Year in the Wild Blog

Deep into the Baviaanskloof Nature Reserve

I spent the whole day today exploring the Baviaanskloof Nature Reserve. It’s a very rugged area, and the road either follows the river bed, traversing the water several times, or it ascends the mountains over several passes. The most beautiful is Grasnek Pass, with great views over the valley. A huge thunderstorm moved just west of the reserve, but no rain fell here! In the morning it was really hot, and I took a few swims in the river. I found a very photogenic water lily…to go with the rest of this photogenic landscape.

Tonight I am camping at a spot on the river called Rooihoek…it’s very basic, but perfect. There are a few other campers here too. Baboons are scaling the cliffs above us. I haven’t seen any of the buffalo yet, but hopefully tomorrow.

In the water!

Think this is a Baviaans ceder tree...related to the Cederberg one I think!?

Along the river banks are big acacia woodlands...beautiful

Spekboom flowers

The mountains of the Baviaans

This one is for my friend Murray and his bees in Cape Town

Strange clouds...wish it would rain! It's very hot.

Near my campsite at Rooihoek

For more, go to and Thanks again to my sponsors for making it all possible. CapeNature, South African National Parks, Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife, Eastern Cape Parks, iSimangaliso Wetland ParkFord, Total, Evosat, Conqueror TrailersVodacom, Digicape, Lacie, Frontrunner, Safari Centre Cape TownK-Way, EeziAwnNational Luna, Nokia , GarminGoodyear, Global Fleet Sales, HetznerClearstream Consulting and Escape Gear.


  • I hope you will bring us a post with research on the spekboom Portulacaria afra, your pretty little pink flowers. Carbon credits etc.

  • I love Baviaans, especially Rooihoek – have been there numerous times, but the baboons were relentless last time I was there. They ripped two big holes to get into the tent and moved big rocks to get under the tarp etc – it was crazy. How is it now with them?

  • Hi Scott

    Amazing project, Great photos!

    We met you during your stay at Rooihoek in the Baviaans. Spotted some eland at Smitskraal on Thursday (19/01/2012) and the temperature rose to a blistering 42.6 degrees the same day. A trip to the Baviaans is not complete without a stay at Rooihoek. Lots to do – canoeing to Doodsklip further downstream, hiking to Smitskraal or up some of the old jeep tracks, mountain biking or star gazing at night. There’s always water, it’s very basic and the baboons (as usual) were up to their old tricks.

    All the best for the rest of your “once in a lifetime” project!

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