09 November 2008

The Hoerikwaggo Trails

The Table Mountain Trail, the three-day, guided, catered and portered hiking trail is fully up and running and leaves from the Waterfront, over-nighting on the lower slopes of Table Mountain in the
restored Platteklip Wash Houses. Then it continues up the cableway to the next overnight stop at the Overseer’s Cottage, above Cecilia Ridge, and finally, down to Kirstenbosch.

The Hoerikwaggo Tented Classic (also known as the ‘Tip to Top trail’) is not quite finished yet. At present you can do three parts of it. The remaining sections will soon be completed, and will eventually all link up into a five night/six day, portered, self-catering trail from Cape Point to Table Mountain.
Cape Point to Smitswinkel Bay

The Cape of Good Hope Trail
A 2-day/one night trail that starts at the main entrance gate to the Cape of Good Hope and heads south toward Smitswinkel Bay. After traversing Judas Peak, skirting Paulsberg and summiting Kanonkop it reaches the Buffelsfontein Visitor Centre. From there a brief detour to Buffels Bay then on to the overnight huts on Da Gama Peak. (The old forestry station complex above Smitswinkel Bay.) Day two involves a leisurely walk across Platboom beach, a walk to Sirkelsvlei, then over Rooihoogte and back to the gate.

Smitswinkel Bay to Red Hill
From the camp in the old forestry station complex above Smitswinkel Bay, to the camp that will be built at the SA Navy's Signal School, off Red Hill above Simon's Town.
[This is where you find Just Nuisance’s grave.]

Red Hill to Slangkop
15 km of easy hiking from the summit of Red Hill to the tented camp at Kommetjie.
From Red Hill, above Simon's Town, a flat and sandy path goes to Kleinplaas dam, beneath Grootkop, then follows the northern edge of the dam. From here a new path, 'purpose-built' for the trail, dips into Bokramspruit before contouring the mountain above Ocean View. It descends to cross the Ocean View-Misty Cliffs road past what must have been an old farm, marked by graves. Then up to Cobra Camp, a disused radar station from World War 2 with good views onto Kommetjie and Slangkop Lighthouse. The path zigzags to the road, which needs to be crossed, then comes out at the lighthouse. A boardwalk goes to the beach where the entrance to the tented camp is found.
Slangkop Tented Camp is built with a combination of timber from invasive alien trees like Red River gum and pine, removed during clearing operations elsewhere in the park, and local Table Mountain Sandstone. The ‘tents’ are permanent structures, with canvas interiors covered by a completely weatherproof sheeted roof. It’s low, rounded design is meant to complement the low, undulating coastal thicket vegetation of the area.

Slangkop to Silvermine

The Silvermine Trail
18 km of tough hiking, starting at Slangkop Lighthouse, along Noordhoek beach and up to the top of Chapman's Peak. The trail then winds down and up again over Noordhoek Peak, and then down to the tented camp at Silvermine.
Silvermine camp sleeps 12 and is equipped with hot showers, a fridge, stove, cooking utensils and a braai place. It is made of sandbags and recycled metal and wood, from alien vegetation.

Silvermine to Table Mountain
The Orange Kloof Trail
A 2-day hike starting at the Silvermine Dam, traversing the Constantiaberg and Vlakkenberg to Constantia Nek, and ending at the overnight tented camp at Orange Kloof. The next day goes through the restricted Orange Kloof valley before ascending Disa Gorge to Woodhead Dam. A walk through Valley of the Red Gods, finishes at the Upper Cableway. Hikers are then ferried down by Cable Car where the hiking trail ends at the lower Cable Station (weather permitting!) Weather not permitting means a walk down Platteklip Gorge.

These sections of the Hoerikwaggo Trail costs R460 per person for over-nighting and two days on the trail, with your main gear portered.
The camps can also be booked for over-nighting for R300 per person per night.

Click on SANParks map to enlarge

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