Baakens Valley Action
The Baakens River Valley



The Lower Guinea-fowl Trail is situated between the Third Avenue Dip i Newton Park, down river to Settlers Park and on to Brickmakers Kloof. The trail follows the Baakens river.

The Guinea-fowl Trail follows the Baakens River through a steep-sided valley in the city suburbs for the full course of the river. The Baakens river is 23 km in length and has its source in the Hunters Retreat area and its mouth at the Port Elizabeth harbor.

Above the flood-plain the vegetation consists of Eastern Cape Fynbos (reaching its eastern limits in Port Elizabeth), with a good scattering of succulents on dry North facing slopes. Patches of Valley Bushveld, consisting of small trees and bushes occur in side kloofs which enter the valley predominantly from the north. These kloofs act as seasonal tributaries to the river.

Sections of the valley and river are infested with alien vegetation, the removal of which is ongoing but proves to be a slow and costly process. Biological controls have been introduced onto certain invasive plants: rust fungus on Port Jackson, gall wasps on the Long Leaved Acacia and weevil on the Sesbania.

A high, sheer, knife-edge spur protruding into the valley from Linkside provides a reference point to hikers w hen crossed by means of a boardwalk which descends to the boundary of Dodd’s Farm. Access to the trail can be gained through Dodd’s Farm from Ninth Avenue, Walmer. Bat’s cave, is located at the Dodd’s Farm river crossing before the trail traverses open veld through the old Trollips Farm to Target Kloof.

Wellington Park offers a panoramic view of the Baakens Valley. The trail route through Settlers Park, offers one the opportunity to look up at the high Lovers Rock, w hich is the home of the rare peregrine falcon.

In Settlers Park, one may see guinea-fowl, peafowl, mountain tortoise (leopard tortoise), dassies and mongooses and, if you are lucky, also see grysbok and the beautiful Knysna Lourie.

Please note the following:

River crossings must be crossed using stepping-stones. These crossings can become dangerous and in places impassable after rain, during seasonal flooding.

  • The walk is suitable for reasonably fit persons
  • It is recommended to walk in groups
  • Wear suitable walikng shoes and take a sunhat and drinking water along
  • NO DOGS are permitted in the Settlers Park section of the trail