HOME    .    CORPORATE EVENTS     .     4x4 TRAILS     .    RADIOCLUB      .     SPONSORS     .     4X4 PRODUCTS     .    ABOUT US

History of Bonniedale

As can be seen from the numerous rock art sites, Attaquaskloof was first inhabited by the Bushmen or Khoi San, who were present until the 1700’s, as there are paintings of persons riding horses with rifles and hats on their heads. They inhabited the valley with the Attaqua Khoi-Khoi who arrived in the Southern Cape after the Bushmen, hence the name Attaquaskloof.


The first European to set foot on Bonniedale was Ensign Isaac Schrijwer in February 1689. He led an expedition of 21 men and 2 ox wagons, sent by Simon van der Stel, to barter for cattle and sheep with the Inca Khoi-Khoi near Aberdeen. On their return with numerous cattle and sheep, they over-nighted near the present nature conservation hut and were attacked by the Attaqua Khoi-Khoi who took all the cattle and sheep into Grootkloof on Bonniedale. The following morning Schrijwer followed the spoor and killed 41 Attaqua Khoi-Khoi in Grootkloof. They returned to Cape Town with the animals they had bartered for from the Incas and the Attaqua’s cattle and sheep that they took after the attack. This pleased the other Khoi-Khoi tribes, such as the Gourikwa, Hessekwa and Inca, as they regularly came under attack from the Attaqua. There are Bushman paintings on Bonniedale illustrating these attacks.


The first European to settle on Bonniedale was a Scotsman in 1860. Hence the Scottish name of Bonniedale. He supplied produce, mules and oxen to the travelers passing though the Attaquaskloof. He managed the toll concession to maintain the Attaquas Pass from Bonniedale to the summit of the Attaqua Mountains and to look after the trail though Grootkloof, over Fouriesberg, which led to Calitzdorp. By 1869, when the Ruiterbosch pad (Robinson Pass) was completed this concession was no longer viable. During 1880, he returned to Scotland on holiday and never came back.


When a local farmer, Mr. Muller, the grandfather of the late Oom Sep Muller, bought Bonniedale for 12 pounds in 1890, he discovered a four-year old coloured boy in one of the shepherd’s huts on the farm. There was no trace of the boy’s parents. He had survived on grapes and chicken eggs. They raised the boy, who lived until 1968. Mr. Muller started building the Bonniedale farmhouse in 1892 but only finished it 10 years later due to the outbreak of the Anglo Boer War. During 1890 the government surveyed a railway line from Albertinia through the Langeberg following the Gouritz River and up the Attaquaskloof. Due to the war this railway line was never constructed.


Optional activities

Paddle boats on the dam
Swimming in the mountain pool
Foefie slide
Horse Riding



All information supplied in the agenda is given in good faith by Cederberg 4x4 and compiled from the latest information available at the time.  The activity times, as indicated on the agenda, are subject to change without notice and at the sole discretion of the guide.


Vehicles : Only vehicles with low range capabilities can be accommodated.
Trailers  : Off Road Trailers & Caravans & Tents CAN be accommodated on this excursion.
Grading : Trail grading is a between 2 and 4.
Nearest Town : Oudtshoorn/Mossel Bay.
Guide    : Johan Roach.




PLACE : SHELL ULTRA CITY near WORCESTER ON THE N1, outgoing from Cape Town.

DATE   : FRIDAY, 24 MARCH 2017.

  Should you be running late, please contact Johan on 081 348 2105.


FRIDAY, 24 MARCH 2017 

14h00 - Rendezvous at the Shell Ultra City near Worcester on the N1.
          - Briefing on activities and convoy driving.
14h15 - Depart for Bonniedale Holiday Farm via sections of the Ox Wagon trail.
17h15 - Arrive at Bonniedale Holiday Farm and set camp.
19h00 - Communal evening braai.



          - Enjoy breakfast in the tranquillity of the camp.
09h00 - Briefing on the 4x4 trail conditions as well as sharing hints and tips.
12h00 - Enjoy a light picnic lunch en-route.
15h00 - Complete the 4x4 trail, return to camp where you can cool down in the swimming holes or just relax.   
19h00 - Communal evening braai and Cederberg 4x4 formalities.




          - Relax and enjoy a leisurely breakfast in the tranquillity of the camp.
          - Partake in some of the optional activities on the farm.
          - Depart for Cape Town at your own time.




Ensure that your vehicle is refuelled at the rendezvous point PRIOR to the start of the briefing.  Sufficient fuel stops will be made en-route eliminating the necessity to carry additional fuel.



Everyone must be totally self-sufficient for the duration of this trip. 







24 – 26 March 2017




Bonniedale Holiday Farm – the perfect getaway for the whole family. Bonniedale Holiday Farm is a 1650ha Fynbos farm situated in the Outeniqua Mountains between Mossel Bay and Oudtshoorn, surrounded by the Attaquaskloof Nature Reserve. Many idyllic streams with crystal clear water form natural rock pools ideal for swimming. Short walks from the camp will lead you to well preserved rock art sites, a walk well worth every step. Looking up at the surrounding mountains with their many rocky outcrops, valleys and ridges you realize why Bonniedale Holiday Farm is so well-known for its large variety of plants (“fynbos”), mammals and birds. It is a paradise for ornithologists (bird watchers) throughout the year, but you will also find other animals living in their natural surroundings, such as rheebok, steenbok, bushbuck, klipspringer, baboons and porcupines. That special moment of being in the right place at the right time - the sighting of kudu, hyena or leopard is not impossible.


The 4x4 trails

Nico Hesterman bought Bonniedale farm from an Irish family about 20 years ago and decided to turn it into a Holiday farm. Bonniedale was the first 4x4 trail in the Southern Cape and was the founder member of the Southern Cape Route Owners Forum, which represents 22 trails in the area. He used his Ford F250 4x4 to build the Goliatsberg, Grootkloof and Sunbird 4x4 trails on the farm. He then cleared the old Ox wagon route until it was possible for all modern 4x4 vehicles to negotiate. Bonniedale 4x4 Trail has been rated by various outdoor magazines as one of the top ten trail destinations in Southern Africa out of 500 trails listed. There are approximately 35 km of well-maintained 4x4 trails divided into two 17½ km sections, offering extremely steep ascents and descent challenges. They offer the driver and passengers a challenge and a reward of magnificent views from the top of the Outeniqua and Langeberg mountains.

The Ox wagon trail starts at the campsite, traverses a rocky shallow river and then climbs steeply to the top of the mountain where it ends on a flat plateau at an old toll house.  It is mostly loose rock and shale. From the plateau we will follow the Footloose trail with a steep descent and then a short easy piece through an old pine tree forest. 

Exiting the forest there will be a very steep climb back to the plateau.  From there we will follow the Sunbird trail, with another steep climb, to the top of the mountain.  Here breathtaking views of the farmhouse below and surrounding mountains awaits participants. What goes up must come down. The return route will follow the contours of the mountain until we reach the John Tom Pass, driving a very steep rocky descent ending in a shallow river, with a short route back to the camp. At some of the more difficult obstacles there are either escape routes or any driver will have the option of turning around at the more challenging sections.

The campsite has hot and cold ablution facilities. Hot water is gas generated and the light in the bathrooms is solar powered. No electricity is available at the campsite.  There is also a swimming pool near the campsite and firewood can be purchased at the farmhouse (order wood in advance).


Please remember that no alcohol may be consumed by either the driver or passenger(s) whilst driving at any time. Please respect your guides and your fellow participants and save the alcoholic beverages until we return to the camp each day. 
WATER - is available at the campsite.
WATER - Always advisable to bring own drinking water on excursions.
WOOD – For sale at R50 per LARGE bag.
ICE – Ensure you have sufficient ice
Electricity is NOT available at the campsite.
A communal braai area will be determined on arrival at the campsite.
Only one fire permitted for the group.
Consider bringing a portable braai to be used in the communal braai area.
Bring braai grid, braai stand, tongs and other cooking/eating utensils.
Bring Black bags (what we take in, we take out).
The days could be warm and the nights cooler. Pack clothing accordingly.
Remember to bring your sun block and hat.
Remember to bring your cameras, video cameras, spare batteries and extra film.
Always consider the possibility of rain. Pack clothing accordingly. 
Always advisable to wear comfortable closed shoes or boots.
Advisable to have a broad rim hat and sun block on hand.
Use tie-down straps to secure all items packed, as loose items can become missiles.
No generators permitted on trips.



All vehicles and Off-road trailers must be in sound mechanical condition.
Always have your spare keys with you.
Recovery points fitted to the front and rear on your vehicle are a prerequisite.
Your own Kinetic/recovery strap and 2 x shackles will be advisable.
A tyre pump and tyre pressure gauge will be required to deflate/inflate tyres. Pack where accessible.  
Carry a fire extinguisher, which is easily accessible in the event of an emergency.   
Always carry your personal medical kit. Pack where accessible.
All other recovery equipment will be supplied.



Communication between participating vehicles on any 4x4 excursion is important for many reasons.  It ensures the safety of drivers, passengers and vehicles while on a 4x4 trail, where drivers can communicate with one another as regards to their location and situation not to mention the interesting information that is shared with participants.  The fun part is the many interesting stories that are shared among participants. 


We suggest all 4x4 vehicles that don’t have a 29MHz two-way radio, HIRE one from us at a nominal fee of R200-00 for this excursion.


Should you be hiring a 29MHz radio, please ensure that your lighter socket is working.  If you intend running more than one item from the lighter socket, ensure to have a double adapter handy as well as spare fuse for this excursion.   


NB:  If your vehicle is fitted with a 29MHz radio, please make sure that channels 1, 14 and 23 are open and working for this excursion.  


Should you wish to make a once off investment and purchase a 29MHz radio, we have negotiated a special deal for all Cederberg 4x4 participants.  For more information, contact Marina on 021 913 4632.  




Use the tables below to calculate your personal cost for the weekend

                                                                                                           COST         Nr. Participants      Nights       TOTAL
Trails                                                                                                R250-00pv                                                   R250-00
Camping                                                                                           R120-00pppn                                   2

Camping children under 3                                                                      FREE                                                            FREE
Cederberg 4x4 facilitating, coordinating & guide fees                             R550-00pv                                                    R550-00
Radio hire should your vehicle not be fitted with a 29MHz two-way radio R200-00pv


No credit card facilities at Bonniedale Holiday Farm!!



Horse Riding with guide       R250-00pp   
Flying Fox Foefie Slide           R40-00 per slide   
Paddle Boats/Canoes              FREE   



Should you wish to join us on this excursion, please contact Marina immediately on 021 913 4632 to obtain the booking form for this excursion.

We can only accommodate a maximum of 12 vehicles on this excursion. 
All Cederberg 4x4 excursions are subject to a minimum of 6 vehicles.
All bookings are made on a first-come-first-serve basis.
Cederberg 4x4 requires a deposit of R550-00 indicating your intent to attend this excursion.
Your booking will only be confirmed upon receipt of your deposit, completed and signed booking form faxed to 021 913 2333 for attention Marina.
The full outstanding amount is payable on or before Monday 6 March 2017.
Contact the Cederberg 4x4 office for alternative payment arrangements.
Your completed and signed booking form binds you to all conditions on page one and two of the booking form.
Should you wish to cancel or withdraw after booking for this trip, you will be required to find other people to take your place before any refunds or credits will be considered.





.. Top of Page