The majestic Baviaanskloof Mountain Range overlooks the Kouga, begging to be traversed by foot – and on horseback.  So it only made sense for these trail owners to include the Baviaans into their slack packing portfolio.  Hikers are supported in this remote wilderness area by one vehicle, and overnight accommodation is in farm houses and tents.  The trail lends itself for novice horse riders to accompany hikers on this trail.

The trail traverses the Baviaanskloof Mountains to the north of the well known Baviaanskloof, and the Kouga Mountain Range to the south.  The trail is 75km long over 5 nights and 4 days.

Overnight either in Steytlerville or Kareedouw, and arrange a transfer to Nakop through the trail owners.

Day 1 Nakop to Doringkloof, 14km
The route starts early morning in the Karoo, on the outer edge of the Baviaanskloof Reserve, in an area known as Nakop.  Hikers immediately tackle a climb of almost 4km, with an elevation of 1 208m at the highest point, with an unimpeded view over the Karoo to the north, and the Baviaanskloof to the south.  After you have walked through shoulder height fynbos, a 7km rocky road leads down to the main road of the kloof, and eventually to the overnight point at Doringkloof Bush Camp where you stay either in a farm house or a tent.

Day 2 Doringkloof to Entkraal, 21km
On the second day you tackle the opposite side of the Baviaanskloof, again with high climbs and long descents.  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 is clearly visible as you hike – karoo thicket and spekboom, aloes, cycads, fynbos and proteas.  Accommodation for this night is the most basic. 

Day 3 Entkraal to Ragels River, 19km
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 a remote farm, allowing for a soft introduction back into civilization as you stay in a farm house on a working farm, also home to a beneficiary of this hike, the Nooitgedacht Primary School.

Day 4 Ragels River to Kouga River, 21km
The Moordenaarskloof Mountain Pass gives hikers the last chance to enjoy the spectacular scenery, typical Baviaans.  A descent leads to the Kouga River, where the welcome tranquil waters await and time can be spent kayaking.  Accommodation again is tented.

Trail type
Multi day catered trail

Two nights farm houses (limited availability) two nights tented.  All food is provided, and hikers will be required to assist from time to time.  You will have to bring your own sleeping bag for the tented nights and carry a lunch pack and enough water during the day.

Where is it
Baviaanskloof between Nakop (Steytlerville) and Kouga River (Kareedouw).  Add accommodation in St Francis Bay or Kareedouw where you can leave your vehicle and arrange for transfers to the start and from the finish. 

What should I know about security?
At the time of writing no problem have been experienced by people visiting the area.

How fit do I need to be?
This is a portaged trail and you are responsible to carry enough water and food for the day.  The trail should be regarded as moderate to difficult especially taking steep climbs and descents into account.

Background information
The Baviaans is home to 7 of the 9 biome, including the Cape Floral Region, which is the smallest and most diverse World Heritage site of natural biome in the world. It is also one of the most sensitive. The people involved in this trail are dedicated to conservation of this area.