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 a Khoisan word for ‘secluded’. Situated in a forest just outside Patensie, on the farm Gonjah, the permanent tents are idyllically positioned to appreciate the tranquility of the area. Tia Ghee Tented Camp is catered and fully equipped so as to make it as straightforward an experience as possible. 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.
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 elder, stinkwood, sneezewood, Cape ash, wild olive, plumbago and many more.
(Please note, there is no cellphone reception and oil lamps and lanterns replace electricity).
Tia Ghee Tented Camp offers a unique experience that includes:
- Comfortable accommodation in fully equipped permanent tents;
- Luxurious hot showers;
- Catered dinner, bed and breakfast;
- Excellent bird-watching opportunities;
- Hiking trails leading to a waterfall: in the kloof and over the mountain;
- 4×4 routes; and
- Mountain biking.
Guests need to bring own drinks, hiking boots, camera and binoculars. For team-building or ‘bosberaad’ gatherings a meeting place is available for 18–20 participants.
The hiking trails lead down the kloof and up the mountains through the indigenous trees to the fynbos with its honeybush tea and protea species. Wildlife in the area includes bushbuck, nyala, impala, grysbuck, lynx, porcupine, bush-pig, vervet monkey, baboon and mongoose. A large number of bird species have been identified, including the Knysna loerie, Rameron pigeon, black-headed oriole, black-collared barbet, emerald-spotted dove and grey-headed bush shrike.
- Mountain bike trails; and
- 4×4 Trails.