Hoerikwaggo Trail

Amanda had a great idea to release all of our notes that we did each night while on the Hoerikwaggo Trail so that anyone who wanted the full, unedited details could read them. Hopefully, it may even help if someone else wants to do the trail in the future as we had some trouble finding information before the hike began. I’ve added a few sections to the beginning of this page with other useful information.

My original post about the trail – here

Amanda’s post about the trail – here

Pictures from the trail – here

Maps:
– obtained at Cape Union Mart at the Waterfront in Cape Town
– all maps are Slingsby’s
– Cape Point, Cape of Good Hope 3.1
– Simon’s Town, Fish Hoek, Kommetjie 3.1
– Silvermine and Hout Bay 3.1
– Table Mountain 10.1

HT – Day 1 – Sept 30, 2011

Cape Point Lighthouse – Smitswinkel Tented Camp

15 km – Easy
1020 – 1730
Mainly Sunny with some clouds. Windy at times. Forecast prior to starting was high of 17.

Drove down to Cape Point from Cape Town – R400 – driver Chris who was a former guide with SAN Parks – NOTE: had to pay R80 each to enter Cape of Good hope park (in addition to our tent bookings)

Befofe hiking walked up to the old lighthouse.

Overall, trail very clearly marked. Lunch at Buffelsfontein Visitors’ Centre. Night at tented camp R200 each. Fully stocked kitchen and eating area. Additional kitchenette at tent. Full mattresses and ensuite in tent. Boardwalk between building and tents.

Terrain
– rocky – boulders and small rocks on most of the trail
– some parts soft sand

Scenery
– lots of views of Cape Point and False Bay
– Atlantic and Indian ocean – green blue waters
– cliffs and rocky hills

Wildlife
– ostrich
– whales (likely Southern Right Whales)
– baboons
– 2 tortoise
– ibises – really loud birds in trees
– antelope
– other birds

Food
– full English breakfast at B&B
– lunch: wholewheat rolls and nutella
– dinner: Thai chicken curry (dehydrated backpacker meal)

Summary of Day 1
A great way to start the trek. No steep climbs so allowed to adjust to packs (especially with 5 days worth of food). Barefoot shoes held up ok for me – Amanda is still undecided as her feet are sore. Beautiful to see two oceans at the same time for most of the walk.

HT – Day 2 – Oct 1, 2011

Red Hill to Kommetjie

12 km – Easy
1030 – 1530
12 km (wrong turn!)
Cloudy skies. Windy at times. Cool temperatures (likely 14 or so)

Drove to Red Hill from Switswinkel camp as there is no trail open yet in between.

Trail was clearly marked although we made a wrong turn at the Cobra Camp ruins and ended up walking down into Kommetjie instead of towards the camp. (we should have just went straight past the ruins to the 7 zigzags)

Lunch on a rock overlooking Ocean View.

Night at Slangkop Tented Camp. No ensuite this time. Close to Skangkop lighthouse and boardwalk with ocean views. Less than 100 m from ocean! Shared kitchen facilities. Shared showers and toilets.

Terrain
– mainly white sand trails
– no significant elevation changes
– rolling hills
– more green shrubs and flowers starting to bloom

Scenery
– great views back to False Bay
– our first look at Table Mountain and Devil’s Peak
– close to camp, good view all the way back to Cape Point

Wildlife
– none aside from occasional bird and caterpillar
– must have been too cold for the animals

Food
– breakfast: oatmeal, pears, plums
– snack: granola bar
– lunch: bun with nutella, apple
– snack: tea, chips, chocolate
– dinner: pasta and rice

Summary of Day 2
The soft, sandy trail was welcomed by our feet after the rocky day yesterday. Views of the towns, mountains and oceans were spectacular. Still a bit early for flowers to be in full bloom. Remember to double check the map instead of trying to rush to the finish!

Quotes from the day:
“There’s more sand in my shoe than foot!” – Amanda
“We’re gettin’ there…” – Andy

HT – Day 3 – Oct 2, 2011

Kommetjie – Silvermine

800 – 1630
21 km – Tough
Rain overnight. Cloudy in the morning with clear skies by 900. (likely 17 or so)
Ridiculously windy all day!

Trail started along Kommetjie and Noordhoek beaches for first 2 hours. At the end if the beach we couldn’t find the trail to start ascending Chapman’s Peak. After being halted by private property signs and path closures, a lovely woman with 2 dogs agreed to take us up to the main road where the main ascent started. Steep and windy climb up Chapman’s Peak with 360 views over Hoet Bay and back towards Slangkop. Lunch at top sheltered by rocks. Then after a short descent, another long ascent towards Noordhoek ridge. Then a gradual descent down a gravel road to the Silvermine Tented Camp. Shared kitchen. Shared showers and toilets.

Terrain
– beach – could walk on hard wet sand as tide was going out
– rocky otherwise with large rocks acting as steps
– gravel road at end of day

Scenery
– Chapman’s Bay and Hoet Bay
– Kommetjie and Noordhoek beaches
– Chapman’s Peak, Noordhoek Peak
– Silvermine Dam

Wildlife
– none aside from birds on the beach

Food
– breakfast: oatmeal with raisins and almonds, apple, banana, granola bar
– snacks: many granola bars and fruit bars
– lunch: kaisers with nutella and banana, apple
– snack: tea, almonds, raisins
– dinner: chicken a la king

Summary of Day 3
Beautiful weather and scenery, however, the strong winds made hiking challenging at times which made it difficult to enjoy the surroundings. But we can’t really complain! (although there were times we thought we would blow off the mountain!) Walking along the beach for a couple hours was a lot if fun in the morning. The views at the top of Chapman’s peak were stunning!

HT – Day 4 – Oct 3, 2011

Silvermine – Orange Kloof

830 – 1530
15 km – Tough
Clear skies in the morning and no wind! Small clouds at times but generally clear and sunny. Likely around 18 or so.

First part of the trail was backtracking away from Silvermine tented camp towards the dam. We didn’t go right to the dam bur stayed on the gravel road heading towards Noordhoek Ridge. We didn’t summit Noordhoek Peak as we were very close to the summit yesterday and chose an alternate route to avoid the “danger” section on the map as well another climb to the top. We proceeded to Blackburn Kloof and stayed up on the ridge. (our map shows the trail going lower but this would result in an unnecessary descent and re-ascent to the same ridge.) We then took a contour path around Constantiaberg before heading down to Vlakkenberg. After a lot of downhill walking on stone steps we eventually arrived at the gates to Orange Kloof. Despite no signage we found Orange Kloof tented camp. (take the gravel road to the left at the boom.) Shared toilets and showers. Full kitchen facilities.

Terrain
– rocky with large rocks acting as steps
– gravel road and sand mixed in at times

Scenery
– Hoet Bay
– views back to Chapman’s Peak
– lots of ridge walking
– far off views to Slangkop from one side and False Bay on other side
– Table mountain and Cape Town on descent to camp

Wildlife
– none aside from occasional lizards and birds

Food
– breakfast: oatmeal with raisins and almonds, apple, banana, granola bar
– snacks: many granola bars and fruit bars
– lunch: kaisers and wholewheat buns with nutella and dried fruit
– snack: tea, almonds, raisins
– dinner: bobotie

Summary of Day 4
We had spectacular weather today! Clear skies, bright sun, and little wind provided us the opportunity to really enjoy the views of the bays and mountains. We were relieved that today’s hike was not as tough as yesterday’s. The fairly flat multiple ridge walks provided some needed relief for our legs and feet (although the final downhill towards camp was difficult). After enjoying another hot shower and quiet evening at the tented camp we are ready to tackle the final climb to the top of Table Mountain tomorrow.

HT – Day 5 – Oct 4, 2011

Orange Kloof – Table Mountain (upper cable car station)

800 – 1230
9 km – Medium
Rain overnight. Clearing skies in the morning. Rain for 5-10 mins while ascending Disa Gorge. Then cloudy and foggy at top. Cleared a bit before we headed down cable car.

Started hiking through forest then ascended Disa Gorge to Back Table. Many valleys and climbs up to Western Table. Ladders in one section. We felt lost at one point before the last big ascent as it was hard to tell where we were with the clouds and fog.

Ended trail at upper cable car. (saved us hiking down another 90 mins of killer downhill)

Terrain
– forest early in day
– rocky trails
– not as flat up top as Table Mountain would seem from below
– ladders during final climb up to Western Table

Scenery
– Valleys
– Woodhead Reservoir
– from the top, views all the way back to Cape Point

Wildlife
– none aside from birds

Food
– breakfast: oatmeal with raisins, dried fruit and almonds
– snacks: granola bars and fruit bars
– lunch: warm food at Table Mountain cafe and a latte!

Summary of Day 5
The lower journey towards Table Mountain in the morning was quite enjoyable, but due to the weather at the top, it became a bit daunting. There are many different paths and trails and the low clouds and fog made it difficult at times to figure out exactly where we were on the map. In the end, we stuck to what seemed like the main trail, and arrived safely at the top of the Western Table. The Table Mountain cafe greeted us there and it was not hard to persuade us to stop in for a warm lunch and latte. An equally easy decision was to end our 5 day hike with a ride down in the cable car rather than suffering an uncomfortable 90 mins downhill back into Cape Town. All in all, a great five days!

3 thoughts on “Hoerikwaggo Trail

  1. You two are truly something else! Ron believes you should write a book.
    This trip will be with you forever thanks for sharing!,,
    Hugs!,

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