HISTORIC OX WAGON ROUTE14 – 19 Nov 2021 / 6 – 11 Feb 2022 / 13 – 18 Feb 2022
We were fortunate to stay in the Small Karoo for 18 years, prior to that it was our holiday destination since childhood”
There is no two track or gravel road we did not explore with ATV, 4×4 and two wheels.
During these years, we were very involved with Legends of the Small Karoo and Outeniqua Mountains like Katot Meyer. This was also the foundation for the then S.C.R.O F (Southern Cape Route Owners Foundation) the birth place of 4×4 routes.
“Nowhere else in Southern Africa is there such a concentration of mountain passes and a wealth of history and variety of fauna and flora as can be found in the Southern Cape”
5 Nights 6 Days
- Boutique accommodation
- Gourmet cuisine
- Only 5 couples
- Local legends
- 16 Mountain passes
- Steytlerville Follies
- Fully guided
Many years did pass and many of these passes were driven over the years. It is my mission to “relaunch” this very rich history, to focus on the best this area can offer and share the local knowledge with all our clients. I will link up with Legend and friend Katot Meyer, and many others to offer you this exciting family product.
However, do not be misled by the boutique accommodation and gourmet food, the 4×4 driving will be exciting, but this is not a challenge as on all our Safaris we will use the vehicles to get to the remote places.
Following in the tracks of the great Explorer, naturalist and adventure traveler William John Burchell (23 July 1781 – 23 March 1863) and other Shrjiver (1689), Thunberg (1772), Sparman (1775), Swellengrebel (1776), Van Plettenberg (1778), Patterson (1779) Miller and Holtzhousen (1782), Gordon (1786) and Van Reenen (1790) we will be crossing the Outeniqua Mountains were thousands of Ox Wagons used this “N1” as transport from North to East from 1689 to 1869.
“Had the Ox Wagon Trail not been there, supplies wouldn’t have made their way too many Boer Soldiers during the Boer War and Witbltz could not have been smuggled as effectively as it was!”
However our focus will not only be on these historic tracks, there are many myths, stories and history to be shared in this area:
The Ghosts of Grootkloof – Laborers on the farm refused to walk or ride through Grootkloof as they were convinced that there were ghosts at a certain place in the canyon.
The Legend of Bloubaard Swanepoel – The last person to be publicly hanged in South Africa, he was convicted on many accounts of brutal murder (some 40 plus!) His grave is behind a large gum tree on the Attaquas Trail.
De Quade Martha – The cold night wind in the “Kloof” refers to as the “De quade Marta”. In no way did she stand back from the Legend Bloubaard and many a slave was tortured by her as a result of her bad temper. However, she was never convicted as a slave was not permitted to testify against it his or her master.
Piet Mathyse, a man with humor – Almost a decade after Blou Baard, his killings were brutal and it took a manhunt of almost 15 years to hunt him down which in the end resulted in the death of the late Captain Van Heerden. Mathuse was hanged in 1947.
Uniondale – Made famous by the “Lady Hitch-Hiker” Maria Roux. She was killed in a tragic car accident on 12 April 1968.
We end this epic safari (the word safari in Swahili means a journey) driving a loop via the Baviaanskloof Wilderness area to the secluded town of Steytlerville in the heart of Noorsland.
Our last night an oasis of style and authentic Karoo cuisine at the most famous Karoo Theatrical Hotel. As guests, we are treated to a delectable three-course candlelit “boerekos” dinner together with the sleek and glitzy show “The Steytlerville Follies”.
Our lungs being cleared by the purest Karoo air, we end our safari with a scrumptious buffet breakfast.
On this Heritage Safari, we can only accommodate 5 couples. (The hotels only have 5 double rooms), so our convoy will be small and very intimate.
All the accommodation during the Safari will be en-suite and the food authentic. During the planning of this Safari, we made a very great effort to stay away from the normal tourist traps and rather use the less known, but more authentic establishments.
Local experts like Katot will be joining our tour to share the wealth of their knowledge and to give a better and more in-depth understanding of how the mountains were “tamed” by the Ox Wagons.
The routes are set up for the normal family 4×4 with low range, and please this is not a challenge, however, some demanding 4×4 driving will be required and it is of great importance to know the capabilities of your vehicle prior to the tour.
For the duration of the safari, we will supply all vehicles with two-way radio communication and our guide vehicle will be well equipped with all recovery gear.
List of Passes
- Erjiesvlei Se Berg
- Gourtitz Pass
- Touw RiverHoogenkraal
A short overview of our program:
DAY 1 – The Safari will start in the town of Heidelberg at 10h00, from where we depart via our first Ox Wagon Route – The Plattekloof Pass with our final destination the Port Capital of South Africa – Calitzdorp. With 7 wine cellars on hand, we will most definitely do some tasting with a sundowner. (Also chance to stock for the rest of the Safari). Our host this evening is Andrew Rogers’s owner of the famous Calitzdorp Country House 4 STAR Destination – Accommodation and dinner included.
DAY 2 – We head to the Coast via Rooiberg Pass and meet up with our host for a historic tour via the Attaquaskloof Pass, this was truly the N1 for Ox Wagons to the Coast and in 1842 the official toll for wagons passing via Attaquas kloof was 4283 that year alone! The pass has been declared a national monument and offers spectacular scenery, pristine fynbos, natural rock pools, relics of block houses, old hotels and remains of Ox wagons alongside the road. The history of Terror of the Karoo – Bloubaard Swanepoel also played off in this area. Louvain Guest farm is our basis for the next two nights. Accommodation and breakfast included.
DAY 3 – Time to meet the legend of Burchell – Katot Meyer, for the rest of the day we will explore the Duiwels Piek and Burchell routes on his farm and reserve Pietersrivier, elaborating on how Burchell drove his custom made ox wagon over the mountains. Katot is a master historian on the Ox Wagon History and real bush chef of note and we are confident that we will be treated to braai “wors” and “askoek” the Katot way! – Breakfast, accommodation and dinner included.
DAY 4 – Early start with the epic Baviaans Kloof on our menu, exiting this Wilderness Area at Patensie – our accommodation is on the banks of the Gamtoos river. – Dinner, breakfast and accommodation included.
DAY 5 – Leisure start with us Crossing the Baviaans Mountains via some very scenic backroads, entering the Great Karoo and Noorsveld (Euphorbias, the thorny plant knows as Noors gave this area the name of Noorsveld) our destination Steytlerville. In time for sundowners at the Karroo Theatrical Hotel some 15 km out of town. Closing down this Epic Safari with Ritz and style and “The Steytlerville follies”. Accommodation, dinner and Steytlerville follies included.
DAY 6 – We close this epic Safari exploring the way the old pioneers travelled with a buffet breakfast and a short tour of Steytlerville.