|GAMKASKLOOF THE HELL
|Contact Person:||Annetjie, Bennie, Pieter and Marinette|
|Phone:||+27 (0)23 541 1107
The earliest inhabitants of the valley were the San Bushmen. In the early 1830's the first Boer (Farmer) wandered into the valley, and finding it fertile with abundant water made it his home. Other families followed, namely Cordier, Mostert, Marais, Nel, Snyman and Joubert. They farmed and lived in comparitive isolation for about 130 years. Although isolated they maintained a good standard of living. Education in the valley consisted of a school for the local children and church services were held in the school by the school master or teacher.
n 1958 the first car was brought into the valley through the Gamka River gorge. In 1962 a road was built into the valley (constructed by Koos van Zyl). This facilitated communication with the outside world, and was the main reason for the exodus of the youth. The older folks had to follow. The last remaining farmer left in 1991, leaving the valley with no permanent residents.
This brings us to the Farm Mooifontein, owned by Annetjie Joubert (neé Mostert). She is the only remaining "born and bred" inhabitant that has retained property in Gamkaskloof. She came back permanently in 1998 and skilfully converted the original farmstead into comfortable guesthouses, has a caravan park, camping sites and the only Kiosk and Licensed Restaurant in Gamkaskloof.
This valley is one of the most historical places in the world, still having many untold stories and surely a few secrets never to be known. The social history of the Gamkaskloof is well recorded and Annetjie has various photo albums available at her kiosk where one can browse photographs of the various families who lived in the Gamkaskloof. Articles of events such as the first car in the Gamkaskloof are well described and illustrated with photographs and will keep those interested in history spellbound for hours.
Gamkaskloof's natural beauty of fynbos and succulent Karoo veld, rugged mountains and the diversity of animal and birdlife is the ideal teaser to lure visitors to the area.
Amongst the various Hiking Routes criss crossing the area is also an interpretational trail, which guides the hiker on a short tour of the history and nature of Gamkaskloof. Freshwater angling (with a permit) in the Gamka River, bird watching and mountain biking along designated routes are also strongly recommended.
All this make it worthwhile to tame the steep slopes of Elandspad - Road to Gamkaskloof