Tierkloof Bush Camp Calitzdorp
Western Cape

Accommodation South Africa

The 9 428 ha Gamkaberg Nature Reserve comprises virtually the entire Gamka mountain range and is situated 33 km south-west of Oudtshoorn and 32 km south-east of Calitzdorp. The name Gamka is derived from the Khoekhoen ("Hottentot") word gami, meaning lion. The Gamkaberg Nature Reserve was established in the Gamka mountains between Oudtshoorn and Calitzdorp (4 hours from Cape Town) to conserve a local population of endangered Cape mountain zebra and their natural habitat. Gamka Mountain is an isolated mountain range in the Little Karoo, lying between the Swartberg and Outeniqua mountains.

The terrain is rugged, with mountainous plateaux incised by deep ravines. The main rock formations consist of Table Mountain quartsites and shales, and Bokkeveld sandstone and shales The rugged terrain, with its mountainous plateaux incised by deep ravines, covered in mountain fynbos, arid fynbos, succulent plants and riverine vegetation, can be explored on foot, on the Zebra Crossing 4x4 trail or on a mountain bike. The area is host to leopard and honey badger, eland, red hartebeest, grysbok, grey rhebuck, klipspringer, duiker, steenbok, baboon and caracal, as well as a wide variety of birds, reptiles and insects.

The reserve has four main vegetation types, namely mountain fynbos, arid fynbos, succulent karoo and riverine vegetation. Many interesting plants occur, including the famous golden mimetes. A member of the protea family, this species was discovered in 1988. The safari-styled Tierkloof Bushcamp is the ideal base from which visitors can explore the rugged area, with its mountainous plateaux and deep ravines. The reserve is accessible on foot along the Tierkloof trail, and by 4x4 on the Zebra Crossing 4x4 trail.

Unit Description: Nowhere else will your sense of tranquility be greater than after a few days' stay at the Tierkloof Bushcamp, set at the foothills of the mountain amongst shady trees. The complex is wheelchair-friendly. The Tierkloof bush camp provides rustic accommodation with a fridge, stove, lamps, beds and ablution and braai facilities. A welcoming lapa, with its own table, chairs and braai area, holds the possibility of many late-night stories being told under Africa's starry skies. The facilities are constructed of thatch, wood and reed. The spacious and comfortable main hut has one double bed and two singles. Within this hut is the kitchen, with utensils, gas fridge and stove, and gas water heater at the sink. There is a food preparation table and a dining table. A further four beds in two semi-permanent tents are pitched under their own reed roofs a short distance from the main hut. The reed and thatch ablution facilities lie along a pathway lit by a hurricane lamp. Lights are solar powered, and are perfectly situated along the footpaths around the camp.
A nearby cement dam with a sheltered deck will refresh visitors after a day's hike. A romantic bench under a shady tree is the perfect place from which to watch the sun set over the Little Karoo. Tents can be pitched at Oukraal, which also has a primitive stone shelter, veld toilet and hearth. Firewood is for sale on the reserve. It is available to hikers and 4x4-enthusiasts. Six mattresses are provided. Mountain climbing, hiking, mountain biking (on certain routes), bird watching and photography may be enjoyed from the overnight sites.
How to get there: From Cape Town to the reserve is about 429 km, but from Calitzdorp it is only 32 km. Follow the signs from Andries Pretorius Road. You can also get there from Oudtshoorn (33 km). Follow the signs a few kilometres outside of town on the R62, or from the coast, take the Hartenbos turn-off near Mossel Bay and the Robison Pass to R62 outside Oudtshoorn.
Activities Available: First thing first before setting out on the 4x4 Zebra Crossing Trail: you will need to bring your own vehicle. A guide can be arranged to accompany you, to allow you the opportunity to see a few of nature's wonders that might otherwise have slipped passed you. Your accommodation will be the Tierkloof bush camp or the Oukraal stone shelter, or both. This is a great overnighter in the Klein Karoo, and a must for nature-lovers. The route covers a large and rugged section of the reserve, taking you to and from spectacular viewpoints more than 1000m above the vast landscapes of the Little Karoo. The steepest sections have been strip-cemented. The trail is made up of a network of tracks that traverse the mountain for 60km, but it is also possible to take much shorter drives. The track, like the mountain, is a mixture of Table Mountain quartzite and shales and Bokkeveld sandstones, climbing from 300m to more than 1000m above sea level.

On a flat on top of Gamka, 12km from the bush camp, is Oukraal, a stone shelter in the mountain fynbos. It is reached through the top end of the Tierkloof, an easy to moderate six to eight hour hike that winds against the river course. This is an overnight trail, a circular route limited to 12 people. The return leg is shorter. A local guide is available at a nominal fee to escort visitors to see the rock art on the reserve. This can be done on foot or by 4x4. If visitors have their own 4x4, the guide can accompany them on the 4x4 route, and possibly even help them to locate a herd of zebra or other game. Prior booking of the guide is essential. Please enquire from the Reservations Office.

Health and Climate: The reserve lies between the winter and summer rainfall regions, and experiences gentle soaking rain in winter and thundershowers in summer. The annual rainfall averages 500 mm at the summits and 300 mm on the lower slopes of the mountain. Although summers can be very hot, the moderate climate allows for visiting throughout the year (malaria-free area). The reserve is open daily from sunrise to sunset. Day visitors have access to the information centre, which is definitely worth a visit, as well as short hikes and picnic and braai facilities. Ablution facilities and shaded parking are provided at the information centre.

Tierkloof Bush Camp Calitzdorp, Western Cape, South Africa Tierkloof Bush Camp Calitzdorp, Western Cape, South Africa Tierkloof Bush Camp Calitzdorp, Western Cape, South Africa

Rates per room per night, specials, seasons, meals, children policy: on request

Tierkloof Bushcamp
Oukraal Campsite
Zebra crossing 4*4 per vehicle

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