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Offline Gérrard

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BAVIAANS CONDITIONS - UPDATE 17/9/18 - WET !!!
« on: March 26, 2013, 09:14:12 am »
                                                                 BAVIAANS – THE RIDE THROUGH

Let’s go through East to West. It’s considered the ‘easier’ way. This write-up is meant for first timers, to give them an idea of what to expect, and brought about by questions I’ve been ask.

I write from memory, so if other guys can think of stuff to add, post it and I’ll edit it in.

1. Baviaans lies on the R331 between Patensie and Willowmore. The gravel starts about 22km out of Patensie, at Heron Cliff, a Parks    camp spot.

2. The first 20km, to Poortjies, is gravel highway, but watch for blind corners of which there are enough. Always be aware in Baviaans of traffic from the front, and there’s always traffic. Every oke in a 4 x4 is a wannabe Geniel de Villers that can take you out. Bikes as well. There are one or two cement driffies, which usually have some water on them. Take care of moss on the driffies and follow the car spore.

3. Just before Poortjies you pay and enter the park at a controlled gate. The guards usually can give you an idea of water levels and road conditions. Cost at the moment is R20.00 for your permit, which you have to hand in when you leave the park at the other gate. You pay per person, but groups on bikes go through on one permit.

4. From here you will now enter the passes and klowe, for about 50km, until you leave the park again after Geelhoutbos.. There are basically three mountain crossings, with their klowe in between, and lots of little ups and downs. None of it is overly technical, but the road surface is rough in places. If you bomb it through your biggest risk is  tyre cuts. (besides going over a cliff). None of it is more difficult than Swartberg pass or Gamkaskloof. Just take care and look where you want to go, not where you are going.

5. As a rule of thumb, and if in doubt, all WATER CROSSINGS are done on the RIGHT. If you can see through the crossing, go where you please.

6. The first pass after Poortjies is Combrinks. It’s an easy 8km climb, bit rough in places, with a tight turn here and there.

7. You then get onto a plato, Bergplaas. It’s a nice gravel highway, but watch your speed. There’s high bush on the sides and buck on the plato. I’ve had to dodge a few.

8. Then comes a drop like an Otis lift when you decend Holgat pass into the first kloof. Go easy, its tight in places. Much of the track has been cemented. There’s no real danger, unless, like anywhere else you get sucked in by the scenery and ride off the cliff. This, and the last pass before Geelhoutbos, is basically a wide-ish tweespoor, with high cliffs on the left and sheer drop on the right. There’s no protection on the drop-of side.

9. You now cruise up and down through the kloof. There will be lots of water crossings, none to worry about, depending on the water levels. Just check it out first.

10. In the park there are three camp spots, Doodsklip, Rooihoek and Geelhoutbos. If you want to use it you have to book beforehand.

11. You will recognise Doodsklip, firstly because there is a board that says so, but you’ll also see the back end of the Kouga dam, if it is full.

12. You continue up in the Kloof until you get to Rooihoek when you cross the next mountain range. This is an easy pass.

13. Now you will be down in the kloof again and on the approach to Smithskraal, where in quite a few places the road will be riverbed stones. It’s usually dry, but if the Kloof is very wet, you’ll find water and some mud in places here. I’ve only been through the Kloof once where it was a bit tricky. Keep your eyes open for buck and buffalo here, but chances of seeing them are slight, as they stay deep in the side klowe.

14. Then you get to the much vaunted Smitskraal. When you see it you get a lekker twist in your stomach. The first few meters is cement drift, with a moerse big hole on the left, then ”The Island” which is small stone and riverbed stones, then the real water crossing on bigger round stones. This is the part where you come a cropper if you don’t pay attention. Its not a train smash. Stop walk up and look at it. YOU CROSS ON THE RIGHT.

15. Look at the foto’s. The first two were taken two weeks ago. The kloof was dry and you can see the Island in the background on the first pic, which was taken West to East. The second pic is East to West and the Island is just out of sight to the right. In the dry, as here, the whole crossing is about 70 meters. It was below axle hight and I could see the stones. Pic three was taken last year February and the water was HIGH. Look at the HP2 standing on the island. You then drop into the riverbed crossing. The HP swallowed water that day. It’s the wettest I ever gone through Baviaans and at this crossing, which is always the deepest, the water came just below the tank of my 600 Tenere. When Smitskraal is really full the crossing can be 150m long.

16. After Smitskraal you climb the last pass. Take it easy as it is also tricky with tight blind corners, twee spoor in some places, with a vertical drop on you right.

17. Now you will get a few more deeper water crossings, mostly cemented but some riverbed. Before you get to Geelhoutbos there are too deceptive looking deep cement driffies( all dependent on water levels) Cross to the RIGHT. The first one you get too, if I remember, has a deep hole on the left. After Geelhoutbos, and just before you exit the park, there is another rather deep riverbed crossing. Its wide, about 30m, and you’ll recognise it when you see it.

18. TAKE NOTE, THIS ONE YOU CROSS ON THE LEFT. IT’S ROUGH ON THE RIGHT BUT YOU CAN RIDE IT. (its where I drowned my XT last weekend)

19. Now you will exit the park and from here you will be back on gravel highway. It still twists and turns so take care. Until you get to Sandvlakte the road is always annoyingly sinkplaat.

20. Next you get Rus en Vrede (The Side Entry), Doornkloof Bushcamp (in the middle of Baviaans), where we have the EC Bash, and then Studtis, where there’s a little shop, Babes Winkel

21. After Studtis you go through another beautiful poort and then its open country. You are now in the Bo-Kloof

22. Enjoy the cruise, it is still beautiful. About 60km or so you will leave the Baviaans through Nuwekloof pass, a beauty. Take care, this part of the Kloof gets graded regularly and is often marbly.

23. 35km further you will be in Willowmore.

24. The whole of the gravel part is about 170km long. Budget 5 to 7 hours if you want to take it easy, stop, take foties and enjoy the ride. The section in the park, from Poortjies to Geelhoutbos, is about 50km and 3 to 4 hours riding.

And that is what I can think of for now. I hope you enjoyed the ride. Always take care and live to ride another day. As Dom says, it is on many levels one of the most awesome rides you’ll ever do. I’ve done it countless times and every time was a different experience.

I took a ride through on Friday the 11th october. Nice and slow, the way it should be done if you want to really apprciate the Kloof. here is the TIMING and DISTANVES to main waypoints to give you an idea for planning

1. PE to Patensie - 1h20min
2. Patensie - 0905 - 0km
3. Heroncliff - 0927 - 24.4km
4. Bruintjieskraal - 0939 - 34.8km
5. Kudu Kaya - 0946 - 40.4km
6. Eastern Park Gate - 0953 - 44.6km
7. Top of Combrinks pass/Bergplaas - 1020 - 53km
(loose half hour on Holgat doing a fix)
8. Doodsklip - 1109 - 66km
9. Rooihoek - 1116 - 68.8km
10. Smitskraal - 1124 - 72.1km
11. Geelhoutbos - 12.19 - 95.5
12. Western Gate - 12.45 - 104.5km
13. Doornkloof - 1300 - 118.1km
14. Uitspan - 1406 - 160.7 km
15. Turn-off to Uniondale after Nuwekloof pass - 1430 - 173km

Its about another 20km to Willowmore or 60km to Uniondale.

Read this together with the RR where I give some more travel info http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=136214.10 


I would say that Baviaans is without doubt one of THE best DS rides in SA - many would say simply it IS the best.  Hopefully for some Jups may have a comprehensive take on it but  I would venture that one of the  great things about Bavs is that  it is always in  flux - while it has been worked on in recent years and is an easier ride than it was  in the past it still changes .... often weather dependant and and dependent on maintenance. It is the changes that make it great - changes in road and surface conditions, changes in altitude and scenery, changes in smells and temperature, wildlife et,c etc. Every corner offers the promise  of a new vista and a new surprise. DS heaven   :ricky:  My advice is allow plenty of time  -  take it  slow  and steady and  enjoy it. Speed will be your enemy in virtually  every  instance -  stay within you comfort zone, do not riide it solo and keep a safe following distance.

All guys on GS boxers are strongly advised to fit snorkels to air intakes for water crossings - simple Kreep Krauly tubing that can make a good push fit and be routed up under tank. The dof design of the bikes allows the wake off the front wheel, even at relatively low water and speed levels, to go straight into the air intake ... resulting in an engine hydrolock ... (you do not have to be in deep for water ingress) ...  if you know what to do and are lucky you can pull the  plugs and expell water from the cylinders but very often in trying to start bike the starter ring gear strips ... resulting in a no go situation. Been there done it!  ... you have been warned::)


Went through yesterday, West to East. Road is good, although rough through the park. Most of the driffies are flowing, but water levels are low. Smitskraal is below axle depth and smooth. Any DS bike, with moderate skill level, will get through, although of course on a real DS bike, like my XT600, it was a breeze.  :pot:

Will post a pic tonight.
« Last Edit: September 17, 2018, 11:02:02 am by Gérrard »
...dis nooit te laat om n happy childhood te he nie !

…, I wish I could own them all, and until I can afford to own them all at once, I will own them one at a time... 
 
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Offline MURPHY

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Re: BAVIAANS Conditions - Update
« Reply #1 on: March 26, 2013, 09:22:05 am »
Weather report predicting 100mm of rain for this weekend - lets look again next week !!
 

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Re: BAVIAANS Conditions - Update
« Reply #2 on: March 26, 2013, 09:35:02 am »
Good Morning
I was planning a ride from Plett to P.E through the Baviaans on Friday, but the weather does not look good, rain, rain, rain, from today till next week :(  This, and the guy that won $238 million in USA lottery makes me depress.
Cheers
 

Offline Pietcoke

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Re: BAVIAANS Conditions - Update
« Reply #3 on: March 26, 2013, 10:06:09 am »
Good Morning
I was planning a ride from Plett to P.E through the Baviaans on Friday, but the weather does not look good, rain, rain, rain, from today till next week :(  This, and the guy that won $238 million in USA lottery makes me depress.
Cheers
Damn.............ek sou darem 'n "gedeelte" van al my "skuld" kon cover met dit....... :snorting:

Thanx vir die update Jup :thumleft:
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Offline Barryc

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Re: BAVIAANS Conditions - Update
« Reply #4 on: March 26, 2013, 10:45:36 pm »
Just come through Baviaanskloof, east to west. Conditions good, as Jupiter says drifts flowing, but not deep, just watch for soft sand. smutsdrift tricky. Rather walk through with some help, the cobble bottom not that easy if you are on a mother ship. Lots and lots of fun.

Thanks Gerald for the advice, really had a great time. :biggrin:
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Offline Veldbrand

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Re: BAVIAANS Conditions - Update
« Reply #5 on: March 26, 2013, 10:52:38 pm »
Went through a major storm between Calitzdorp and Oudtshoorn today and it was moving east at a rate.
Probably pissing in Baviaans by now.
This coming weekend could be fun...


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Offline Donaldbr

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Re: Re: Re: BAVIAANS Conditions - Update
« Reply #6 on: March 26, 2013, 11:59:30 pm »
Went through yesterday, West to East. Road is good, although rough through the park. Most of the driffies are flowing, but water levels are low. Smitskraal is below axle depth and smooth. Any DS bike, with moderate skill level, will get through, although of course on a real DS bike, like my XT600, it was a breeze.  :pot:

Will post a pic tonight.

I agree, a real ds bike, as in yamaha, it will be a breeze.

Now how fast do I have to run. Oh, wait. Only have to get away from non-yamaha  operators, ......

 

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Offline Gérrard

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Re: BAVIAANS Conditions - Update
« Reply #7 on: March 27, 2013, 12:06:51 pm »
Just come through Baviaanskloof, east to west. Conditions good, as Jupiter says drifts flowing, but not deep, just watch for soft sand. smutsdrift tricky. Rather walk through with some help, the cobble bottom not that easy if you are on a mother ship. Lots and lots of fun.

Thanks Gerard for the advice, really had a great time. :biggrin:

I see you had a very nice trip. There are just too many roads around here to do them all at once. I've been riding the Klein Karoo and surround for the best part of 25 years and coming home this past weekend from the WC Bash, I did roads I've never been on before.
...dis nooit te laat om n happy childhood te he nie !

…, I wish I could own them all, and until I can afford to own them all at once, I will own them one at a time... 
 

Offline stan1975

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Re: BAVIAANS Conditions - Update
« Reply #8 on: March 27, 2013, 12:31:48 pm »
Did you any of you guys happen to spot Mej Baviaans???
Ride within yourself, think ahead... Plan your escape route & be safe.... Just remember no one else knows what your thinking until you tell them...
 

Offline Gérrard

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Re: BAVIAANS Conditions - Update
« Reply #9 on: March 27, 2013, 05:46:11 pm »
Some pics on the first post. As you can see not much to worry about , but think its going to be a different story next weekend. Lots of heavy rain predicted. Yippee-kayay MOFU !  :imaposer:
...dis nooit te laat om n happy childhood te he nie !

…, I wish I could own them all, and until I can afford to own them all at once, I will own them one at a time... 
 

Offline jaybiker

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Re: BAVIAANS Conditions - Update
« Reply #10 on: March 28, 2013, 07:38:00 pm »
Not that I doubt for one second you other okes' reports, but there's nothing like a personal inspection. So....since I had virtually no saddle time last weekend, I decided this morning to take a midweek ride and see for myself.
Domestic duties meant that I couldn't leave until mid morning, but still I made it way past Smitskraal, almost to Geelhoutbos before time constraints dictated a U turn and return to PE.
At the check in, I came behind two non - dogs on 1200's ('tengalengers, ag shame!) and I stayed with them for a while, but I wanted to get along as far as possible so when thay stopped to gawp at the view, I pressed on. Waved to three or four indistinct silhouettes barrelling along in a cloud of dust in the opposite direction.
Anyway sure enough the road is stony and the water is wet. No.....only my feet! In two words, lek ker, lets hope it stays that way until the Bash.
 

Offline grim101

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Re: Re: BAVIAANS Conditions - Update
« Reply #11 on: April 04, 2013, 03:22:46 pm »
Going through the baviaans next weekend. Is the conditions still the same?
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Offline THROTTLE JOCKEY

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Re: BAVIAANS Conditions - Update
« Reply #12 on: April 04, 2013, 03:57:54 pm »
 :sip:
Ride it like you stole it!

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Offline Gérrard

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Re: Re: BAVIAANS Conditions - Update
« Reply #13 on: April 04, 2013, 04:02:04 pm »
Going through the baviaans next weekend. Is the conditions still the same?

When is next weekend ? I'm going through on Monday, 8 April, and expect it to be a bit wetter after the past weekend's rain.

Otherwise I think it is still fine.
...dis nooit te laat om n happy childhood te he nie !

…, I wish I could own them all, and until I can afford to own them all at once, I will own them one at a time... 
 

Offline grim101

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Re: Re: BAVIAANS Conditions - Update
« Reply #14 on: April 04, 2013, 04:39:08 pm »
Going through on Saterday the 13th April. Will wait for you to go this weekend and then hear how it was;D
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Offline ktmman

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Re: BAVIAANS Conditions - Update
« Reply #15 on: April 05, 2013, 03:02:16 pm »
Maybe the rain will make it a bit more exiting  :pot:
 

Offline Gérrard

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Re: BAVIAANS Conditions - Update
« Reply #16 on: April 05, 2013, 04:04:34 pm »
Maybe the rain will make it a bit more exiting  :pot:
:biggrin:
I'm hoping so. Was totally boring last Monday
...dis nooit te laat om n happy childhood te he nie !

…, I wish I could own them all, and until I can afford to own them all at once, I will own them one at a time... 
 

Offline >>Thump°C

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Re: BAVIAANS Conditions - Update
« Reply #17 on: April 05, 2013, 09:30:15 pm »
baviaans is always ok
http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=72037.0
although sometimes you may need an axe
« Last Edit: April 05, 2013, 09:30:49 pm by >>Thump°C »
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Re: BAVIAANS Conditions - Update
« Reply #18 on: April 06, 2013, 04:51:07 am »
Went through on the 3rd April, from Patensie side to doodsklip .... To be greeted by this ...


Very easy going .... I expected more water after 3 days of rain
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Offline Chuck U Farley

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Re: BAVIAANS Conditions - Update
« Reply #19 on: April 06, 2013, 07:35:38 am »
Went through on the 3rd April, from Patensie side to doodsklip .... To be greeted by this ...


Very easy going .... I expected more water after 3 days of rain

Easy going 'cos you were on the best bike in the world!
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