Pakhuis Conservancy, Western Cape
Set on the northern edge of the Cederberg Wilderness area, roughly 300 kilometres from Cape Town and close to the town of Clanwilliam, the Pakhuis Conservancy is a project initiated by farmers in the area. They have banded together to convert degraded farm land into burgeoning conservation areas alive with natural fynbos, in order to allow the land once again to thrive in its natural state, and to encourage eco-tourism to the area.
The Pakhuis Conservancy is breathtakingly beautiful; filled with rugged landscapes and unique rock formations formed by the erosion of sandstone, whilst the mountains that continuously loom in the background are renowned throughout the world for rock climbing and bouldering. The name is more than likely derived from the Pakhuis Mountains that border the Cederberg Mountains to the north, and form the back drop to a number of farms, reserves and getaways in this remote part of the world (see Clanwilliam accommodation for some fabulous getaway options).
More often than not, the term Pakhuis is used interchangeably with the Pakhuis Pass, which forms the northern parameter of the Cederberg Wilderness Area and is an integral part of one of the more popular hikes in these mountains the Pakhuis / Heuningvlei circuit - considered one of the great hikes of the Western Cape.
Heuningvlei, a little hamlet, has created a donkey cart trail from the summit of Pakhuis Pass to the little village, also known as a buite stasie or outer station of the Moravian village of Wuppertal. The traditional donkey cart ride takes roughly two hours along a mountain track that takes in some of the most glorious mountain scenery and an array of indigenous plants and flowers en route.