Eastern Cape DestinationsHankey, Baviaanskloof
Hankey is one of three towns that make up the Gamtoos Valley - an exceptionally beautiful part of the world due mainly to its ability to remain largely undetected and thus unspoilt - that stretches up to Komdomo and the start of the Baviaanskloof wilderness, now a World Heritage Site.
Of the towns in the valley, Hankey is the oldest and probably best known because of its claim to the largest sundial in Africa that stands 18 metres high and weighs in at a ton. Hankey’s other claim to fame is the burial place of Sarah Baartman - now an icon for human rights, her life story is one of abysmal treatment during which she was cajoled into leaving her place of birth to be exhibited as a ‘freak’ in the UK and Europe. Years of negotiation with the French government finally culminated in her remains being returned to a burial place just outside Hankey, her final resting place - something of a victory for humanity and a symbol of freedom.
The town of Hankey lies surrounded by beautiful hills and fertile farming land, en route from Port Elizabeth to the Baviaanskloof - a route that also winds through Humansdorp and Patensie. The Baviaanskloof is literally a kloof along which a road crosses a series of at least 100 low water crossings through a 192 000 hectare conservation area that is home to an incredible diversity of habitats and species.