Category Archives: News

Klapmutskop Hike and Wine Tasting

Klamutskop - Delvera June 2014_0002Hiked up Klapmutskop on an overcast Sunday morning. The idea was to go wine tasting if it was raining too hard but the slight drizzle at the start passed over quickly and apart from a very short downpour of light hail, no rain on the rest of the walk. The 360 degree views from the top are quite beautiful with a multi-coloured patchwork of farmlands below. The cry of a fish eagle passing by while we had our tea was a bonus. The three and half hour walk brought us down in time for lunch which after finding most of the wine farm restaurants fully Chesney Tour - Nov 2014_0012 (1)booked, we eventually found at the Blaauklippen Food Market (every Sunday for future reference). This was a good choice but we only just managed to scrape in a wine tasting at Neethlingshof at about 3.45, before the farms all closed up for the afternoon.

Klapmutskop & Wine Tasting - 12 July 2015_0025

Klapmutskop and Wine Tasting – 12 July 2015

Leave a comment

Filed under News

Perdekop Hiking Trail – Franschhoek

140This scenic hiking trail is in the Mont Rochelle Nature Reserve, just outside the town of Franschoek, in the Western Cape. While the town is known for its wine and it’s gourmet restaurants, the surrounding mountains offer some very accessible hiking routes, ranging from a short two hour excursion, to a full days hiking such as this one. The destination is Perdekop (Horse Peak), from where there is a 360 degree panoramic view. While the walk up is fairly easy, the steep route down is challenging on the knees.

After last week’s rain, Sunday was one of those wonderful, sunny, Cape winter days. Nevertheless it was a cold start with a breeze coming off the snowy mountains not far away. Once we got walking the beanies and fleeces soon came off. The first part of the hike is a fairly easy undulating hike, to Uitkyk view point. There was plenty of opportunity to stop to take photographs of the views back down the valley to the Theewaterskloof Dam. We stopped for tea at the view point, enjoying the view over the Wemmershoek dam. The trek up from there to Perdekop is slightly more strenuous with the destination hidden from view133 for most of the route. Once it came in to view it seemed to get further away as we got closer. We made it there by lunch time and enjoyed the amazing 360 degree views all the way to Cape Town and Table Mountain in the distance and Worcester in the opposite direction. The circular path leads back down the valley to the start. Although shorter, this is the most strenuous part of the hike, with the path being almost entirely downhill and very steep in places. By the end most of the party knew where their knees were and there were a few sore feet and thighs. All was worth it though and certainly rates as another of the most scenic hikes in our beautiful Cape. It was great to stop for a quick cup of coffee in Franschhoek afterwards.

We will have to make a plan to come back for wine tasting on another occasion.



Leave a comment

Filed under Day Hikes, Day Trekking, News, Wine Walks

Kasteelspoort rain challenge

Table Mountain Trails

Kasteelspoort rain challenge_001 With winter finally coming to Cape Town, the hiking enthusiasts, especially the weekend are faced with the temptation to curl up in bed with a good book on a Sunday morning, instead of getting out there and enjoying the Mountain in the rain. Hannes (hike leader) thought the only way to overcome this was to issue a challenge to motivate a few stalwarts in to action.

Kasteelspoort rain challenge_007It did not seem to have much effect however as only two of us joined him. Nevertheless it was a very rewarding hike, with the rain staying away for the most part. Parking at Kloofnek, so that we could do a circular route, we hiked along the Table Mountain Pipe Track, meeting plenty of runners and a few walkers on this section, until we came to the Kasteelspoort path intersection. I always enjoy this path as it is steep enough to be challenging but…

View original post 301 more words

Leave a comment

Filed under News

Vlakkenberg Ridge – aftermath of the fire

Table Mountain Trails

Vlakkenberg Ridge - Fire aftermath April 2015_0001

As I get the opportunity to walk through the fire affected areas of Vlakkenberg and Silvermine and all the areas in between, I will publish my photos and reflections on the destruction and the recovery. This is the first of those as I got to walk on Vlakkenberg Ridge yesterday.

Vlakkenberg Ridge - Fire aftermath April 2015_0002

The walk up from Constantia Nek shows just how close the fire came to descending in to Constantia Nek itself and the potential for crossing over the road. We can be grateful that this did not happen as there are huge stands of gum trees and other alien vegetation in this area.

Vlakkenberg Ridge - Fire aftermath April 2015_0015

Looking across from the saddle the burnt area extends as far as the eye can see, over the Constantiaberg and across to Silvermine and Muizenberg Peak. Looking down to the Constantia vineyards, there is stark contrast between the green of agricultural area and the burnt National Park and…

View original post 207 more words

Leave a comment

Filed under News

Cederberg Heritage Route – Sevilla Trail

The final day of this particular option is a guided walk along the Sevilla Rock Art Trail. After breakfast we were met by local guide and rock art expert John Mountain, for transfer to Traveller’s Rest, where the trail starts. The road out of Wupperthal is quite spectacular and a visit to this area, via the Biedou Valley, is worth just for this drive. The gravel road showed sign of being worked on and for the most part, was in excellent condition. Cederberg Heritage Route - Dec 2014_0266 Although the trail is only 4 km in distance, it has nine rock art sight with an incredible variety of images. I have walked the Savilla Trail several times myself, so was familiar with the area. John, with his expertise, gave new insights in to the history and the interpretation of the rock art.

Cederberg Heritage Route - Dec 2014_0294

The terrain is fairly flat, following the bank of a riverbed and the walking is easy. John has so much to add and so many stories to tell, that it took us a bit longer than anticipated, with the only negative was that we could easily have spent another hour or two with this interesting man. Cederberg Heritage Route - Dec 2014_0292

For a full album of images from the Cederberg Heritage route click on the image below.

Cederberg Heritage Route – Dec 2014

Leave a comment

Filed under News

Cederberg Heritage Route – Wupperthal

The town of Wupperthal is small, picturesque and has an interesting history. It is famous for it’s rooibos tea and has a small factory outlet with a full range of the local product. As we were in self-catering accommodation, we wasted no time in finding this and stocking up for both immediate consumption and to take home. Apart from the natural, original flavour there are a few variations such as mint and lemon, as well as a number of combinations such as honeybush and buchu (also a local product).

Cederberg Heritage Route - Dec 2014_0263

The town’s history is based on the Moravian Mission Church, a beautiful building in the centre of town. Unfortunately there is very little information on the history of the town available there or at the museum, which is a very disappointing collection of unrelated artifacts. Cederberg Heritage Route - Dec 2014_0258

As we were there during a holiday period, there was not much activity at the famous shoe factory, although there was a small range of products on display. Much could be done with this as an attraction.

Cederberg Heritage Route - Dec 2014_0253

Being a small town, it does not take long to explore and within an hour we had seen all that there was to see and spent the rest of the afternoon relaxing and enjoying the atmosphere. Dinner that evening was at Leipolts Restaurant, named after Rhenish missionary, Johann Gottleib Leipoldt, one of the founding fathers of the town and father of C. Louis Leipoldt.

Once again we experienced the wonderful hospitality of the area and enjoyed an excellent meal based on local cuisine.

Cederberg Heritage Route - Dec 2014_0264

Leave a comment

Filed under News

Cederberg Heritage Route – Day 4

Cederberg Heritage Route - Dec 2014_0183Today Klaas takes over from Riaan as guide for the day and once again we head out early to escape the heat. We are heading for our final overnight stop in the historic mission station village of Wupperthal. It is the shortest and easiest of the days, but there is the promise of an interesting river walk with waterfalls and pools and later in the day, the opportunity to swim in the river.Cederberg Heritage Route - Dec 2014_0180

We start on the back path that takes us through Grasvlei, whereas the day before we had come in along the road. Here we join the road to Kleinvlei. Much of the days walking will be along this fairly substantial jeep track, with occasional detours off the road to see a view point, a waterfall or to take a short cut.

Cederberg Heritage Route - Dec 2014_0189

Cederberg Heritage Route - Dec 2014_0210

There are two very special waterfalls on the route, Nooiensgat and one that appears to be nameless. We would not have found either of these without a guide and both are quite unexpected and wonderful. In the one case, the slow running river is suddenly forced in to a narrower channel and over a 50 metre (I am guessing) cliff face; in the other it is spread out over a lower, moss covered ledge and in to a large and beautiful pool, surrounded by lush trees and bushes.Cederberg Heritage Route - Dec 2014_0217

The path passes through the little settlement of Agtervlei, before the heading off towards Kleinvlei. From here it follows the valley of the Tra-Tra River towards Wupperthal. It is on this section that the promised swimming spots are easily accessible and we had no hesitation in jumping in to the cool water.

Cederberg Heritage Route - Dec 2014_0233

Cederberg Heritage Route - Dec 2014_0226

From here it is difficult to see exactly where the path goes to get to the village and it has a somewhat surprising turn in to a small valley and up on to a ridge which overlooks the town. The terrain changes quite dramatically here with the rock formations around Wupperthal completely different from the sandstone of the Cederberg. The picturesque town sits snuggled in to a triangle where three valleys meet.

Cederberg Heritage Route - Dec 2014_0239

Cederberg Heritage Route - Dec 2014_0247

Within a very short period we had dropped down in to the village, once again pleased to be there as the temperature was beginning to rise quite quickly. We arrived shortly before lunch time and had some difficulty in locating the key to the self-catering cottage in which we were to spend the night, but once Klaas had organised this for us we settled in to the cool and comfortable venue. Once rested and lunched, we would explore the town.

Cederberg Heritage Route - Dec 2014_0219

Leave a comment

Filed under News

Cederberg with Matteo & Annalisa for Afruka Eco Tours

Dear Frank (and Kevin)
We are writing to just let you know how satisfied we are of our Cederberg tour. The tour was perfect, the location, the hikes, the food, the guide, and the weather (although Afruka eco tours cannot take the merit also for that…) everything was how we like.

We are very satisfied and will definitely recommend Afruca Eco Tours and we hope we will be able to tour with you guys again in the future.

I have put some pictures online:

If you like them, feel free to use them (just let me know if you need the high resolution not watermarked version).

Best regards and keep up the great work!


Leave a comment

Filed under News

Reclaim Roodeberg

Table Mountain Trails

The Roodeberg is a low peak between Fish Hoek and Kommetjie. There are four sections of land spread over about 5 or 6 km, three of these have already been incorporated in to Table Mountain National Park. The forth section  is private land that used to be part of the Selole Private Game Reserve. SA National Parks are currently trying to raise funds (R9.5 million) to purchase this portion to link all four sections for inclusion in Table Mountain National Park.  Roodeberg - August 2014_0023I did a walk in the area with Meridian Hiking Club in February and then again over this last weekend (10th August). It is really an extremely rewarding area for hiking, not too strenuous, with a great variation of flora. Hold thumbs they can raise a sufficient amount as it is worth preserving. Roodeberg - August 2014_0001

The walk has some interesting surprises and once you have ‘bagged’ the peak, there are a few…

View original post 42 more words

Leave a comment

Filed under News

Silvermine Panorama Route

Table Mountain Trails


Also known as the Skyline Route, the unique aspect of this circular route, is the views it provides, of both False Bay on the one side and Hout Bay on the other. This combined with extensive stands of proteas, one or other of which seem to be flowering at most times of the year. Much of the lower part of the area was once covered by pine plantation, with the natural fynbos being re-established after the extensive fires of 1999 & 2000.

IMG_4306I have done the path twice recently, once in the anti-clockwise direction and once clockwise. Both are equally spectacular, but for some reason the clockwise route seems to be faster. Ideal hiking for a warm winters day.IMG_4308

The trail starts at the Silvermine Dam, at the end of the tarred road that leads in to the reserve, with the first part of the walk along the edge of…

View original post 163 more words

Leave a comment

Filed under News