The Baviaanskloof Region, Eastern Cape

Experience the rugged beauty of South Africa when you book overnight accommodation in Baviaanskloof for the whole family or as a romantic getaway for two. 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.

Did you know? Once you've booked your hotel or Baviaanskloof accommodation in the Eastern Cape, explore the town and destination pages below for info on attractions, activities and things to do when you explore the Baviaanskloof.

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.

Did you know? 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.

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South Africa Accommodation / Eastern Cape Accommodation / Karoo Heartland Accommodation / Baviaanskloof Accommodation

Destinations in the Baviaanskloof Region

Elands River Valley

Overnight? Elands River Valley accommodation
The untouched beauty of the Elands River Valley is part of the wonder of the Eastern Cape. This area, just 60 kilometres from Port Elizabeth, is considered to be the gateway to the Baviaanskloof, where rugged mountains meet lush valleys and showcase this ...

Gamtoos Valley

Overnight? Gamtoos Valley accommodation
The name Gamtoos catches in the back of the throat with a guttural stop so typical of the wonderfully descriptive Afrikaans language. The word probably originated from Dutch settlers, who called the Khoikhoi clan in the area ‘Gamtousch’, although others a...

Hankey

Overnight? Hankey accommodation
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 wilderne...

Loerie

Overnight? Loerie accommodation
The little town of Loerie - probably named due to the prominence in the Baviaanskloof and surrounding area of the rather elusive Knysna Loerie that reveals itself only when absolutely necessary - is one of three towns in the Gamtoos River Valley that serv...

Patensie

Overnight? Patensie accommodation
The little town of Patensie lies virtually at the mouth of the Baviaanskloof Wilderness area, hidden away in the south western corner of the Eastern Cape only an hour’s drive from Port Elizabeth - it’s the last stop before entering the wilderness. A large...

Rietbron

Overnight? Rietbron accommodation
The town of Rietbron has pride of place as one of three towns that form part of the Baviaans area in the heart of the Cacadu in the Eastern Cape. This is the real Karoo, off the beaten track, and the gateway to the Baviaanskloof Wilderness Area - a Wor...

Steytlerville

Overnight? Steytlerville accommodation
The little town of Steytlerville, with its wide streets - originally to allow ox wagons to turn around - is exceptionally beautiful and worth a visit for this reason as well as the richness of local game and bird life. Steytlerville lies in the Baviaanskl...

Studtis

Overnight? Studtis accommodation
It is a telling sign when the guesthouse establishments in a place advertise that they offer Eskom electrical power to guests, and indeed the little town of Studtis also claims remoteness as one of its major selling points, despite being relatively close ...

Vondeling

The little village of Vondeling, a euphemism for a smattering of homesteads grouped together alongside the now disused Vondeling railway siding, lies roughly 47 kilometres north west of Willowmore in a district known as the Cacadu. There is also a prim...

Willowmore

Overnight? Willowmore accommodation
When people describe the little Karoo town of Willowmore as the western gateway to the Baviaanskloof, it is more literal than one thinks. People entering or exiting, depending on how they choose to drive it, the wilderness kloof use the town as a plac...

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