Hiking in Cape Town - The Hoerikwaggo Trail

Panoramic - heading for McLears Beacon

What is it?

The Hoerikwaggo Trail is a formal trail running the full length of the Cape Peninsula, from Cape Point to Table Mountain, which requires 5 days to complete, staying in beautifully appointed trail huts.   To make the trail accessible for international visitors, we are now running this as a fully supported trek - that is to say, fully guided, with catering, porterage and transport logistics.  Over the 5 days, you’ll cover approximately 75 kilometres along the spine of the Peninsula, experiencing dramatic and varied views as you proceed; you’ll traverse the Table Mountain National Park, a World Heritage Site, and pass through the world’s smallest, yet most diverse floral kingdom; it’s tough in parts, and requires good hiking stamina - extremes of weather, be it 30 degree temperatures, or rain and wind chill, contribute to making this a challenging, yet extremely rewarding trek.

Trail Overview

Commencing in the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve you’ll follow a lovely cliff-top trail past the alluring peaks of Paulsberg, Die Boer and Judas.  As you trek north you’ll pass over many of the Peninsula’s high points, as well as experience the immediate coastal terrain, including the mostly deserted, 8-kilometre Noordhoek beach.  The route is beautiful and varied, and straddles the Atlantic and Indian Oceans, affording you extensive sea views east and west. The final approach up the southern flanks of Table Mountain is particularly attractive, and the dramatic views over the city and Table Bay that greet you at the end, coupled with the prospect of a good diner, local wine and a night under crisp linen, will hopefully give you a final boost to decline using the cable car and opt for a final steep descent down Platteklip Gorge

“Hoerikwaggo” is a Khoisan name given to Table Mountain by the nomadic Khoi people who hunted and gathered on these mountains. Linking Cape Point to Table Mountain, the trail was constructed by previously unemployed people from the townships of the Cape Peninsula with emphasis placed on leaving little or no environmental impact on the earth.

What’s special?

Traverse exquisite coastal mountain terrain ranging in height up to 1000m - Experience the unique Cape Floral Kingdom close-up - Stay in uniquely designed camps (one has been constructed using whale bones!) that have been set up for sole use of trail groups. This is the only way hikers are able to sleep out in the reserve - Huts accommodate 12 only, which limits numbers - with the exception of Table Mountain, you will see few hikers en route, and no other group treks (unless they are heading in the opposite direction) - A personable local mountain guide to lead you - Full logistical support, including transport to the start of the trail at Cape Point and back to your hotel or guest house base in Cape Town, and movement of all main luggage as you proceed – no hire car required - Fully catered

Basics

Group departures - We have set 4 fixed date departures to run each year, and up to 10 persons can join these departures, whether you are single, a couple, or a group of friends.  Fixed date group departures require a minimum of 4 to run. For dates, see the next tab, or click here

Private treks  - The trek can be run at anytime of year for private groups, for between 2 and 10 persons, subject to hut availability. 

Price - see the next tab or click here

Accommodation - the camps accommodate a maximum of 12, and for supported treks we allocate 2 beds for the guide and support driver/cook.  These camps are the only ones located in the Cape Peninsula Reserves, and there is no public access.  For example, the final night when going south to north is spent in Orange Kloof Tented Camp, which nestles in the ancient Afromontane forest of Orange Kloof, which is a restricted area.

Terrain - Straightforward paths (some laid stone and occasional boardwalks) over undulating terrain, and some beach walking.  Some steep climbs.

Grade - Strenuous. Participants will need to be fit, covering up to 18km per day

Style - Fully supported and catered, with guide, hutted accommodation, and transfers pre- and post-trek.  Luggage is carried between camps by vehicle.

Alternatives

Not everybody visiting Cape Town has time to join a full five day trek. However, if you are interested in hiking on the Cape Peninsula, we can help you set up any of the following:

Partial Hoerikwaggo Trail
Do a 2 or 3 day trail on one or more of the key stages of the Hoerikwaggo Trail.  These can be run for a minimum of two persons on dates that suit you, subject to hut availability. These trails are guided, and can either be fully supported or run on a self-carry basis.

Table Mountain “luxury” Slack-packers trail (2 nights)
Go on a 2 day / 2 night fully supported trail on Table Mountain, staying in the historic Platteklip Wash houses on the first night, then at the historic Overseers Cottages on top of the mountain on day two.  

Guided day hikes
Explore the myriad of excellent day hikes from your hotel or guest house in Cape Town - we can advise on routes and arrange guides, packed lunches, and logistics where necessary to help you get the best out of this beautiful area.