There are many easy walking routes around the granite inselbergs of Paarl Mountain, most of them ideally suited to leisurely outings with a young family. Paul and I decided to get into the outdoors again for the first time after our return from trekking in Patagonia. It was one of those fine, sunny winter’s days [...]
Here’s an easy yet spectacular walk for the family. The 7-and-a-bit km hike takes you through a 400 m rise and fall in elevation, from the Palmiet River valley, through an old indigenous forest to glorious views above Betty’s Bay. Photos and a Google Earth track follow…
Bakoven from Kasteelspoort
In all the years of walking on the mountain I have never climbed Platteklip Gorge. At Peter’s suggestion we parked at Kloof Nek and tackled the 15.4 km circuit up Platteklip, through the valleys of Isolation and the Red Gods, to the reservoirs and down Kasteelspoort, and back along the Pipe [...]
The 13 km walk down Cape Point’s east coast from the gate to the restaurant at the point is possibly the most scenically spectacular hike in the country. Besides the vistas across False Bay, the precipitous drops to the rocky coast below and the way the peninsula unfolds as one skirts Judas Peak or Die [...]
The Mountain Club’s plan was to head up to Perdekop in the hope that, it being midwinter, there would be snow on the peak. Instead an unseasonal black south-easter raged, clouding in all the peaks around Franschhoek. So, plan B was activated. It amounted to a very pleasant 13.5km circuit of Scherpenheuwel, which [...]
Swartkop to Hangklip and beyond
We took the Old Mule Trail up to Blockhouse Gap where two old blockhouses, apparently built at the beginning of World War I to guard the eastern approach through the nek to the naval ammunitions magazines that scar the high valley above Simonstown, slowly weather away. From there a [...]
Kelson above Jonkershoek valley
At the beginning of the week that I finally became a member of the Mountain Club of SA, some of the Patagonian trekkers and I headed for Victoria Peak, the highest peak in the Jonkershoek mountains. It was a warm day with high cloud and haze and no wind. Pretty [...]
The Cape-based members of the Patagonia group are training for the trek through the Andes by taking regular walks in the Cape Peninsula’s Table Mountain National Park. Here are some photos from those walks along with some older ones…
At 1589m Victoria Peak is the highest summit in the Jonkershoek area. It is visible beyond the valley from Stellenbosch and is often – as it is today – covered in a white blanket of snow. The route as shown in this Google Earth track winds up the eastern edge of the Jonkershoek [...]
The Kogelberg Biosphere and Nature Reserve is my playground. When we’re not kayaking here, we are hiking its many routes. Kogelberg is the jewel in the crown of the Cape’s floral kingdom protected areas that make up the World Heritage Site.
Five k’s from my home in Stellenbosch is the rugged Jonkershoek Nature Reserve. The area boasts the highest rainfall in the Western Cape, and two major rivers rise at the valley head: the Berg and the Eerste rivers.
Fernkloof is a gem of a botanical reserve above the coastal town of Hermanus. Barely 1800 ha in area, it harbours upwards of 1474 botanical species. There are many paths and spectacular lookouts for all manner of fitness levels. The sensory returns are high for relatively little physical effort.
Plettenberg Bay: 17 & 19 December 2006: The Robberg peninsula is a nature reserve and marine protected area at the southern extremity of Plettenberg Bay,
Franschhoek: 29 June 2003 Here’s a very short walk for great returns.
Kogelberg Nature Reserve: December 2002
The Palmiet River winds through the core of the Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve. The nature reserve protects the most pristine and diverse fynbos in the Cape Floral Kingdom. There are a number of hikes of varying length in the reserve, but a favourite is a walk up the river. It’s very [...]