We have done this hike before, and we were much more prepared this time around. For a start, “Krappie” and company, our friend that booked the hike, decided that there is no way we are going to walk this hike the “right” way around. Walking the Hoerikwaggo in “reverse” was the way it was going to be, and to cheat a little more, we were going up with the cable car, and not up Platteklip Gorge. Secretly I was also relieved to hear this. Starting a 9.5 km hike with Platteklip Gorge can easily add another two hours to your days hike, depending on the group, and not to mention the dampening of spirits. Platteklip Gorge is renowned for dampening the human spirit, ha ha. The brochure we received with the booking confirmation, rated day five as moderate to tough.
A mistake we made was not to book our tickets for the cable car online. We could quite easily have saved ourselves half an hour, and in peak season I can imagine that this half hour can get much longer.
Once on top of the mountain we did the obligatory touristy thing with the photos with views that I never seem to tire of. Once again we were given a very rudimentary map, severely lacking any detail, but fortunately I was prepared for this and had a set of Slingsby maps with me. Since two years ago TMNP has added gps co-ordinates to the “map “, but only three of our group of eight could actually use a gps, so I still don’t think that this is the answer. Spikes with HT (Hoerkwaggo Trail) carved on it has been added at most of the intersections wich helped a great deal, but at one or two intersections these markers could not clearly be seen.
Once you get to the Woodhead dam wall, take some time and walk to the middle of the wall and gaze over this very impressive kloof you are going to be hiking down.
Included in your overnight accommodation is your permit for Disa Kloof. When hiking Disa Kloof, always ensure that you have a permit with you, as I have been stopped twice by rangers asking for a permit.
For a hike the accommodation is truly 5 star, and considering what you are paying, I think this a is a bargain. Here is almost everything, flush toilets, hot showers, fridge, stove,cutlery and a clean cover over your mattress, all you have to bring is your toiletries, food and a sleeping bag. I think everyone that lives in the Cape, and calls himself a hiker should overnight at one of these tented camps at least once.
Krappie arranged for a vechile to be parked at Orangekloof, so upon our arrival we had ice cold drinks and loads of wood for the evenings cooking. The car at Orangekloof affords you the opportunity to only carry a day pack, and this was also all part of Krappies “master plan”.
Our day 2 (or the official day 4) is a hard days walking, no matter wich way around you walk this day. I have done this walk a couple of times, and I can never make up my mind wich way is the more difficult way to walk it. 18.5 kilometeres in 35°C temperatures is no fun at all, and then I have more than once wondered if the views are worth the effort, but somehow, the hard times are always soon forgotten.
In the hight of summer this stretch has no water at all, so be prepared with enough water, specially the last hour ascent up the mega steep kloof into Silvermine.
It seems like most people rave about day 5 of the Hoerikwaggo, with the tight kloof and the dense indigenous forests, but I prefer the sweeping views of day 4, even though there is a lot more sweat and heavy breathing involved.
To view more photos, click on Flickr
|Tel No||012 4289111, 021 – 7809204||G.P.S.||–33.94813,18.402697|
|Nearest Town||Cape Town||Brochure|
|Distance from Town||Chalets/Cottages||Tented camp|
|Tips and things to do|
|These tips will probably apply to many camp sites, but this is what we thought should not be forgotten|