Category Archives: Cape Point

Cape Point – Day Walk Alternatives

Cape Point - Meridian June 2015054

The Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve is one of our favourite areas for some reasonably easy but very rewarding hiking. The views down the False Bay side of the coast are quite extra-ordinary and the Atlantic Coast has some beautiful beach and the special interest of the Shipwreck Trail. Our regular, shorter, easier, circular routes are on the Atlantic Coast, with the slightly more strenuous options being on the False Bay coast.

A spate of recent fires in the greater Table Mountain National Park did not leave this area untouched, with a freak lightening strike igniting a fire along the Atlantic Coast, just at a time when the Silvermine fires were being brought under control. For the short term, this means that most of our Atlantic side trails are closed.

Cape Point - Meridian June 2015180With this in mind we have been exploring the options on the more spectacular False Bay coast. The best known and most used of these is the linear route from the gate of the Reserve, near Smitswinkel Bay, to the Rooikrans view point – a distance of abut 13km. This forms part of the Cape Point Trail, but when done as a day hike, requires the transport logistics of a car at each end. Our best option is a circular a circular route that starts at the Buffelsfontein visitors centre and follows the same  route to Rooikrans, before turning around and dropping down to the coast for the return trip. Here there are three options:

  1. For a short hike – about three hours – from the Buffelsbaai Cape Point - Meridian June 2015112picnic area, take the tar road back to the visitors centre.
  2. A slightly longer option – about four hours – to carry on further along the coast to Bordjiesrif before taking a short section of the tar road to Booi se Skerm and joining the short cut path back to the visitors centre.
  3. Carry on further along the coast to Booi se Skerm and taking the path up to Kanonkop. From Kanonkop it is about an hour’s walk back to the visitors centre. This route takes about six hours.

Cape Point - Meridian June 2015157A fourth alternative is to walk from the visitors centre up to Kanonkop and then back to Booi se Skerm before joining the short cut path back. This is also about three to four hours. Times can be delayed by the temptation to stop regularly to take photos and to enjoy the spectacular scenery. The photographs tell the story.

Cape Point - Meridian June 2015150

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Baboons besieging Protea & Restio huts

In my previous up-date I talked about the baboons besieging the kitchen at the overnight huts on the Cape Point Trail. I had an experience with them once before and was wiser for it. This time I put all food away as I prepared it and kept the kitchen securely locked every time I moved in and out. These photos were taken over a period of about one and a half hours. I could walk in and out of the rooms without a problem as long as I did not carry any kind of packet or something that looked like food. When I did walk out with a packet of firelighters, the big male did advance towards me – when I threw it on the ground he went and looked at it, smelled it and lost interest.

They only left when the others returned from their walk to Cape Point lighthouse.

Cape Point Trail baboons

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Filed under Backpack Trails, Cape Point, News, Outdoor, overnight trails, Slackpacker, Slackpacking Trails, Table Mountain, Trekking South Africa, Western Cape Hiking Trails

Cape Point Trail in the wind

Doing the Cape Point Trail with the Reydams family group over the weekend of 23rd July proved to me once again that in all but the most extreme conditions this is a wonderful hike. The winds were strong going down the cliff path with one having to step carefully to maintain footing and put your head down in to the wind at times. The Buffelfontein information centre was welcome relief over lunch time and then it was on to the overnight huts.

The group still had the energy to take on the extra 2 km down to Cape Point itself, once they had put their bags down and had a cup of tea. During the time they were away, guided by Binnie, I got on with the dinner prepartion. Fortunately I was aware of the potential for baboon invasion, having experienced it before – the troop layed siege to the kitchen for the best part of an hour and a half – only leaving when the others returned.

The next day started a bit better and the coastal walk was great with a couple of very light rain squalls. A hard squall of rain cut short our lunch and from then on, for the next two hours the rain came and went. We were all quite pleased to reach the cars to warm up, but nevertheless it was a great experience.

Reydams Family Cape Point Trail

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Great to get good guest feedback

from Forster - New South Wales

It is wonderful to get some good customer feedback. Thanks Cheryl, we enjoyed hiking with you and showing you the majestic beauty of Cape Point and the wonders of the Cape of Good Hope.

Cape Point Trail thanks

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Filed under Cape Point, Guest Comments, News, Outdoor, overnight trails, Slackpacker

World Cup Safaris and Tours with Afruka Eco Tours

With the World Cup Soccer come and gone it is good to record some of the activities, sites and scenes that we were able to offer our visitors in addition to the soccer. The overwhelming comments from the people that I came into contact with were the amazement at the diversity of the tourism product that South Africa has to offer, including game safaris, wine tours and tasting, whale watching, fantastic scenery and more. Although hiking is my particular focus, not many of our clients have made the time for this, this time around and most were not sure what to expect. I was fortunate to in being able to host visitors from Brazil, Mexico, U.S.A, England, Canada, Russia and France over the four week period and I am sure many will be back to experience this and more of what we have to offer. I have put together an album of some of the tours, the sites and the people, including a few of the Cape Town games, the Fan Walk and more. Afruka Eco Tours

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Cape Point gate to Bordjiesrif

Braving the wind

 

It is always good to walk in Cape Point Nature Reserve. It is one of those places that you can walk all day and except for the occasional sight of cars and tour buses on the distant road to the point, you hardly see a sole – a real get away from everyone experience. At the same time there are spectacular views over False Bay, right across to Hangklip. 

Classic View of Cape Point

 

Saturday was a case in point, a beautiful, but slightly windy day and our party did not come across a single hiker during our 3½ hour hike. The wind seemed to have blown all the haze away and the mountains across the Bay were particularly clear against the background of a bright blue see. This section is a particularly rewarding one, as you can get quite close to the cliff face if you want to go to some of the viewing points and you have a view of both the Atlantic coast and the False Bay coast for almost the entire hike. 

The mountain and the sea

 

Leaving at about 9.30 after shuttling cars from the starting point to Bordjiesrif, we reached our lunch stop at Kanonkop by 12.30 and then the end by 1.30. A great morning excursion. Thanks Sue & Eugene for organising. 

Rocky shoreWho's for a swim

 

Who's for a swim

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Wind Blown to Cape Point

Wonderful wind at 65 km / hour made walking a challenge. Certainly blew all
the cobwebs away and well done John & Ned, not only for braving the
elements, but enjoying them. Not a great day for photos but the wind blown
bush gives an idea. Conditions gave a feel for what it must have been like
for sailors rounding the Cape in a gale. One brave yacht sailed past at
pace.

Preparing the evening meal, I knew we were in Cape Point when a little
‘lady’ baboon tried to raid the kitchen. I thought we were lucky when she
ran out, only grabbing the remnants of a packet of crisps on her way. Not so
lucky – lesson 1: don’t leave the kitchen door open if you not in the
kitchen – probably even if you are. The little ‘lady’ was just the decoy and
while attention was diverted in came the big guy. One bunch of bananas, four
sandwiches, two onions and a block of cheese later and he escaped from the
kitchen, taking his troop with him. Lesson 2: Don’t leave open coffee on the
table; baboons don’t like coffee, except out of the packet and distributed
on the kitchen floor. We were lucky – evening meal mostly still intact – no
toasted sandwiches with dinner and on coffee, except to clean up.

Early risers, John and Ned – breakfast eaten and on the path by 7.30. Wind
dropped for a wonderful walk along the beach. Close up and personal with a
small herd of Bontebok, a couple of Ostriches and a large herd of Eland away
on the hill – no more baboons. Heading across a sea of white everlastings
for lunch as Sirkelsvlei, pleased for the early start as the sun heated up.
Back at the gate by 2.30, great hike, great company – superb views as
always.

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