The Bark of the Baboon. Code (OV09) A 6 day tour.
5 Nights, 6 Days
The Bark of the Baboon
Uniondale into the Baviaanskloof
Meet and greet by Alan Tours at rendezvous place in Uniondale and depart for the ‘Valley of the Baboons’ the Baviaanskloof, a world heritage site. The Landscape of the area is dominated by the Baviaanskloof and Kouga mountains, which run parallel to each other in an east, west orientation. These are part of the Cape Fold Mountain system first formed some 450 to 490 million years ago under the southern ocean and when young, were higher than the present day Himalayan mountain range. The Kouga is the larger of the two systems.
Many high peaks occur in the western and central regions with the eastern end being the less rugged with plateau’s and hills generally less than 900m in altitude. Smutsberg is the highest peak at 1757 m above sea level. The Baviaanskloof Mountains form a long narrow range with the Scholtzberg at 1625m being the highest peak. In the east the Baviaanskloof range joins the Groot Winterhoek with the Cockscomb being the highest peak at 1678m above sea level, the highest peak in this wilderness area. We stop at a convenient place in the valley and enjoy a packed picnic for lunch before reaching our overnight Lodge in Baviaanskloof on a full board basis.
Exploring the Baviaanskloof
After a scrumptious breakfast we set off on a walk or Game drive in this fascinating wilderness area. We view the rich bird life, learn about the many medicinal plants or search for the rare Willowmore cedar trees. Clear tannin stained streams tinkle and laugh through strewn boulders as we head back to the lodge for lunch and time to relax. The lodge is a series of beautifully constructed chalets hidden in natural rock on top of a ridge with stunning views into the valleys and crevices below. In the evening we meet for a gourmet dinner in the restaurant with similarly stupendous views or an unusual experience in a huge cave before retiring for a good night’s rest. Overnight in the Lodge on a full board basis.
Baviaanskloof to Patensie
After delicious breakfast we check out and depart through the spectacular scenery of the Baviaanskloof mega-reserve criss crossing the clear tannin stained waters of the Groot river a number of times while travel slowly through the floor of the reserve. We keep an eye out for Klipspringer, Kudu, Cape buffalo, Reed Buck, Mountain Zebra, while of course the Chacma Baboon after which the area has been named is everywhere abundant.
Rising above the valley floor on a number of occasions allowing for superb views of the surrounding mountains and the many species of fynbos that cover these higher slopes. We stop on our way to snack on our packed lunches before continuing. After some time spent traversing the valley we exit through precipitous rock walls. Passing into extensive citrus orchards, where if time allows we stop off at interesting farm stalls we continue to our overnight accommodation on a working farm in the Patensie district before a well-earned meal and rest in these quiet surroundings.
Patensie to Addo Elephant National Park
After a leisurely wake up and breakfast we check out and depart to the oldest village in the area, Hankey, where we stop at the largest Sundial in Africa and visit Sarah Baardman’s grave, a Khoikhoi woman born in the area in 1787 and coerced to leave South Africa as a human exhibition. She died in exile and her remains were returned to her native soil after the first South African democratic elections from France. She was re-buried here, where she quietly overlooks the fertile Gamtoos valley of her birth.
We continue to a wildflower reserve overlooking the river gorge where we stop to view the flowers and the spectacular arch bridge.
After a lunch break in Port Elizabeth we continue to the Addo Elephant National Park. We check in and immediately start our game viewing experience keeping an eye out for the many creatures on the plains and thickets.
Addo Elephant National Park is home to more than 500 Elephants, Lions, Buffalo, Zebra, antelope, reptiles and diverse birdlife. We take dinner at the park restaurant before a well-deserved rest in our accommodation accompanied by the sounds of the African night.
Overnight in Addo Elephant National Park.
Addo Elephant National Park to Kouga Mountains
Early wake up for coffee and tea. We pack up and leave on a game drive as we depart the reserve through the southern entrance of the park. After leaving the reserve we head back in a westerly direction past Port Elizabeth on the N2 before again turning off, inland on the R62 for Joubertina where we stop for lunch after which we head into the hills again for the remote overnight lodge in the Kouga Mountains. The lodge has a powerful telescope for those who wish to view the dazzling components of our Solar system. We check in on a dinner, bed and breakfast basis.
Kouga Mountains to Uniondale
Early wake up for tea and coffee before we depart in the vehicle to get to the base of the hill we need to climb to walk to view the huge rock overhang or Bak, a spiritual place of the early Bushmen clans of the area and a place where they left a legacy of rock art and a burial site for their dead. It is not too long a walk but needs to be taken slowly with many stops. Lovely fynbos and scenic views accompany us as we climb the slope to see these fading relics of a bygone age. There is a covered burial site that the archaeologists have unearthed here which we are not permitted to open but it is here that they chose to bury their dead. This wilderness area is home to an unrivalled wealth of plant species, wild life, and geographical features.
Returning to the lodge for a well-prepared breakfast we check out and if time permits continue a bit further into the valley to a fully productive 100-year-old Honey bush tea farm. Honey bush is a plant that grows naturally only here on the slopes of the Kougaberg and is recognised by amongst others, the Japanese as a health tea for many hundreds if not thousands of years. Leaving the Kouga Mountains we return to Joubertina and the R62 for Uniondale and the end of the “Bark of the Baboon” safari.
Rate per person sharing: R 28 200.00
Minimum two persons
Rate valid till 31 October 2017
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