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RIDE Adventures Blog

Tackling the Baviaanskloof: An Unforgettable Motorcycle Trip

Posted by Sarah Williams on August 14, 2013
South Africa Motorcycle AdventureDutch for "Valley of the Baboons," the Baviaanskloof Road meanders along the Eastern Cape Province in South Africa. Beginning in Patensie in the east, this mostly unpaved throughway stretches 197 km to Willowmore in the west. Its rough roads and considerable mountain twists create a ride more suitable to the experienced rider, but those who dare travel its length are in for an unforgettable motorcycle adventure.

The Baviaanskloof region is often regarded as a region of some of the most unspoilt African wilderness. The road generally follows the river, leading first through the rugged beauty of the Grootriver Gorge. On both sides, the motorcyclist will be privy to colorful cliff faces and unique rock formations that are characteristic of the region's predominant hard sandstone. Throughout this section, pinnacles and sandstone slabs overhanging the road are decorated with lucent lichens.

The gorge eventually opens into the Poortjies Valley and the last remnants of the Knysna forest. This is an ecologically sensitive system; its vegetation and wildlife unique to this one region. Following this valley is the road's first pass, known as Combrink's Pass. Here, the road is steep and especially narrow where it snakes upwards. For each turn, however, the adventure motorcyclist is happily rewarded with breathtaking drops and the most dramatic of sceneries; where one can truly begin to understand the wonder and hardships of life as a first settler and pioneer.
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At the top of Combrink's Pass is the extensive Bergplaas grassland plateau. This was the location of more recent region zebra re-introductions and parts of these herds are still seen playing throughout the area. The plateau itself offers magnificent panoramic, bird's-eye views. For those seeking a short riding break, this area also serves as an excellent trail head for many great hiking trails into the Berg Plaatz Wilderness area. For more experienced climbers, consider taking the stimulating route up Mac Mountain.

Motorbike Trip South AfricaOne of the greatest things about the Baviaanskloof road is that the rider has unrivaled access to backwoods adventures while being a mere stone's throw away from first world infrastructure. There are plenty of five star bed and breakfasts lining the region's outskirts for those wishing to dine and sleep in comfort. Of course, for those who do wish an around the clock adventure, the Rooihoek wilderness camp site located along the Baviaanksloof offers a unique opportunity for outdoor recreation.

The Rooihoek wilderness camp site is most noted for its natural pool fringed by an extensive stretch of pure white, sandy beaches. Before a cool evening dip in the pool, the adventurer can choose from several excellent hiking paths leading into the Geurna and Berg Plaatz wilderness areas. At sunset, enjoy the warm, red glow resonating off of the towering rock walls.

By the end of the Baviaanskloof road, you will have ridden through mountain passes and alongside river bends, you will have hiked along the unique South African floral and been privy to the chatter of baboons, you will have marveled at the expansive South African landscapes on top of plateaus maintained by zebra and cape buffalo herds.

If you think this adventure is unattainable because of an unwillingness to ship your motorcycle, think again. By Contacting RIDE Adventures and our Partners we provide you with your own motorcycle or whatever such related services you might need. Here, you can choose to be either guided around the best landscapes South Africa has to offer by the riders who know her well, or you can choose your own adventure and style a self-guided tour to your liking. Either way, a trip through South Africa by motorcycle is a trip necessitating the undertaking.

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