The Botterkloof Camino was established as a celebration of the success of the Tankwa Camino. It is a six-day gravel road hike that will take you over three scenic passes on the R364 between the farm Soetwater and Clanwilliam.
The region is well known for its colourful, spectacular flower extravaganza during the flower season, its sandstone (arenite) mountains and its history. It is also the final resting place of one of South Africa's leading figures in literature, Dr C. Louis Leipoldt. Here, you will also find "The Englishman's Grave", the last resting place of Lt. Graham Vinicombe Winchester Clowes, a casualty of the Boer War.
The solitude and wild grandeur of the Cederberg mountains offer an unparalleled opportunity for recreation.
Some of the points of interest en route include:
Pakhuis Pass: The Pakhuis Pass literally means "warehouse pass’, but no one really knows the true origin of its name. There are three main suggestions - the first is that the piles of rocks that are a feature of the mountain slopes resemble the piles of goods stacked in a warehouse. A second explanation holds that the stacked rocks resemble the dry-packed stone walls of many Karoo buildings, and 'kliphuis' or 'pakhuis' is the common local term used to describe such buildings. Finally, there is an interpretation that states that Pakhuis is a corruption of Khoekhoe, meaning daisies rocky place. By hiking the Botterkloof Enduro and sleeping over in the overnight camps, you can enjoy an escape from the turmoil of the city, the silence, the bright stars at night and the fauna and flora. You will be rejuvenated.
Pakhuis: On the ‘Agterpakhuis’ side is one of the oldest farms in the region, dating from 1744, and again the name is controversial. Some hold that it refers to the stacks of rocks and boulders in the area.
“The Englishman’s Grave”: The lonely tomb sits beneath the protective shade of a guarding tree. Lt. Graham Vinicombe Winchester Clowes was killed in a skirmish with Boer commandos on 30 January 1901 and buried here. He and his men had arrived in South Africa in just enough time to join in die Battle of Magersfontein. Clowes survived the horrors of Magersfontein but was then killed a year later in the small-scale actions in which the Boer commandos were particularly skilled. Devastated by the death, his mother travelled from Hertfordshire to have the gravestone constructed and placed. For many years after Clowes' death, his mother would make the five weeks journey by sea to the Cape to make the pilgrimage to her son’s grave on the anniversary of his death.
Traveller's Rest is situated in ruggedly beautiful landscapes and fascinating rock formations in an area with a long and rich history. The name, Traveller’s Rest, emanated from passing travellers who used to camp out here by the river to water their horses and oxen, as well as to rest, before tackling the very steep Pakhuis Pass to the west, or the dry Karoo to the north-east. This was long before the self-catering cottages and restaurants were built. Discover a place where you can truly enjoy the wide-open spaces, the fascinating and surprisingly varied plant and animal life, the rich legacy of the San, the inspiring night skies, and so much more.
Leipoldt's Grave: C. Louis Leipoldt was a South African poet who wrote in Afrikaans and was one of the leading figures in the poetry of the Second Afrikaans Movement. Apart from poetry, Leipoldt wrote novels, plays, stories, children’s books, and cookbooks and is regarded as one of the greatest Afrikaner poets. D.J. Opperman described Leipoldt as “our most versatile artist”. Leipoldt’s career was varied. For a period, he was a school doctor in London before becoming the Medical Inspector of Schools in the Transvaal and Cape Province. Leipoldt’s grave is situated at the base of a cave-like opening. The gate seems old-fashioned, like something one would find on a farm. There are faint drawings on the sandstone that were made by Bushmen many years before Leipoldt’s death.
Kleinkliphuis: Set in the northern Cederberg Mountains, 11 km from Clanwilliam. The beauty of this wildlife reserve with fynbos and small wild animals must be explored to be appreciated. Die Kliphuis is one of the Enduro’s overnight sites before the hikers leave for Clanwilliam, their final destination.
Clanwilliam is one of the oldest towns in the country. Clanwilliam’s beginning goes back to 1660 when a team of Dutch explorers who were sent out by Jan van Riebeeck first reached the Olifants River. When they entered the valley, they saw a large number of elephants on the river bank. In 1732 the first farm in the Olifants River valley was awarded to Pieter van Zyl. The town was originally known as Jan Disselsvlei, after Jan Dissel, a local pioneer and a botanist who lived in the Rhenosterbosch at Piquetbergen. Caledon’s successor, Sir John Cradock, renamed the area on 1 January 1814 after his father-in-law, the Earl of Clanwilliam.
PLEASE NOTE REGISTRATION IS ONLY OFFICIAL ONCE DEPOSIT HAS BEEN RECEIVED AND IS MADE ON A FIRST-PAID, FIRST-SERVED BASIS!
In order to secure your place, a 50% deposit needs to be paid with registration. (Payment will be required within two weeks at this point). The remaining amount will be collected 3 months ahead of the event.
If you have registered during the previous year, your registration fee will be adjusted according to the calculated tariff for your specific trail.
Payment details (including an information pack with all the information you need about the Botterkloof Camino) will be made available upon registration.
Confirmed dates for 2024
09 - 14 August
R 5800 pp
PLEASE NOTE THE FOLLOWING:
No transport before, during or after the event is included in the fee.
Transfers from Cape Town Airport to Calvinia and from Clanwilliam to Calvinia can be arranged upon request -
the price will be dependent on demand.
Transport fees are subject to change annually.
Your Guest House stays are not included in the Fees.
**If you have registered during the previous year, your registration fee, t-shirt and tent-pegs fees will be adjusted according to the calculated tariff for your specific trail.**
Please contact us for our most recent rates
*If hiker prefers to move from one hike to another, a request must be made within two months before the event
registered for. Hikers will only get one chance to move from one hike to another. No refunds will be made after the hiker cancels for a second time.
Our cancellation policy is as listed below (R50 admin fee will apply to ALL refunds):
Cancellation made 3+ months ahead of event - 50% Refund
Cancellation made within 2 months of event - 25% Refund
Cancellation made within less than 2 months of event - 0% Refund
Please contact us for our most recent rates.
Fees include the following:
Meet-and-greet dinner on the evening before the event.
Transport of your belongings along the route
Support vehicles and a team that travels with hikers
Coffee/tea/milk/sugar in the early morning and after dinner
Snacks upon arrival at base camp each day (Boere high tea)
Dinner daily of potjiekos or braai, pot bread with kaiings/dripping (if available), syrup & homemade jams
Hot water will be available on arrival at each overnight camp for washing purposes. You collect your own water out of the heating pots but are limited to 5 litres per day. No showers allowed.
Daily drinking water allowance
All above is subject to change due to COVID 19 regulations.