Hiking is addictive. Talk to anyone who’s done a multi-day hike or two and they will agree: there’s something about the formula of simple days, hard work and immersive natural beauty that resets your mind and floods you with joie de vivre. Subjectively speaking, the only thing better than this is a multi-day horse trail. Combine the two and you couldn’t make me happier. Luckily, that’s just what the Baviaans Camino is about.
The Baviaans Camino is a brand new 75km trail that can be done either on foot or on horseback, and when we heard about it we simply had to go. Kati Auld, our gung-ho online editor and talented writer to boot, was sent along with myself to get a media exclusive on this four-day trail.
These next images are a taster of what this trail entails. Read Kati’s story in the February 2017 issue of Getaway magazine to find out more, or book a spot on the trail now: you won’t regret doing either.
For more information on the trail, visit baviaanscamino.com
Hercules, who brings in the horse element of the Camino with his well-behaved Boerperds, surveying the valley floor that we had just climbed up from.
A group shot after conquering the steep, steep climb that heralds the start of the trail.
Knackered! And that’s the riders and horses – the hikers proved their mettle by pushing on past us at our pitstop.
Nearly at our first overnight stop, a farmhouse where a hearty meal awaited.
The afternoon sun caught the dust kicked up by the support vehicle, turning it gold as Hercules and Diamant walked through.
The view from between a horse’s ears is said to be one of the best. Here you can see the hikers from my horse, Noodle.
Lunch breaks meant shade, food, and rest – and in Kati’s case, note-taking.
Lynda striking a dramatic pose against the charred mountains of day two.
If you look really closely in the image on the left, you’ll see riders along the road. The hikers are easier to spot, just ahead of us as they crested the rise.
Another night, another lovely farmhouse to stay in. Here we were surrounded by mountains with a choice between camping and rooms, horses picketed in front overnight. The horses added a unique edge to the trail for hikers and riders alike.
Downtime on the trail – drinking up and resting for all before hitting the road again.
The team behind the trail: Esti and Eric (left) of Chokka Trail fame, handling the support vehicle and walking side. Hercules (right), who organises riding trails in this area, and controls the horse component to the Camino.
Ominous clouds and patches of mist on day three lent themselves to silhouette shots.
Mist and drizzle gave us relief from the clear skies of the previous days.
Cheerful Eric passing us in the support vehicle as we climbed the Moordenaarskloof.
The trail took us through mountainside into farmland, passing sheep and a few houses towards the end of day four.
Probably my favourite moment of the trip – reaching the viewpoint over the Kouga River and then swimming with the horses when we reached the sandy riverbanks, after their spontaneous rolling in the deep sand.
A last canter on the trail. Riding is generally done at a walking pace on the trail, but we couldn’t resist a last surge of speed.
One of my favourite campsites to date, alongside the Kouga river. We shared our best moments of the trail around the campfire that night, emotions swelling from the hikers at their sense of achievement in themselves.
Early morning calm on the last morning of the trail. From here we all went our separate ways – until next time.
Read more from this story in the February 2016 issue of Getaway magazine.
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Our February issue features a wild new way to traverse the Baviaanskloof, the Okavango Delta’s most affordable safari, 6 local shores to explore and Italy’s 8 prettiest dips.