Far away from the hustle and bustle of city life, set in the old
historic valley of Matjiesvlei, you will find the Bojaankop 4x4.
The name Bojaankop, the highest point in the Matjiesvlei valley,
spelled like this dated back as far as Bennie’s father could
remember. This was over the years, Bennie grew up on this farm
Die Kom, the playground of the baboons. From up here you can
merely look into Die Hel (Gamkaskloof) and see most of the
well-known mountains of the Little Karoo.
The route has an interesting history. It started in the 1800’s
when Bennie’s ancestors and their sharecroppers dragged bundles
of Wild Plum wood straight down the foothills of the Swartberg
Mountains to distill Witblits of to make raisons. During
wintertime the sharecroppers also sell the wood in town for
an extra income. Most of the route is in these drag paths or
in the wagon trails along the lower lying areas where they
loaded the wood on ox wagons and donkey carts.
Originally these veld was all invested by prickly pears till
the cochenille (a pest on prickly pears) was imported from
Australia to get rid of it. A lot of wild donkeys were also
roaming the Gamka river valley. Since then the Spekboom and
other plants started to take over and now a days its of the
finest succulent Karoo areas you will find with the most
diversity of plants in such a small area. In spring the veld
is a carpet of wild flowers and always there is the imposing
and somber backdrop of the smudgy blue Swartberg Mountains.
The trail runs through and along the Gamka river with
spectacular views. The river crossings can be very interesting
especially when the river runs high. For most of the trail
you need low range, but the trail is people and vehicle
friendly and is great fun and a tremendous experience for
the whole family. Like photographer, Richard van Ryneveld
said: “A truly beautiful area, Matjiesvlei a hidden and
undiscovered gem in the Klein Karoo.”
It is easy to get to – approximately 13 km out of Calitzdorp
(15 minute drive) and only 3 – 4 hours from Cape Town and P.E.
For the mountains bikers can also enjoy most of the trail. We
find that lots of people also like to hike on the route.
At the end of the drive you can relax and socialise at The
Dam River Campsite or in one of the three self-catering
chalets with bedding and towels provided and fully equipped
kitchens. The spacious campsite is shady and well grassed
offering privacy at each site as well as an ablution block
with showers (donkey boiler) and toilets. At the campsite and
along the riverside there is a rich bird life including black
eagles and fish eagles. Sometimes if you’re lucky Cape otters
can be spotted. The river contains about seven different fish
species. So bring along your fishing rods and inflatable boat.
Things that we would recommend you to bring along are binoculars,
fishing rods, mountain bikes, hiking boots, canoe or inflatable
boats and swimsuits.
Nearby Calitzdorp is a lovely and fascinating town to visit with
good restaurants and wine tasting. From Matjiesvlei you can also
go on day trips to some of several places of interest in the
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