The Baviaanskloof

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Thursday, 17th May 2018

The Baviaanskloof is a narrow valley, just under 200 kilometers in length, bounded by two mountain ranges: the Baviaanskloof Mountains on the north and the Kouga mountains on the southern side. 

The valley lies at a lower altitude than the Karoo in the north. The rainfall of the Karoo thus filters through the mountains to the Baviaanskloof river. For this reason the valley is surprisingly lush and supports a wider variety of plant species than would have been otherwise expected. 

There are three biomes with five veld types in the valley and in some instances the transition between the biomes is dramatic. 

On the northern slopes are the Spekboomveld and Valley Bushveld. On the southern slopes flourishes the Cape Fynbos. In the long side valleys is concentrated the Knysna Forest vegetation. On the mountain plateaus are the Rhinoceros Veldt and Grassland. 

The widespread succulent Karoo bush in the valley is probably why the Baviaanskloof is classified as a part of the Little Karoo. 

Because of this spectacular diversity of plant species, an impressive variety of birds can be found in the valley.

While there may be daily variations in temperature, in general summer is sunny and warm with maximum and minimum temperatures range between 41° and 15° Celsius. 

The easterly sea wind ensures wonderful cool evenings. During winter the maximum and minimum temperatures are 28° to 0° Centigrade. The climate remains sunny and is complemented with warm winds from the hinterland.