Sweeping bends and a lonely gravel road cutting below towering cliffs and canopies of indigenous forest, make the Baviaanskloof one of those places you’ll kick yourself for never getting to sooner. Wedged between the Baviaanskloof Mountains to the north and the Kouga Mountains to the south, access to the kloof was made possible by who else but the pioneer of most Cape’s mountain passes - Thomas Bain. Originally home to San hunter-gatherers, the fertile valley was gradually occupied by farming communities. Today the R332 or T1 from Willowmore to Patensie, although somewhat rough in places, takes you through the heart of the Baviaanskloof, which thankfully hasn’t changed much since Bain and his motley crew cut through here all those years ago. A smorgasbord of succulent Karoo, open grassland, fynbos and Knysna forest-like vegetation awaits. As does the gentle flow of the Baviaanskloof River and the lure of gorge hikes, mountain treks, 4x4 trails and a good spread of varied accommodation options along the entire 200km route. All considered, you’d be hard up to find any excuse not to take a slow amble through this stupendous wilderness.