Where is Baskloof?
Baskloof Private Fynbos Nature Reserve (310 hectares) straddles the mountains around and behind the Conservation Villages of Misty Cliffs in the north and to 3 kms south of Scarborough, on the M65 south. Table Mountain National Park continues the pristine nature area as the northern boundary as well as to the south to Cape Point. The entrance to Baskloof is on the far south side, directly off the M65, the tourist route to/from Cape Point.
The “Werf”, Garden & Infrastructure
This is the approx. 2 hectare area from the entrance gates of Baskloof in the south to the fringe of the core nature area. So badly denuded and disturbed an area that it was necessary to embark on a large and ongoing landscaping rehabilitation project. Years of alien clearing preceded rehabilitating the area, beginning in 1998 by planting Protea repens, Leucadendron xanthoconus , L. saligum and L. laureolum grown from seed collected in the area. As well as some hybrid species of proteaceae , erica’s, aloes and mimetes from other areas in the Cape. We continue to plant and nurture the emerging natural species.
The first portion of land, Cape Farm 983/4, was bought 40 years ago with the idea of possible development. Situated at the most northern tip of this property, on the rocks at Misty Cliffs, is our home. The second, Erf 76, known as Platberg, the mountain of the ‘sleeping dog, divides and joins Misty Cliffs and Scarborough. This property was acquired in 1978 and is possibly the most beautiful, with stunning and varied views , some of which are displayed in the Full Circle Magazine in the October 2010 edition. The last adjoining erf making up the Baskloof reserve is Erf 789, the largest portion, which forms the back boundary of Scarborough.
This very badly degraded portion was purchased in 1992, around the time that we moved to Misty Cliffs permanently and joined the Redhill Landowners Conservation Group, comprising several large and like-minded landowners with property between Misty Cliffs and Redhill road. Much of this land has now been handed over to the Table Mountain National Park to manage into perpetuity. This has created a pristine wilderness area of some 3000 hectares, of which Baskloof forms a part. This area is now a part of the Buffer Zone for the World Heritage Site of the Table Mountain National Park, both a fantastic recognition of the botanical & ecological significance of the area and an awesome responsibility & privilege to manage appropriately and intelligently.
Archaeological & Cultural Significance
Archaeological evidence suggests that the Cape Peninsula has been occupied by hunter gatherers and San people for over 100,000 years, who lived off the rich coastline. Evidence of their occupation can be seen in their shell-midden remains throughout the Peninsula. Baskloof is fortunate in that it has one of these sites on Platberg.
There are 92 graves (1907 – 1974) on the southern side of the reserve that have cultural & sentimental significance to the area with many inhabitants of the peninsula being connected to them in one way or another. The restored “Huisie” has historical significance to it, dating back 110 years and has preserved an air of local culture and romance.
This, along with the graves and shell midden on the reserve, give Baskloof rich cultural importance to the area.