Hike Happy Valley Trail, Limietberg, Bainskloof

20160924_084514On Saturday, 24 September 2016, I drove via Durbanville and Wellington to the top of Bainskloof to join a group of about 18 hikers on a hike organized by the Paarl/Wellington section of the Mountain Club of South Africa.  The hike was to do the Happy Valley Trail in the Limietberg Nature Reserve that start at Eerste Tol and take the trail all the way to the Junction pool and then back the same way to where we parked our cars.  See the map below of the trail.

Although the trail is fairly long, about 16km out and back, it is relatively easy with no climbing or any scrambling. That being said, remember that any hike can be difficult when you not fit or have some ailment so be prepared always.

Along the way you will come across various historical landmarks like this monument for students from Wellington college that drowned in the early 1900’s.

Part of the trail is called Murasie which mean ruins and although nothing remains it is where a house was built around 1930.  The story goes that a person from Germany build the house but before he could complete it, he died.  He only had one son and he died during the first world war.  The house was eventually completed by the German’s wife but she did not want to stay there all by herself.  It was rented out and the house burned down and only the ruins remained which then got occupied by vagrants. The story goes further that a hiking couple was murdered by the vagrants that was staying in the ruins and it was then decided by Cape Nature to get rid of the ruins.  Here is a photo of all that remains, an open clearing that is perfect for having breakfast on your hike.

The last history lesson for today is that when Thomas Bain build the pass over the mountain, he was asked to build a duct to relay water from the river down to the farms and town.  The price that he quoted was too expensive and the farmers decided to build it themselves and the story goes that it costed them twice as much as was quoted.  No explosives was used and the duct was cut out by hand, this is what it look like today and still being used.

Photo Video, sit back and enjoy

Route Map – Happy Valley Trail, Limietberg, Bainskloof

Summer is upon us here in the Southern Hemisphere and clean those hiking shoes or boots and hit the trails.  This one is just the right one to get going without to much strain.

Happy hiking and see you in the mountains.

Equipment I use (Affiliate links so I get small commission)

I use Canon Powershot SX20
Latest listed below 
I use Samsung Galaxy Note 4
Suggest the one listed below
I have a pair of Keen’s and HiTec.
Suggest Keen for better grip

Hike – Kogelberg Nature Reserve – 21 May 2016

On Saturday, 21st of May 2016, together with the Mountain Club of South Africa (Paarl/Wellington Section), I hiked the longest route in the Kogelberg Nature Reserve.  The reserve is on the left as you drive from Betty’s Bay to Kleimond.  The entrance to the reserve is on the left just before you cross the Palmiet river.  From Cape Town, it is about one and a half hour drive to get there.

I met up with 13 other hikers from the club and at 8:30am we started our hike.  Below is a map of the route we took and when we finish back at where we started at about 4pm, Runkeeper showed a distance of 23.27km covered with an elevation from 53m at the start and finish and 523m at the highest point – se elevation map below the route map.

Kogelberg elevation

It is a fairly easy hike with steady uphill to the highest point and then a quicker decent down the ravine and forrest.  But since it is so long, almost 24km, it take its toll and is not for the fainthearted and although there are lots of streams with fresh flowing drinking water, ensure you carry enough water also. The veld is mostly fynbos and open areas as can be seen from the photo gallery below. The mountain vistas is just amazing and we were even lucky to see a King Protea in bloom, rare for this time of the year.

Photo Gallery:


Hike @ Silvermine Nature Reserve – 14 May 2016

On Saturday, 14 May 2016, myself and another 17 members of the Gantouw Hiking Club did a 9.2km hike in the Silvermine Nature Reserve.  The reserve was closed for a long time after a devastating fire in 2015 but opened again earlier this year.  The hike is a fairly easy hike (about a 2a or 2b maybe) and below is the map of the route we did. The only part us the piece on the left which include a bit of scrambling up rocks and little bit on the edge of the cliff but nothing dangerous.

The morning started out very misty but since rhe reserve is high up on the mountaing range, we were way above the misty clouds below.  However this made for some great photographs.

With the sun above us and to out backs and the clouds and mist in front below us, I had the rare experience of seeing a Brocken Specktre … yes I had no idea what it was either but had a person in the group who explained it.  It is basically your body that throw a shadow against the cloud below and form a rainbow around your shadow.  Tried to photograph it but did not come out very clear but you should get the idea.


We had lunch at  Noordhoek Peak bench, on the map above, the point top left.  Here we had a view of the sea below.

Gallery of photos taken during the hike, enjoy and comments welcome.


Hiking shoes – Keen

As a follow on to my post where I asked what the best hiking shoes are and what I should get.

I eventualy settled for pair of Keen Koven shoes and not boots.  When I tried the boots on, I did not like the way it sat against my ancle. This is what they look like:

I have done 2 shortish walks over that past couple of days to just walk them in and they feel great.  Now of the the mountains and see how they behave.

They available at Cape Union Mart for R1299.00 … and no this is not a sponsored post at all.

Hike – Wolvekloof, Franschhoek – 12 March 2016

Joined the Mountain Club of South Africa (Paarl/Wellington) on a hike to Wolvekloof, just outside Franchhoek. What a hike, highly recommended for anybody but be aware, if you not fit and do not like boulder hopping then stay away.  No need for lots of water since there is water all along the hike, but make sure you pack in something to swim in since the swimming pools are just great, cold but great.

Also be aware that you will need to have a 4×4 to get to the starting point of the hike.  We were 12 people with some cars and 2 4×4’s.  The drive to the parking area where we left the cars was not that great but if you take it slow then it will be ok.  We left the cars at the parking area and all got into the 2 4×4’s for a 6km ride up the  mountain on a small narrow track.

We drove past Berg River Dam with the 4×4’s which hardly had any water in it, it is very dry in this part of the world at the moment.

And then we were off

From now on it was just hopping over boulders and sliding down rocks.   Along the way was lots of small waterfalls and  cliffs all around with vegetation.

Eventually it was time for a breakfast and a nice swim.

After breakfast, the last stretch was ahead to get to the waterfall with beautiful scenery.

We reached the waterfall in time for lunch and well deserved swim.  Seeing the waterfall and just standing and feeling the water fall like little stones on your head made all the effort to get there worthwhile.  It is just magic.

Then it was time to hit the way back down which went much faster, like a magnet dragging you down.  The hike from where we left the 4×4’s and back to it is roughly 5km but it will take you 7 to 8 hours to complete.



Hike – Majik Forest – 7 March 2016

Did a quick hike from my home down to Majik Forest and back.

Spend some time just sitting next to the dam and reflecting on live and all that is going on in my life.

While walking through the forrest I took a couple of photos to show the magic of this place.

If you have some time to spare and is in the area, this is a wonderful place to spend some time and have a picnic.


Hike – Kromriver – 27 February 2016

Saturday, 27 February 2016 a group of 15 took the road from Cape Town, Somerset West and Malmesbury to go hike the Kromrivier.  This is a hike I always wanted to do but never got the chance and grabbed it when the Gantouw Hiking club got permits to do the hike.

The start of the hike is on the Worcester side of the Huguenot Tunnel just as you exit the tunnel.  At 8.30 everybody was ready and we set of on the approximately 10km hike out and back.

Some photos I took before the hike started while I was waiting for the rest of the party to arrive.

Here is a Google map of the route we walked and at some point you will see the zig-zag as we crossed the river.  If you plan to hike this then ensure you have good hiking boots since most of the way is over boulders and river rocks and a couple of sections is very slippery especially when climbing up via chains to the waterfall and big pool to swim in.

Photos on the inward hike.

And then we made our way up to the waterfall and a swim in the pool.  Be warned, this water is very, very cold.

And then after we had lunch and relaxing time at the pool, we made our way back to where we started.

I have now done a couple of hikes and must say this one is one of the top ones that I have done.  Recommended to anyone that just loves to get out and enjoy nature and it is a fairly easy hike. Last comment, it can get hot in the “kloof” so take lots of water and drink a lot.

Happy hiking and remember, what you take in you also take out, no litter and leave nothing behind.

Hike: Newlands Forrest and Rhodes Memorial – 9 Jan 2016

On the morning of 9 January 2016, a group of 16 of us from the Gantouw Hiking Club hiked from the Newlands Fire Station in the Newlands Forrest on a circular route past Rhodes Memorial that brought us back to the Fire Station.

As can be seen from the route board there is various routes one can take:

After some deliberation, a route was picked and we set off.

The route was about 10km which took us about 3 hours to walk.  The start was at 96m and the highest point that we reached was 470m.  The hike is mostly in the shade under the forrest trees.  It is a very gentle hike.  Here is the route from Runkeeper that we completed.
Newlands Forrest Station

After the hike we went to the Rhodes Memorial Restaurant for some well deserved drinks.  Photagraphs taken with my Canon Powershot SX20 IS.

Hike up to Thomas Hut – Hexrivier Mountains – 31 Dec 2015

I greeted 2016 on the top of the Hexrivier Mountains at the Thomas Hut that belongs to the Worcester section of the Mountain Club of South Africa. Here is it on Google Maps:

Access to the hut is through the Fairy Glen Nature Reserve where we arrived at the car park just after 8am on the morning of the 31st.  Access must be pre-arranged through the Nature Reserve.  On the drive through the park we saw some wild life:

We started our hike up the mountain at 8:45am on a very hot day, around 35 degrees celcius for most of the hike. In hindsight, this was way to late and the ideal time to start would have been before 6am. Here is the route map of the just over 7km hike rising from 444m to just short of 1400m.
Thomas Hut - 31 Des 2015

Normally the hike should be taking around 3.5 – 4 hours but for us it took just short of 6 hours due to the heat and lots of stops along the way.  Our first stop was about a hour in when we found this pool for a dip.

When we arrived at the top, we were greeted by this outside shower.  Heaven on earth to have a cool down shower with probably the most perfect view one can find anywhere in the world.

Our home for 2 nights.

On the morning of 2 Jan 2016 we started at 6am with our way down and was back at our car before 9am, less than 3 hours for the hike down and that included a swim in the same pool we swam in on our way up.

Here are some of the photos I took with beautifull flowers, visitors that came to visit and a view of the clouds from atop.  Enjoy and would love your comments.