The Baviaans Camino is a journey of 93km (give or take) over 4 days, traversing the Baviaanskloof Mountains and Kouga Mountain Range by foot or on horseback.
Hikers and riders meet in Willowmore on arrival day, where we all stay in the Willowmore Historical Guest House. This gives us time to get to know each other and be ready for an early morning start. Route briefing is over dinner.
Day 1 Nakop to Doringkloof, 18km
The route starts on the outer edge of the Baviaanskloof Nature Reserve, at the foot of the Baviaanskloof Mountain, in an area known as Nakop. Hikers immediately tackle a climb of almost 4km, with an elevation of 400m, to get to the highest point at the Telkom Tower with an unimpeded view over the Karoo to the north, and the Baviaanskloof to the south. After you have walked through shoulder high fynbos, a 7km rocky road leads down to the main road of the Kloof, and eventually to the overnight point at Doringkloof Farm where you stay in a farm house.
Day 2 Doringkloof to Modderhuisie, 24km
On the second day you tackle the southern side of the Baviaanskloof, again with high climbs and long descents, traversing the Kouga Mountain Range. The chance of seeing another human is almost impossible, which gives hikers the chance to become one with nature. The Baviaanskloof is home to 7 of our 9 biomes, which are clearly visible as you hike – karoo thicket and spekboom, aloes, cycads, fynbos and proteas. Accommodation for this night is the most basic and in two rooms with bunk beds. We all will have to assist to make ourselves comfortable.
Day 3 Modderhuisie to Nooitgedacht, 23km
The hike starts on old roads through many kloofs, giving birders ample joy, before another long climb takes you to the top of one of the highest hills of the Kouga mountain range. A long descent takes you to the Nooitgedacht Farming Community, allowing for a soft introduction back into civilization as you stay in an old farm house on a working farm.
Day 4 Nooitgedacht to Nguniland, 30km
The Moordenaarskloof Mountain Pass gives hikers the last chance to enjoy the spectacular scenery, typical of the Baviaans. A descent leads to the Kouga River, where the welcome tranquil waters await and time can be spent swimming (weather and time permitting). What comes down must go up – from here you continue on the road towards Kareedouw, but will venture off, using the old Mail Trail to the outskirts of the town (which includes three last climbs). Although this is the longest day of the Camino, it is not the most difficult. Accommodation is in self catering units at Nguniland with a final braai under a starry sky.
We stay in old and very basic farm houses, and only shared accommodation is available. You will need a sleeping bag for two of the nights. All food and lunch packs are provided, and hikers will be required to assist with making fire etc from time to time. You will have to carry a lunch pack and enough water during the day.