Leeukloof & Ruiterbos
Our guide to things to do in our valley - Leeukloof - and the neighbouring Ruiterbos area.
Leeukloof is a quiet, secluded valley in the foothills of the Outeniqua Mountains. It’s a great destination for birding, hiking, fynbos watching, mountain biking (MTB), off-road motor cycling, and motor bike touring. And swimming, too: the water in the Bosmans River is clean and pure. (This is the river you cross about a kilometre before you get to our farm gate; it also forms Blommekloof’s western boundary.)
- Leeukloof Cheeses: our neighbours. They make the most remarkable cheeses by hand - and they’ll even make you a cheese flavoured according to your own specifications. Visit by appointment only - please mail [email protected] or call 083 375 1287. More details at Leeukloof.co.za
- Leeukloof Lapa: a rustic weddings and functions venue about 1.5 km from Blommekloof.
Ruiterbos is a sleepy stop on the R328 between Mossel Bay and Oudtshoorn. It’s one of those blink-and-you’ll-miss-it places you don’t want to miss, and it’s situated at the foot of the Robinson Pass (see the video below).
- Eight Bells Mountain Inn: a historic family hotel in the true tradition of South African Mountain Holidays. It’s about 9 km from Blommekloof - and a great place for a meal or afternoon tea. It has a fine bowling green, and the estate features a number of marked walking trails and mountain bike trails (MTB trails).
- Ruiterbos Farm Stall: a restaurant, coffee shop, art gallery, and general dealer. About 8 km from Blommekloof.
- Outeniqua Moon Percheron Stud: giant working horse, cart horse rides with tea and cakes.
The Robinson Pass
The R328 becomes the steep, winding Robinson Pass just above Ruiterbos. It passes through the Outeniqua Nature Reserve, which helps to make it one of the great scenic passes of the Western Cape.
The Pass offers excellent birding: it’s generally a good place to see raptors in flight (mountain buzzards, forest buzzards) - often at eye level. It’s also a popular fynbos flower watching destination: the heathers (ericas) and proteas are usually at their best in winter and early spring (June to September), but there’s always something in flower.
The Robinson Pass was built by the famous colonial road engineer, Thomas Bain, who completed the project in 1869. It was rebuilt and re-routed between 1958 and 1963.
Video: The Robinson Pass by Heinrich Trautman