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“A brilliant unique experience”
Review of Baviaans Lodge

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Baviaans Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“A brilliant unique experience”
Reviewed 15 April 2014

Four of us went to Baviaans Lodge run by Rob Le Roux, and felt it was a unique holiday experience in the unspoiled outback - an ecological adventure not to be missed. We went at the beginning of March, and the weather was great.

The lodge is an easy drive from Port Elizabeth, though the last hour and a half or two hours is on a gravel road - bumpy in places. But we took it slowly, so we could enjoy the scenery, and felt quite comfortable about the journey. We drove an ordinary sedan car – and most cars with reasonable clearance would be fine.

We had some wonderful walks in unspoiled countryside, and Rob took us to visit an outstanding overhang with paintings done by the original peoples of Southern Africa, the Khoi-San. He also introduced us to fantastic pools in the river, perfect for swimming or quiet contemplation.

To reach the world heritage site of Baviaanskloof you need a 4x4. Rob drove us there – and it was absolutely breathtaking driving through the Cape fold mountains - it took about three and a half hours - to the world heritage site which is also spectacular. It was an amazing day out.

The accommodation was in very adequate individual cottages, with hot and cold water, but no electricity. Alternatively there is a camping ground. Rob provides good food and an encyclopaedic knowledge of birds, trees, as well as the flora and fauna of the area. If you want to really get away from it all (no mobile phone reception) then this is the place to choose!

  • Stayed March 2014, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
4 Thank Isky G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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65 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (8)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Port Elizabeth, South Africa
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 13 March 2014

Baviaans Lodge is a pristine piece of paradise, nestling in a quite secluded valley of the Doornboom River in the Kouga Mountain range. The indigenous trees and shrubs, bird life that abounds, smaller to larger mammals and the rare red finned minnow that are so friendly in the stream -- they come and nibble at your hands, legs, arms as you stand, or swim --welcome you into their serene embrace. The stars are merely an arms reach away and so clear it is startling. The silence, day or night, can be heard (yes, go there and you will see what I mean), and it soothes the soul disturbed by urban noise. Different walks, or just chilling at your chalet, or campsite. Rob is an unobtrusive but efficient and pleasant host who goes beyond the extra mile. The accommodation is rustic in style, but do not let this fool you : it is comfortable, warm and more than sufficient. The old original farmhouse dating back into the mid to late 1800's we were priviledged to stay in has been restored and a bit upgraded, but retains its old, comfortable feel. We, my family and I (wife and two adult children who accompanied us) absolutely love it there. Baviaans Lodge and the Doornboom River valley nestle daily in my memories. I cannot wait for my next opportunity to get out there.

  • Stayed April 2013, travelled with family
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Helpful?
Thank LeeWardAble
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Rob418, Manager at Baviaans Lodge, responded to this review, 20 March 2014
Baviaans Lodge is food for your soul . A peaceful back to nature experience that recharges you for whatever lays ahead. At Baviaans Lodge, we give you " travel back in time" holiday .Here are no cell phone signals, no eskom power grid, just a wonderful natural break from hectic city life. if you enjoy nature, come and find this relaxing, wilderness retreat that has enchanted so many of our guests.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 January 2014

We enjoyed our time a Baviaans Lodge so much we returned 2 weeks later to explore other parts of the impressive landscape.
My wife, our 6 month old daughter and I were shown wonderful swimming pools and very special bushman caves by Rob and his sons.
The food was excellent and we managed to totally unwind for the first time in ages. Having just emigrated from England we were longing for some real adventure and we sure did find it!

I highly recommend spending time exploring the various valleys and the rich natural beauty and cultural history. Treasure has been found nearby and neighbouring farms grow the delicious Honeybush tea.

We travelled to the lodge via Kareedow then via the extremely beautiful 4x4 route from the Baviaans side. We saw plants on the mountain ridges I had never come across before and also many wild buck roaming the land.

Im planning my next trip asap!

Room Tip: All rooms are of a high standard and have the things one requires in a lodge.
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  • Stayed January 2014, travelled with family
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Helpful?
Thank russellegan8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
johannesburg, south africa
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviewed 19 January 2014

Having accessed the Baviaanskloof from the R332, i can highly recommend the 4x4 trail over the Kouga mountains. Ensure you get an early start as it'll take longer than you anticipate. The Kouga mountain trip is certainly one of the highlights of this unspoilt wilderness. As your 4x4 climbs the jeep-track up these ancient mountains, you will find yourself stopping the vehicle to appreciate the views, which miraculously improve after every bend.

At the lodge, Rob and his “salt of the earth” family will immediately make you feel at home. Rob's storytelling over an evening fire will mesmerise. Get ready to be transported back to the days of simple pleasures such as nature walks, swimming in rock pools and eating home-made, farm-style cuisine. Very few places allow one to truly relax and recharge your soul. Baviaanskloof is certainly one of them.

  • Stayed December 2013, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank lovesa55
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Port Elizabeth
Level Contributor
24 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 January 2014

Turning off the R62 and traveling through progressively remote areas with simply stunning views in all directions, over high ground with broad vistas, through forgotten valleys with amber coloured rivers in which to swim. Hill sides clothed in a blanket of indigenous fynbos and at the end of the road one comes across a secluded valley, home to a small seductive lodge owner built and owner run.

Leave the electronics behind, there are no plug points or mobile phone reception,

Rob has found away of living in this out of the way destination while at the same time opening it up to those who are prepared to take that road less travelled. It is here in such hidden places that one will discover a true gem of simple hospitality, of good whole some food and a number of sensitive eco friendly activities that will leave you more in touch, more aware of who we are in this wonderful world of our. An unforgettable experience and a memory of a life time.

Room Tip: All of the rock cottages are superb.
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  • Stayed November 2013, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank wildguide
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Knysna, South Africa
1 review
Reviewed 8 January 2014

Take heed - don't do what we did (as directed by Google maps, probably gpses too)...coming from the west (Plett side), we turned off the N2 towards Kareedouw, then left along the R62 towards Joubertina. Google maps then directed us to turn right about 30km later, towards Upton on a gravel road. You will NOT get to the Lodge! You need to proceed east along the R62, through Kareedouw and turn off to the left just outside it, after a downhill section. Initially on the gravel road, keep left as you leave the establishment near the turn-off. (From Kareedouw, it took us about 1hr 45mins to the lodge going at a comfortable, safe pace - not 3hrs as put in one of the recent reviews.)

We were grateful to be received by Rob and well fed after we arrived at 9 45pm! During hot days, the kloof is a wonderful place to retreat to - its breeze is cooled by the water and it's well shaded. It's fun to explore, a couple of lekker pools to swim in - it even has a small 'beach' with perfect sand, where you can gaze up at a rock painting...a good place to read, relax, chill... The kloof has a far greater density of outeniqua yellowwoods than I've seen elsewhere, including a couple of rather old ones.

After returning, I enjoyed lazing in the pool at the lodge..having tea (a beer for me).

Our timing coincided with the moon rising well after we were asleep - so the night sky was really awesome, spectacular! (Pity we didn't get to view it through Rob's 'scope, though.)

Being critical...meal time arrangements/management could be better (although the quality was good and Rob's flair appreciated!) And there's some stuff/by-products in the locality of the lodge that could be re/moved.

We have a 2x4 that dealt comfortably with the gravel road - which, for me, is an important part in the sequence of feeling that separation from the 'rest of the world', part of the reason to come to the Lodge. But...if it rains more than lightly (which isn't often) and the road becomes slippery, I think that could be a problem for non-2x4 / 4x4's.

In all, I'm very glad we went - I think it's very good value. I returned feeling refreshed and energised.

  • Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank David C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Steenwijk, The Netherlands
1 review
Reviewed 8 January 2014

The combination of a beautiful countryside and great hospitality made our stay (2 nights) at the Baviaans Lodge a great experience. Be prepared (4x4 car, gravel roads, no electricity, no mobile connection) and you will love it. Coming from the Netherlands we traveled the Garden Route and this lodge was the one I always will remember. Not in the least because Rob, the owner, took us for a hike to a cave with old San-paintings, a sunset tour to the top and made our first South-African Braai! We also liked the contact with other (SA)guests to learn more about the SA way of live - mountain cabin atmosphere.

  • Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Location
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Astrid F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Baviaans Lodge

Property: Baviaans Lodge
Address: Doornboom Farm | Baviaanskloof, Wilderness Area,Eastern Cape,, Baviaanskloof Nature Reserve 6400, South Africa
Region: South Africa > Eastern Cape > Baviaanskloof Nature Reserve
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 17 Speciality Lodging in Baviaanskloof Nature Reserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Number of rooms: 9
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Stunning Wilderness Guest Lodge offering Baviaanskloof Accommodation, bordering the Baviaanskloof, superb cuisine and accommodation, great outdoor activities, adventure and relaxation. Birding, Dendrological, Botanical and Geological opportunities. A dedicated Celestron Telescope Observatory. Hikes and walks, River rafting, 4x4 trails and outings, Mountain biking, Kloofing, Game tracking, Bushman caves and San art cultural experiences, Bush Camping and Outdoor Boma. Baviaans Lodge will make every moment of your stay unique and special. We are here to pamper our guests. Experience this home from home hospitality on every occasion you visit.Baviaans Lodge, Baviaanskloof, Wildernss Area, Eastern Cape, South Africa, a must visit destination. ... more   less 
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