Baviaans Camino Slackpack / Horse Trail
The Baviaans Camino is a 95km north-south traverse of the Baviaanskloof Mountains and Kouga Mountain Range, between the towns of Willowmore and Kareedouw in the Eastern Cape, South Africa. The trail uses the only ‘road’ over the Baviaanskloof Mountain, making this a unique adventure.
Groups of up to 12 hikers/riders set off on specific dates between March and October, of which 6 can choose to do the trail on horseback.
A support vehicle with two crew members, and a guide on foot and horseback accompany the groups. Although not difficult, there is a total elevation of 3600m over the four days. It is not a technical hike, but hikers do need be fit and have a good level of endurance to take on this trail.
- Trip Duration4 Hike Days / 5 Nights
- Daily DistanceDay 1: 22km / 5-6.5hrDay 2: 26km / 7-8hrDay 3: 23km / 4hrDay 4: 30km / 8-9hr
- Trail Grading4 / 5 - Fitness. The days are long with many hills. Multi-day hike experience and endurance needed 3 / 5 - Technicality. Some rocky and lose terrain, and hot dry conditions
- Trail TerrainThe trail uses old farm roads, some still in use, over the two mountain ranges. It is often rocky, but with amazing vistas. You will hike through 7 of the 9 plant biomes found in the country.
- AccommodationFarmstays, a 3 Star guesthouse, and a very basic outpost. Always flushing toilets and hot water.
- Logistic SupportThis is a fully-catered, guided & vehicle supported trail.
- Group SizePreferred min of 8 persons - maximum 12 per single group
- PricingR9,500/pp. No single supplements.
At a Glance
This trail is unique but it’s not for the faint hearted! There is no easy exit, unless it’s a major medical emergency. There is hardly any cell reception, which is great to ‘be in the moment’ and truly shut-off from the noise of our busy lives. Catering will be wholesome and hearty – warm breakfasts, packed lunches and braai's or potjies for dinners.
- Day 1Arrival Day
Get to Willowmore before dark – we can arrange shuttles leaving from Kareedouw either before or after the hike, to suit your travel arrangements. Dinner is served at 18h30.
- Day 2Hike Day 1: Nakop - Joachimskraal. Approx. 22km
After an early breakfast we will shuttle to Nakop. The trail starts with a 400m climb over the first 4km, traversing the Baviaanskloof Mountains, followed by a 7km descent into the Kloof.
Overnight accommodation is 5km further, on the farm Joachimskraal in an old farmhouse.
Dinner is enjoyed around the fire, a well deserved treat after a challenging day.
- Day 3Hike Day 2: Joachimskraal – Modderhuisie. Approx. 24km.
The trail starts through farmland, before tackling the first two winding uphills of the day. After lunch (provided by support vehicle), civilization is forgotten again, as you start the traverse of the Kouga Mountain Range - offering uninterrupted views into the Klein Kommando and Tjandokloofs. Moving from thorntrees to aloes, cycads, proteas and spekboom, 95 bird species have been counted along this route.
The last few kilometres through a kloof leads to Modderhuisie at Entkraal, where we all sleep on bunk beds in a small outpost consisting of 3 rooms.
- Day 4Hike Day 3: Modderhuisie - Nooitgedacht. Approx. 20km.
Today we start off through the beautiful Kouenek Kortkloof, towards the Joubertskraal River, before tackling the Kouenek to the highest point - a steep mountain with many false summits.
After this, a slow re-introduction to civilization begins, as you enter the remote farming community of the Nooitgedacht. We tackle a last up and down for the day, before arriving at our farmhouse for the night.
- Day 5Hike Day 4: Nooitgedacht – Nguniland. Approx 30km.
An early start is required for today, the longest, but not necessarily the most difficult. The trail wanders along the Ragels River, before heading up Moordenaarskloof.
We descend to cross the Kouga River where we'll break for lunch. Then continue to our last night's accommodation through a beautiful fynbos kloof and along the old Pospad (mail trail). Toast to the trail with a final night braai at Nguniland Guest Farm.
- Day 6Departure Day
Pack-up and enjoy a hearty breakfast in a local restaurant before starting our journey back to the real world.
As they say though, a Camino has a start, but it never ends.
Farmstays, 3 star Guesthouse, Outposts
- Do we carry our own backpacks?
No. You carry a small daypack with your lunch pack, enough water and own emergency equipment while the support vehicle transports your main luggage. The vehicle ahead will also stop approx every 2 hours for refreshments and lunch out on the trail.
- What type of footwear is appropriate?
Worn in hiking boots for ankle support, if possible one size bigger than normal. The terrain is rocky so you will need the support of a proper boot.
- What is the best time of year for this trail?
The trail is only available on pre-set dates between autumn (Mar-May) and Spring (Oct) due to extreme summer temperatures.
- Can this hike be lengthened?
Yes, you can convert it into a 10 day hiking holiday if you follow it up with the Chokka Trail.
Whats included in this tour
- 6 days and 5 nights dinner, bed and breakfast accommodation
- Packed lunch on all hike days
- Guided every day
- All meals. And honesty bar available
- Support Crew
- Park Entry x 2 Days
Whats not included in this tour
- Shuttles to / from the start