 kilometres west of Port Elizabeth and is named after the baboons that roam the area - a mix of the Dutch word ‘baviaan’ for baboon and the Afrikaans word ‘kloof’ for ravine.
The Kouga Wilderness lies in the incredible Kouga Mountains on the edge of the Baviaanskloof, advertised as the real outdoor experience, and where you go to climb rocks, kloof, fish, watch birds, hike and adventure on 4X4 routes.
Baviaanskloof, the area, includes the Karoo towns of Willowmore and Steytlerville as well as a number of small stock farms, and the little town of Patensie lies at the start of the gorge - the last stop, so to speak, before entering the wilderness of the Baviaanskloof.
A single dirt Road, which follows the dry River Beds, where it can, taking in some of the most breathtaking Passes through Mountains along the way, was built between 1880 and 1890 by Thomas Bain.
The Baviaanskloof Area, like the rest of the Eastern Cape, is a Region free from the threat of malaria. Although mosquitoes may bite one during the Night, these do not carry this illness. This makes the area ideal for families with little ones and the elderly in tow.
It wends its way through the Valley with no other access, in or out. With 42 River Crossings, assisted only by causeways, all of which are liable to flood during heavy rainfall, your journey is bound to be both exciting and beautiful - an area awaiting discovery!
This Land of raw wilderness, with its rocky Passes and rugged Gorges can only be travelled from East to West or from West to East. Baviaanskloof offers hours of beautiful scenery - Veld, indigenous Forests, crystal Mountain Streams, sheer Cliffs and Waterfalls, and is home to an amazing diversity of plants and species - from Yellowwoods to Karoo Bossies and Fynbos.
The best time to visit is in Spring, before the heavy Summer rains or in Autumn before it gets too cold, and one should try to avoid Long Weekends or Holiday Seasons if one can.
Article Courtesy Of www.sahistory.org.za/place/baviaanskloof-region-eastern-cape