The valley of the Gamtoos
River in South Africa's malaria-free Eastern Cape is
the western gateway to the Baviaanskloof Wilderness Area. Less
than one hour's drive from Port Elizabeth and even less from
Jeffrey's Bay, a short way from the village of Patensie,
there lies a tranquil bush camp in thick indigenous forest
offering tented accommodation - Tia Ghee. Tia Ghee is
catered and fully equipped so as to make it as straightforward an
experience as possible.
Tia Ghee is the Khoi for
"secluded" and no word could describe it better. Although less than
three and a half kilometers from the tar road, this bush camp is in such
forested terrain at the foothills of the Elandsberge that you
could be in the middle of nowhere if it was not so conveniently located.
In this natural forest the
only sounds to be heard are the birds calling, the breeze rustling the
leaves of the trees, occasionally the distant bark of a baboon and the
chuckling of the stream which runs right through the camp (when there
has been rain).
All sorts of life are abundant
here. The emerald spotted wood dove is frequently heard, the Knysna
loerie may sometimes be spotted feeding on the fruits of the trees and
forest buzzards are almost certain to be seen, to name just a few.
Impala, nyala, and caracal also inhabit the forest and keen eyes can
sometimes spot a bushbuck, even on the very fringes of the camp itself.
Those who enjoy South African
trees and wildflowers will enjoy exploring the forest with its
Yellowwood, Wild Fig, Forest Eelder, Stinkwood, Sneezewood, Cape Ash,
Wild olive, Plumbago and many more.
This is the place to come if
you enjoy peace and tranquillity and want to get away from the hustle
and bustle of everyday life. With no cell phone coverage, you can't be
disturbed by your phone or anyone else's.
Tia Ghee is also ideal as a
stopover on your way to or from the Baviaanskloof. (For a virtual tour
of the Baviaanskloof, visit
For team building or a
"bosberaad" with a difference, Tia Ghee makes the ideal setting for up to 25 persons.
Apart from relaxing and simply
wandering through the forest studying the indigenous trees and plants or
birding, there is a hiking trail leading to a waterfall
which takes about one and a half hours. (The waterfall is dependent on
recent rainfall and can not be guaranteed to be in spate.)
The Gamtoos River valley, in
addition to being picturesque, is a productive farming area. If you are
interested in seeing citrus or potato farming close-up, excursions can
be arranged on week-days only, of course.
There is a challenging 4x4
route of about three hours' duration not far away. A vehicle with low
range is recommended for this and we suggest that it is best undertaken
as part of an organised 4x4 tour excursion.
Mountain bikes can also
use this trail.