The Baviaans Camino is a journey of 95km over 4 days, traversing the Baviaanskloof Mountains and Kouga Mountain Range.
Hikers meet in Willowmore on arrival day, where we all stay in the Willow 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, 20km
The route starts on the outer edge of the Baviaanskloof Wilderness Reserve, at the foot of the Baviaanskloof Mountain, on a farm called Nakop. Hikers immediately tackle a climb of almost 4km, with an elevation of 400m, to get to the highest point at the Telkom Tower. You will have an unimpeded view over the Karoo to the north, and the Baviaanskloof and Kouga Mountain Range to the south. After you have walked through shoulder high fynbos, a 7km rocky road leads down to the main road of the Kloof, where we meet up with the support vehicle at the Doringkloof Bush Camp. Our overnight stay is in the Joachimskraal farmhouse.
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 – savannah, karoo thicket and spekboom, aloes, cycads, fynbos and proteas. Accommodation for this night is the most basic and in three rooms with bunk beds, however you can rent a tent if you prefer to get away from potential snoring! Even in this remote outpost we have hot water, flushing toilets and ice cold beer.
Day 3 Entkraal to Mooitgedacht, 16km
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 old farm cottages on a working farm, Mooigedacht. We enjoy a lovely honeybush tea tasting, and after lunch you can do a short hike to the waterfall for a swim. Before supper, Pierre Strydom will entertain and educate us with a demonstration of a working border collie, with his 2022 SA Champion Border Collie, Kyla.
Day 4 Nooitgedacht to Nguniland, 31km
The Moordenaarskloof Mountain Pass gives hikers the last chance to enjoy the spectacular scenery, typical of the Kouga Mountains. 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. 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.