This must be one of the most amazingly scenic and beautiful hikes we have completed in a long time. Not only is the hike right in our home town, it includes some of the greatest viewpoints to admire our peninsula from. What can be more overwhelming
than standing on top of Chapman’s Peak on a clear crisp Spring day! Breathtaking vistas of Hout Bay and Noordhoek Beach, makes for some cherished moments and photos. Will I do this hike again? – for sure but there are some things to take note of beforehand.
The logistics involved inorganising the vechiles for
this linear hike is quite challenging, to say the least. If one could leave your car safely at either end of the hike ‚then this will not be a problem, but we were strongly advised not to leave any vechile at the parking area at the top of Red Hill due to vandalism. It is a great pity as this would make the logistics of this hike so much easier.
Fortunately for us we have friends that live in Noordhoek and they were prepared to pick us up at Red Hill and give us a lift back to Silvermine, where we could safely park our vechile overnight.
This is a “slackpacker” hike, meaning that someone picks up and drops your bag of at the overnight stops, and once again we could “phone a friend”. Unfortunately SANParks does not offer this service anymore, but tourists do not have to fret, there are a few web sites on the internet that will offer you this service.
We have walked part of the Hoerikwaggo Trail before, and we quickly found out that one has to have a good map of the trail. At the time we took it for granted that the path will be well marked, but this is not the case. We vowed never to get lost in our “backyard” again and immediately bought a set of Slingsby maps, which is recommended by SANParks and is probably the most up to date hiking map of Table Mountain.
We decided to do the hike starting from Silvermine, heading towards Kommetjie, as this day is between 18 and 21km long, depending which website or magazine you read. This makes your hike mostly downhill, and even walking downhill most of the day it still took us seven hours to complete, with very little stopping. We shudder to think what it must be like to walk from Kommetjie to Silvermine with a full backpack. We will rather leave that to the younger, hard core hikers.
Overnight at the tented camp (next to the Slankop Lighthouse) is worth every bit of the long walk to get there. The six two man tents are neatly tucked in a milkwood forest and the large Boma was perfect with a braai area and equipped kitchen. Also note that the tent has to booked for two. The sunset we experienced on the deck was incredible and we all had a field day with our sun downers and cameras.
On the morning of our second day we were greeted with rain. Fortunately we were prepared for this, but what a contrast this was to the previous days picture perfect spring weather. The elements on the Cape Peninsula can turn surprisingly quickly (see video clip), so it is advisable to always be geared up with at least a windbreaker/raincoat and the other essentials in your day-pack.
Unfortunately , once again we could not find the proper path, even with our new maps. We ended up walking through Ocean View squatter camp, and with hindsight we found out that this was not such a good idea, as this has been quite a hot spot for crime lately. We have the 3rd edition 2010 maps, but he correct path that circumvents Ocean View altogether is not shown on the map. This will hopefully be added in the next edition of the Slingsby maps. We still think that these charts is a great purchase, and we have discovered many “new paths” whilst walking with these maps.
Looking back on the Hoerikwaggo Hiking Trail, we just cannot make up our minds what was the actual highlight of this hike. Was it the jaw dropping, knock your breath away view from the summit of Chapmans Peak, the serene calm amble down Noordhoek Beach or the beautiful tented campsite with its orange painted sunset, we just cannot come to an agreement. We suggest you do the Hoerikwaggo Hiking Trail, or part of it, and decide for yourself.
|Hoerikwaggo Hiking Trail, Day 3 and 2|
|Tel no||+27 (0) 21 422 2816||G.P.S.||–34.075412,18.400628|
|Nearest Town||Max Persons||12|
|Distance from Town||Overnight Shelter||Yes, in tents|
|Map to start of hike||View Map||Brochure|
|No of days||5||Trail Type||Linear, you have to arrange your own transport|
|Tips and things to do|