Gamtoos Valley, Baviaanskloof

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 argue that it means ‘the roaring lion’ and refers to the sound of the Gamtoos in flood.

Lying adjacent to the Garden Route, just over an hour’s drive from Port Elizabeth, the Gamtoos Valley is home to the three little villages of Hankey, Loerie and Patensie, and is a vibrant mix of citrus, potato and tobacco farming that forms a collage of cultivated fields and orchards.

Regarded as the gateway to the Baviaanskloof Wilderness area, the valley is a treasure trove of beautiful scenery and interesting landmarks that stretch all the way up to Komdomo, where the Baviaanskloof route begins.

The little town of Loerie hosts the Naartjie Festival in September and Hankey is not only the oldest town in the valley but also claims to have the largest Sun Dial in the southern hemisphere - 36.4 metres across.

Here too lie the remains of Sarah ‘Saartjie’ Bartman, a Khoi-San woman, also known as the Hottentot Venus, who was ‘persuaded’ to leave the country for Europe where she was used as a circus attraction, dying finally in France. It was only in 2002 that her remains were finally returned to South Africa.

In the vicinity

Hotels & other accommodation options

Things to do in the area

Noteworthy attractions

Find accommodation in Gamtoos Valley

FIND / South Africa Accommodation / Eastern Cape Accommodation / Karoo Heartland Accommodation / Baviaanskloof Accommodation / Gamtoos Valley Accommodation

Gamtoos Valley as a destination

Want to stay overnight?


When would you like to stay?
Choose dates

Number of Guests

Why book with
  • Your card is safe with us; strictest card verification in the industry and we don't store card numbers.
  • No airy fairy service fees; you save!
  • We care. Service with integrity.
  • Multiple payment methods:
    credit card, SID instant EFT, bank transfer.
  • All Gamtoos Valley property owners / managers are verified (our experience protects you from online fraud).
  • Secure your booking
Our Payment Protection Guarantee only applies if your deposit payment is made via
South Africa. Explore. Experience. Stay® has been assisting travellers with their South Africa travel plans since 1999, and is the largest, independent online travel guide for South Africa available in both English and German.