Gamkaskloof, also known as “Die Hel”, is a fascinating valley near Prince Albert, where a small, proud community lived in isolation for more than 100 years.
Access was on foot and horseback and harvests of dried fruit and wild honey were carried out by pack animals.
Legend has it that Gamkaskloof was discovered when trekboers lost their cattle and followed their spoor into the fertile valley. Petrus Swanepoel was the first to farm there and the valley supported the hard-working community until 1962 when a road was carved into the valley. A gradual exodus occured and the last farmer to leave was Piet Swanepoel in 1991.
Now one of the Gamkaskloof families, the Jouberts, has returned to the valley and shares tales of the old days with their guests.
Access to Gamkaskloof is 15km from Prince Albert, near the summit of the Swartberg Pass. Visitors should allow almost a full day in a sturdy vehicle with high clearance to travel the 57km to the end of the valley and back.