Baviaanskloof is an area just 120 kilometres west of Port Elizabeth, nestled within rugged mountains and boasting an endless variety of nature’s finest to enthral those that love the outdoors. Its untouched beauty, seclusion and abundance make Baviaanskloof one of the country’s most idyllic camping spots.
The entire area of Baviaans includes the Baviaanskloof Mountain Range as well as the small towns of Willowmore and Steytlerville. While small, these towns have a very distinct culture of their own, which creates a definite vibe around this Karoo Heartland area of the Eastern Cape.
Summers in the Baviaanskloof are very hot and dry, while winters are cold, since this area is particularly susceptible to the elements, being situated in the heart of mountains and valleys. Camping is, therefore, best during more temperate seasons, and certainly not in the winter (June to August).
The vast majority of the roads leading to the various camping sites within the Baviaanskloof area are gravel. So, be aware of this when deciding on a vehicle to take on your camping trip. Many of the roads are perfectly suited to normal sedans, though, so don’t let this stop you from planning your camping trip in this stunning area. These roads make for excellent mountain biking, quad-biking, running and 4 x 4 trails, so incorporate them into your camping holiday activities.
Camping in Baviaanskloof is also ideal because it caters to the broad spectrum of tourists and campers – from adventurous adrenalin-seekers to families and even couples wanting a romantic getaway.
Here are just some of the most popular camping spots in the Baviaans:
“Uitspan” is an Afrikaans word meaning “relax” and that’s exactly what this campsite helps its guests to do. Surrounded by mountains, Uitspan is equipped with three separate camping sites, each with its own 220V electricity source, water and lights. A large outdoor braai area completes the experience. The restaurant provides braai packs and traditional roosterkoek (a dense bread roll that is baked on the fire) for campers.
The restaurant and sports bar means not having to forsake every vestige of civilisation while enjoying a relaxing time-out in the Baviaans.
Uitspan campers will enjoy watching birds, hiking the Houtkloof trail, mountain climbing, swimming and foefie sliding (or zip-lining) into the dam. A nearby cave showcases rock art from the San people that once inhabited the area.
Studtis is centrally situated and undeniably beautiful. It is accessible as the gravel roads are well maintained and easy to drive. Kamerkloof is the camping and accommodation sector of the Studtis Olywe farm. The camping facilities include power points as well as a clean, convenient ablution block inside the main house.
This popular campsite offers visitors a fabulous camping experience. The Populierbos campsite has electricity, a flush toilet and hot water showers in its rustic, but effective, bush ablutions. The Wyekloof campsite is nestled away in the gorgeous valley and is best suited to campers that really want to experience the camping lifestyle. Still, hot and cold water, showers, flush toilets and drinking water is available here.
The nearby farm is able to provide meals, firewood, home-baked bread and braai meat. If you would like to take advantage of these facilities, it is best to arrange them when booking.
Situated in the Grootrivier Poort at the entrance to the Baviaanskloof Wilderness Area, Bruintjieskraal is a tranquil haven that is miles from the hustle and bustle of city life. This campsite is right on the Grootrivier banks and comprises nine separate campsites. Each site has its own flush toilet, shower, braai area, river water and tap. Campers are urged to bring their own drinking water.
There are a number of different activities and attractions here; including bird watching, swimming, hiking, fishing and game viewing.
Have a look at our camping packing tips to make sure that you’re all set for your Baviaanskloof experience.
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