Baardskeerdersbos Art Route - creativity in a curious place

About us

The quirky hamlet of Baardskeerdersbos is nestled in a fertile valley between Gansbaai and Elim. The peaceful setting and beautiful surroundings have attracted a diverse cross-section of creatives working in the mediums of painting, printmaking, illustrating, sculpting, photography, jewellery, functional art, craft, land-art, ceramics, textile art and more.

Baardskeerdersbos Art Route - creativity in a curious place

The Baardskeerdersbos Art Route is an initiative started in 2008 by artists living in the area. It is a uniquely local event that grows from strength to strength in the calibre of the art on show and in the engagement with what is unique about the area.

The art route is a special opportunity for art lovers, buyers and collectors to visit normally reclusive artists and view exhibitions in their homes and studios that often includes works not shown anywhere else. You are offered a unique window into the artist’s life and what inspires them. Through personal engagement, not available at other times of the year, you can gain deep insights into each artist’s unique motivation and creativity.

Baardskeerdersbos landscape

The art route takes place twice a year roughly in the autumn and spring time, marking these beautiful times of the year during the transitions of the seasons.

Wander through country gardens, vegetable patches, come across farm animals, donkey carts, discover landart, strange installations, take part in workshops, demonstrations, linger on stoeps, connect with other art enthusiasts, be challenged, inspired and stimulated.

The area of the Overberg is known for its exquisitely beautiful landscapes and golden light. The biodiversity is unique in the area with the wildness still preserved amongst the farming activity. Remote trigger cameras have recorded wild leopards roaming kloofs. Rich birdlife can be encountered in the B’bos valley from blue cranes to sunbirds. Pristine and rare species of fynbos from the Cape Floral Kingdom cover the surrounding hills. And it is home to the endangered leopard toad.

Visitors can take a gentle walk to artists exhibiting in the rustic village and a leisurely drive along rural roads to those who live on farms and small holdings nearby.

Experience the notorious B’bos hospitality and the celebratory and pioneering spirit of all who live there. Savour local cuisine, from artisan bread, hearty meat and vegetarian delights, complemented with local wines and the speciality of the village, fiery witblits.

encounter …

unbounded creativity … expanded horizons …

a breath of fresh air …

© Herman van Bon

Name and History
The first written mention of Baardskeerdersbos can be traced to 1660. An expedition-team of five men, sent by the founder of the Cape Colony, Jan van Riebeeck, reported on the valley and its Khoikhoi residents. The name “Baardskeerdersbos” in Afrikaans or “Baardscheerders Bosch” in the original Dutch literally means “Beard Shaver’s Forest”.
The accepted explanation for this name is that an order of animals Solifugae from the class Arachnida. inhabit the area. In Latin Solifugae means “those that flee from the sun”. This spidery, fast moving, sun fleeing creature is reputed to cut human and animal hair to build its nest. The folklore goes that after sleeping out in the open, some men woke up beardless. The truth or rural legend, decide for yourself? In actuality, these creatures pose negligible danger to humans.
Today the village is known more informally as B’bos. According to the 2011 census it had a population of 103 residents but has expanded somewhat since then.

Baardskeerderbos solifuge