The Real Thing: 7 days, 250km, the experience of a lifetime
This trip is the real deal, the original Baviaanskloof trail. However, it is so much more than just the Baviaanskloof. From the Tsistikamma Fynbos in the south through the Kouga mountains and the Baviaankloof mountains, down into the Karoo, this trail is a rich, diverse experience with never a dull moment.
We start on the farm near Kareedouw and ride an amazing circle route through the Formosa Nature Reserve. Fynbos in full bloom on the peaks that we climb and lunch overlooking the Garden Route and see are only some of the definite highlights of this first day.
We ride westwards in a beautiful gorge, then north with a historical post route over the Zuuranys mountain and then with a big dirt road until Nooitgedacht. This is quite mountainous. 36 km. Pickups are with us at lunch. We get spoiled, each of us gets his own bed (camp and bed option). Shower + toilet.
A very long day in the saddle. Northwards with a 4 x 4 path over the Kouga mountains with amazingly beautiful spots into the Baviaanskloof. 40 km. Difficult road for pickups but those without trailers can drive with us. Those with trailers have to go via Uniondale. We sleep at Joachimskraal and set up tent (camp option) or sleep in guest beds in a farm house (bed option). Bathroom, hot water, toilet.
We ride at Studtis police station northwards over the Winterhoek mountains into the Steytlerville area. It is very steep 8 km up and 4 km down. After the long and steep downhill we ride along the Steytlerville side eastward for 20 km until Rooikrantz. We sleep in a barn (camp option) or in a farm house (bed option). Pickups drive a big detour and meet us at the sleeping place. Shower + toilet. Total 32 km but not easy!
Heading eastwards through beautiful Karoo field all along the foot of the Winterhoek mountains. Usually many Kudu's to be seen. This is one of the “flattest” days. We meet the pickups at lunch. 36 km. Afternoon along a large gravel road. We all sleep in tents (camp option) or farm house (bed option) at Doringrivier. Long drop toilet + hot shower.
A short ride along the gravel road up to Grootrivier Poort (Great River Canyon). We saddle off at lunch time.. Again we all sleep in tents (camp option) or in a farm house 10 km away (bed option). Breathtaking beautiful sleeping place between the wreaths! Long drop toilet + cold shower but worth it!! 12 km.
The grand final of the trip! In every way!! The longest day. The most beautiful day. The hardest day. The best day. Hundreds of times – that's how it feels! – through the Grootrivier (Grand River). 50 km. Slow. Pickups drive with us for about 10 km and then take detour up to Komodo. Pickups with a trailer will most probably have to ride a very long detour. We spend the night in a campsite, where our vehicles are waiting for us.
We have a nice last evening together, eat breakfast at a padstal (road house) the following morning, load our horses and leave for home.