A Mountain Biking adventure in its purest form
The Baviaanskloof is a paradise of contrasts offering towering purple mountains offset against Karoo plains and lush green valleys. To ride your bike through this paradise is an adventure in the purest form. The possibility of encountering wild animals such as Kudu, Baboons, Buffalo or Rhino adds to the adventure. When on the other side of the reserve gate you will follow the bend of the Kouga River and the road next to the citrus farms of Patensie. Traversing the Baviaanskloof is for the fitter mountain biker. You will at times be breathless for more than one reason. The hills are tough but the scenery while doing it, amazing. The stretch through the Baviaanskloof reserve will test your legs. Grasnek pass, Holgate pass are the real challenges. The Baviaanskloof is one of the most spectacular areas in South Africa to spend a few days . Please note there is no formal accommodation in the Baviaanskloof Reserve area. There is basic camping available at Doodsklip and Rooihoek only. Cyclists should expect to stay in the saddle for between two-four days depending on your fitness level and what you would like to get out of your Baviaanskloof experience. Kamerkloof is centrally located and is an excellent resting point and place to explore the area. Kamerkloof has good facilities for washing your mountain bikes and an outdoor shower at the new Baviaanskloof Landhuis.
Kamerkloof rents out mountain bikes to GUESTS for free for those who would like to ride around the farm and experience the local surrounding Studtis area. Please enquire with reservations and your Kamerkloof host before arrival.
Source: Mountain Biking South Africa
The Trans Baviaans 24 hr Mountain Biking Challenge
Time to transform into the ultimate mountain biker!
Why dance all night, when you can ride all night! As one of South Africa’s premier mountain biking events, this mountain bike marathon creates the perfect combination of extremely challenging cycling amongst spectacular scenery through exquisite mountain ranges, right into the heart of the magnificent Baviaanskloof Wilderness Area, all in a team format. Since its start in 2004 it has been growing annually, deserving its place on many mountain bikers’ wish list. This initiative started on a family holiday in the Baviaanskloof. Being a family of mountain bikers, and wanting to share the Baviaanskloof experience, they decided that what better way than having a mountain bike race. It took them seven years to finalise the concept of how to go about such an event – one that captures not only the essence of the Baviaanskloof, but also to be a true test of endurance and a unique challenge. This event had the title as the ‘longest single stage team MTB event’ in the world for six years, and emphasized that the focus lay on whether the route is rideable, unique, enjoyable and most of all achievable. Because this is a team event, consisting of 2, 3 or 4 cyclists per team, the concept is very different to that of an ordinary MTB race. The event is also unique as the entire route is unmarked and tests the orientation skills of each rider. This ensures team work amongst everyone and brings out a camaraderie, making it an unforgettable experience. Teams have to check in and out at the checkpoints strategically placed on route, so their whereabouts can be traced. The late start (10:00) forces all the riders (even the frontrunners) to use lights for night time riding, for some this will be a much larger portion of their ride than for others – truly a test of character and endurance. With a great race, comes great rewards! Due to the night time finish the first 10 team's home are greeted with the firing of a rocket. Every team that finishes receives a commemorative medal which completes a puzzle that fits into a shield after the completion of five events – motivating riders to complete the Trans Baviaans at least five times. The distance of 230 km from Willowmore to Jeffrey’s Bay must be completed in 24 hours to qualify for a medal. So you think you have what it takes to conquer the Trans Baviaans? This is an event not to be taken lightly. However, with a well-planned approach, a fully charged night-light, good orientation skills, and loads of energy, it’s a very achievable challenge that will definitely transform you into the ultimate mountain biker!
The Trans Baviaans 24hr Mountain Bike Marathon route starts in Willowmore in the main street (± 700 m above sea level) and then follows a farm road through Poortjies to link up with the Baviaanskloof turn-off ± 4 km out of town. The route then ascends over a distance of ± 26 km to the top of the spectacular Nuwekloofpas (± 1000m above sea level).For the next ± 80 km the route drops down into the Baviaanskloof passing through a number of farms such as Rietrivier and Kamerkloof at Studtis, after which it enters the Baviaanskloof wilderness area under the control of Eastern Cape Parks Board. This long descent ends at Geelhoutbos a distance of ± 110 km from Willowmore. From here the route becomes more strenuous, narrower and more difficult to negotiate, reaching a high point at Bergplaas, at ± 147 km from Willowmore. From here it drops suddenly into the Cambria Valley past some citrus farms and the Komdomo Camp site in the banks of the Groot River at ± 175 km mark. From Komdomo the route follows the road to Patensie but before reaching it turns off to Humansdorp on an undulating gravel road to cross the Humansdorp-Patensie tar road at ± 210 km mark. The route then follows a farm road to Jeffreys Bay were it finishes at the Fountains Mall in Jeffreys Bay, 230 km from Willowmore. The total accumulated climbs for this route is 2540m.Please note: Riders must take note that the route will not be marked as orienteering plays an important role during the event.
Source: Photography courtesy of Jacques Marais