The beautiful, fertile Biedouw Valley that lies hemmed in by the Biedouw Mountains to the North and to the South, by the Tra-Tra Mountains, just 32 kilometers from Clanwilliam in the Cederberg. The Botterkloof Pass is a fairly substantial altitude gaining pass in the Northern Cape between Clanwilliam and Calvinia. It is the third of a trio of Passes on the R364 route for those travelling from West to East. In rainy weather or snowy conditions, this Pass can become very tricky; even in a 4WD vehicle! The Pass descends a total of 345m over a distance of 11,3 km this produces an average gradient of 1:33 with the steepest parts measuring in at 1:10. There are sections near the Summit with near vertical unguarded drop-offs, (this can be a bit intimidating for new drivers unaccustomed to feeling so exposed!) The more dramatic part of the Pass is in the first 2,5 km near the Summit. The origins of the name of the Valley is probably due to the large number of Botterbome that grow in the Kloof. 'Tylecodon Paniculatus, can reach heights of around 2 meters, making it the largest of the 'Tylecodons'. (It is a Summer deciduous growing plant). These plants conserve energy by photosynthesizing through their greenish stems during the hot dry Summer Months. The yellowish-green, papery bark is a very attractive feature of this plant and has given rise to the common name. During the Winter, plants are covered with long, obovate, succulent leaves clustered around the apex of the growing tip. The Botterboom is poisonous to stock, causing 'krimpsiekte'. Which is a disease affecting the muscular and nervous system of livestock and caused by the ingestion of these plants! (In the past, the smooth, slippery stems were sometimes used to slide or ski at great speed down smooth rock faces or dam walls, adrenaline rushes before the days of bungy jumping!) The essence of the Biedouw Valley is captured just after the rains, when it becomes endowed with an array of Spring flowers that capture the imagination of many a visitor here! Local farmers restrict their herds from grazing in the Valley during the flower season, to assist this amazing, 'floral picture'. At certain times of the year (basically August) a visit to the Spring Wild Flowers can be a real highlight for many visitors. This spring phenomenon is typically at its peak in mid August. (But it does depend on the rains!) After a good Winter of rain, the dry land of Agter-Pakhuis, can become a carpet of spring flowers! During the Spring flower Season the Sevilla Rock Art Trail, from Clanwilliam which is a 5 km trail winds along the Brannewyn River and visits 9 sites of Rock Art Paintings.(the Link is provided in Further Reading). These were left behind by the San people, Usually the Sevilla Rock Art Tour, also visit the Bidouw valley with a picnic lunch, amongst the Beautifull flowers. (However if the timing of our flower tours doesn't suit you, you can also enjoy a self-drive tour over the Pakhuis Pass to the Biedouw Valley! If you are booking late for the Spring flowers, you may find it hard to get accommodation, especially in Nieuwoudtville as there is very little accommodation available in this small Hamlet. Why not base yourself in Clanwilliam for 3 nights? You can do day trips to Nieuwoudtville, the Biedouw valley and the West Coast? Plus the circular drive to Nieuwoudtville via the Botterkloof and Van Reyn's passes is stunning!) "The best Spring flower displays are usually in early to late August. Not September as many people think! The Clanwilliam Flower Show is held at the end of August each year. (It is usually the last weekend in August to the first weekend in September.) This is a superb exhibition of all the flowers in the region."
-32° 7' 44.4", 19° 20' 9.6"