We were told that this is an easy hike, “a walk in the park”. Yeah right, don’t get caught with this lie, as all hikers know, there is no such thing as an easy hike, (except maybe Silhouette hiking trail in Sutherland.) Nowadays we are fortunate to have so much information at our fingertips, so that none of us have to go “blindly” into a hike anymore. Once again it was our fault for not reading up on the hike first, as some of the members in our group took some serious strain.
The first night we slept in the bus, and to put it mildly, we missed its glory days. If sleeping in an old bus does not appeal to you, there are also chalets available When we hiked Silwerkloof the site around the bus looked neglected, and we were wandering if the “carport” was going to come crashing down on our heads. We were told in advance that there is only a cold water shower and absolutely no fires are to be made. (Although the brochure contradicts itself.) When you see all the dry vegetation around the bus (and experience the wind) one can understand why no fires are allowed.
If you have time to get to Silwerkloof early enough, I would suggest you try your hand at fishing. We spent a couple of hours at the dam and we were lucky enough to land quite a few fish. Fortunately we could also light a small weber where we could braai our meat, at a very relaxed pace next to the dam.
If you are a keen mountain biker there are plenty roads and trails to keep you perspiring for hours on end. Canoeing is not encouraged as the wind is known to pick up very quickly. It is always advisable to enquire about all the activities before hand at farm management.
If you have hiked Arangieskop (Mike Lundy describes Arangieskop as the “Everest” of the Western Cape) divide that by two , and you will have a rough idea of what you are letting yourself in for.
The cave was spotlessly clean. I thought to myself “wow, hikers know how to leave the environment clean” , only to find out that farm management was there a few days before to clean up three black bags of rubbish, left by the previous group of hikers. I guess one will always get some people that don’t give a hoot.
No fires are allowed at the cave and there is no water. The water issue is probably why this hike is not that popular. Carrying five liters of water up the mountain is not that pleasant, but never the less I thought that the views and the experience of sleeping in a cave was worth the effort.
I only had three litres of water with me, but I am fairly light on water, and I think that in summer even five litres might be to little. We were there at the end of winter and there was a small stream about 20 minutes before the cave, but I doubt whether there will be water in the hight of summer.
The path on the way down is fairly well marked, even though we had to backtrack a few times. The path was quite over grown at places and the bush fire also did not make the the going easier.
Would I do this hike again? Yes, definitely, but I don’t think in the hight of summer.
|Tel no||+27 (0)23 232 0531||G.P.S.||–33.351179,19.063854|
|Nearest Town||Gouda||Max Persons||The bus sleeps 10|
|Distance from Town||11 km, 15 mins||Overnight Shelter||In a cave|
|Map to start of hike||View Map||Brochure||Click here|
|No of days||2||Trail Type||Circular|
|Tips and things to do|