The Leopard Trail – Baviaanskloof

 

The Leopard Trail is understandably becoming one of the most popular trails in the country. ItThe route provides one of the rare opportunity to walk in the Biviaankloof Wilderness Reserve, spending 3 nights in the rustic comfort, in the magnificent setting of the majestic kloofs. The basic trail is a self-catered slackpacking option, where we have added the value a fully catered and guided package. All guides are fully accredited hiking adventure guides, you need only bring yourself, your sleeping bag and overnight belongings, we do the rest. It is a four day / three night trail with the option of an additional day hike and night at the base camp. It is a strenuous trail with the longest day being 22km, so a good level of fitness is required.

Trail Details

Trail location

The Leopard Trail is in the Baviaankloof Wilderness Reserve in the Eastern Cape of South Africa. It is a recognised World Heritage Site.

S33 34'37.92 / E 23 42'47.52

Nearest town

Willowmore – Eastern Cape, South Africa

Transport options

Far from main transport hubs. Self-drive or group shuttle by arrangement

Trip Duration / Options

4 days / 3 night – fully catered and guided

additional day hike and night by arrangement

 

Start / Finish

Start and Finish: Baviaanskloof Wilderness Reserve Base Camp
S33 34'37.92 / E 23 42'47.52

Daily Time / Distances

Day 1: 9.75 km  Day 2: 18 km Day 3: 22 km Day 4: 13 km

Day 1: 5 hrs Day 2: 5 to 8 hrs  Day 3: 9 hrs Day 4: 3 to 5 hrs

 

Trail Grading

Moderate with some steep sections and a short, easy rock scramble.  No exposure.

Physical Fitness

A high level of fitness is required

Technical detail / Terrain

The trails follows a well defined, marked route. There are steep inclines and declines but no technical scrambles or climbs. The path is uneven underfoot in places.

Accommodation

Accommodation is in 3 fours sleeper bunk beds with mattresses. Hikers need to supply their own sleeping bags. Each camp has a central boma and catering hut with fireplaces.

Comfortable beds with bedding and towels – 2 doubles; 1 twin; 1 twin with bunk beds; 1 4 sleeper with bunk beds; 1 4 sleeper with single beds.

Food Supply / Catering

The standard Leopard Trail is self-catered. Value added services of catering and guiding are supplied by Platteklip Tours and Trails, by arrangement with Slackpacker SA.

Logistic support / Guiding

On the trail, luggage is transported between the overnight huts packed in 70 lit boxes. Food is transported with the luggage. Guiding is supplied by Platteklip Tours and Trails, all guides are fully accredited adventure guides.

The trail is guided by a fully trained, accredited mountain guide.

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Highlights

This unique terrain of the remote Baviaankloof Wilderness Reserve is the major highlight

Other Activities

Trail running and mountain biking options available

Fauna & Flora

Climate

Seasonality & Best Time Year

Summer is hot with the daily average in December, January and February at 26 degrees Celsius.  Days can get up to the high 30s, so be prepared to walk in the early mornings and late afternoons, spending your midday hours at the lunchtime mountain pools. Each camp has a pool with clear mountain water, making a summer hike a great opportunity to hike early and spend the day swimming and relaxing at the camp sites.

Autumn and Spring (March, April, May, September, October and November) can provide great fair weather hiking, with average temperatures in the early 20s. As winter approaches, an occasional cold front will blow through, dropping temperatures considerably.  The swimming pools are great on the hot days, while the fire places inside the communal huts keep you warm on cold days.  The flowers in Spring are spectacular on the trail.

Winter is a favorite for many hikers with cool days hiking if you don’t like the heat.  The fire places in the communal hut are a winner, with groups gathering together around the fire with warm drinks and good times.  Temperatures in June, July and August average around 16 degrees Celsius.  Nights drop to zero though, so make sure you have a warm sleeping bag to sleep well on our great mattresses.

Rain in the Baviaanskloof is an unpredictable affair. All months of the year have only around 4 days of rain so, statistically, your chances of dry weather are pretty good.

Group Size

Minimum 6 persons for fully catered and guided option – maximum 12 persons (recommended group size)

Minimum 4 persons for self-catered option

Price P/P

R7000 per person for fully catered, guided option.

R1850 person for self-catered option

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Price Includes

 

  • All Meals: Dinner, Breakfast & Packed lunch on hike days
  • Local Hiking Guide
  • Luggage Transfers & Vehicle Support
  • Overnight accommodation in trail huts with bunk beds & mattresses

Optional Extras:

  • Transport to the start by arrangement
  • Alcoholic beverages and soft drinks (order in advance or no charge to bring your own)

Here you'll find any scheduled trails that you can join. Trails may be booked up to one year in advance, so be sure to scroll ahead using the arrows on the left to find if there are any available.  The trail operator page will also list any scheduled trails.

If you would like to enquire about different dates, please fill in the form below.  Trails are initiated when someone makes an enquiry, and go ahead once the minimum numbers are confirmed.

Scheduled Leopard Trails

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