Hiking and Mountain walking in the Cape Peninsula Peninsula Ramblers by sdsdfqw21


									Hiking and Mountain walking in the Cape Peninsula

The Cape Peninsula offers what must be the most varied and interesting concentration of

hiking trails in the world. You will find craggy cliffs, forests, waterfalls, caves, beautiful

beaches, historical landmarks and spectacular indigenous flora and wildlife all within a few

kilometres drive from Cape Town itself.

And what better way to experience the beauty of the Cape first-hand, than on foot with a

group of friends and a spirit of adventure.

Peninsula Ramblers

The Peninsula Ramblers owes its inception to Lloyd Hart, a keen hiker and climber, who saw

the need to formalise the casual hiking group he and his friends had formed. The first

meeting was held in February 1947 and at a subsequent meeting an executive committee was

appointed. The first Annual General Meeting took place in 1948. With motor cars and fuel

being hard to come by in the early years, members were forced to use public transport and

hikes were largely confined to the Cape Peninsula. So it was not surprising that the club was

named "Peninsula Ramblers" on 22 May 1947. Even today most of the hikes take place in the

Peninsula and Table Mountain itself offers endless variety for outdoor enthusiasts. Fondly

known as 'the Ramblers' by members and visitors alike, the Club has gone from strength to

strength and is still one of the better-known and more popular hiking organisations in South


For years it was customary for the Club to alternate a Saturday afternoon hike with a full-

day Sunday hike, but the enthusiasm of our members has lately

resulted in two and sometimes even three hikes being organised

per weekend. Check out our Hiking Programme to see what's

coming up in the near future. If you're interested in doing a

permit hike book early as the numbers are limited to 12 and the

hikes are very popular. Our monthly evening socials are enjoyed by all and we generally

manage to find a really interesting speaker.
Hiking and Mountain walking in the Cape Peninsula

Meridian Hiking Club

Established in 1989 by a group of friends wanting to hike regularly in safety, Meridian has

grown to a membership of between 120 and 200 people, ranging in age from twenty to

seventy. We offer a range of day hikes, weekends away, weekend trails, longer trails and

conservation activities. We also organise regular social events.


Ramblers programme

   Date                       Trail / Walk                     Time   Leader

Saturday 17 Front Table Contour path                          13h00 Bob Elvy     433 0835
April       Afternoon - easy. Lovely views of the
Sunday 18    Del Vera – Stellenbosch                        09h00 Denise         797 5638
April        Full day - easy. Tea and cake at the wine farm       Hopkins        a/h
             restaurant afterwards.
Saturday 24 River Trail conservation                      13h30 Colin            715 4434
April       Afternoon. Bring gardening gloves and               Kidwell
            secateurs. Please phone the leader to confirm
            your attendance.
Sunday 25    Oyster Trail - Grotto Bay                        08h00 Urs Huber 554 4578
April        Full day. Try something different for a                          a/h
             change. Bring your binoculars if you enjoy
Saturday 1   Yellowwood Trail                                 13h00 Urs Huber 554 4578
May          Afternoon - easy. Bring R25 for entry into                       a/h
Sunday 2     Paardekop – Franschhoek                        08h00 Annabel     439 7786
May          Full day - strenuous. Don't forget all-weather       Kyriazis    after 19h00
             gear.                                                Colin Cohen 465 6495
Saturday 8   Seaside Walk                                  14h00 Gill            448 0556
May          Afternoon - easy. Walk the boardwalk in False       Gimberg         a/h
             Bay. Tea at one of the Kalk Bay coffee shops.
Sunday 9     Spilhaus Ridge & Klaassens Traverse              08h00 Urs Huber 554 4578
May          Full day - strenuous with B-C grade rock                         a/h
             scrambling and exposure to heights.

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Hiking and Mountain walking in the Cape Peninsula

   Date                       Trail / Walk                  Time    Leader

Saturday 15 Cecilia Buttress                             13h00 Robin         686 3896
May         Afternoon - moderate. Minor rock scrambling.       Sherry
Sunday 16    Panorama Trail – Jonkershoek                   08h00 Roger      448 7041 a/h
May          Full day - strenuous. Booking essential.             Johnson
Saturday 29 River Trail conservation                      13h30 Colin        715 4434
May         Afternoon. Bring gardening gloves and               Kidwell
            secateurs. Please phone the leader to confirm
            your attendance.
Sunday 30    Chapman's Peak                                 08h00 Barbara    715 4434 a/h
May          Phone the leader for details.                        Walls
Saturday 5   Cecilia Waterfall                              13h00 Lynda      686 0196
June         Afternoon - easy.                                    Mitchell

Sunday 6     Blind Gully                                    08h00 Derek      671 7624
June         Full day - strenuous. Minor rock scrambling.         Cleale
Saturday 12 Elephant's Eye                                  13h00 Caroline   797 5144
June        Afternoon - moderate to strenuous.                    Caietta    715 4434

Sunday 13    Vogelgat – Hermanus                            08h00 Roger      448 7041 a/h
June         Full day - moderate. Booking essential.              Johnson
Saturday 19 Silvermine                                      13h30 Mary       762 2941
June        Afternoon - easy.                                     Wolfe      715 4434 a/h
Sunday 20    Reserve Peak                                   08h30 Jo Smith   439 8595
June         Full day - strenuous. Minor rock scrambling.
Saturday 26 River Trail conservation                        13h30 Colin      715 4434
June        Afternoon. Bring gardening gloves and                 Kidwell
            secateurs. Please phone to let Colin know if
            you're coming.
Sunday 27    Judas Peak                                     08h00 Caroline    797 5144
June         Full day - strenuous. Some exposure.                 Caietta     465 6495
                                                                  Colin Cohen
             Number of events                                                            21

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Meridian programme

                     Leader                                                               Cost
                                                     Trail / Walk
                 Contact Number                                                      Meeting Details

               Wendy Sachs            Greyton to McGregor                           R40 for
               021 689 2839 (h)       17-18 April. Well-known weekend trail         accommodation and
  17 Apr

               084 589 2839           between two pretty towns                      R50 for permit.
                                                                                    Booking open, book
               Sam Greyvenstein &     Fish Hoek to Muizenberg                       Visitors R10. Meet
  Sun 18 Apr

               Dave Malen             For breakfast and back. Bring your            Fish Hoek Beach
               Sam: 082 498 0361      swimming costume. The last one was so         Parking 09h00
               Dave 082 558 5048      great, this is going to become a monthly
               Tim Jenkin             Atlantic Traverse                             Visitors R10. Meet
Sun 18

               021 685 4741 (h)       Ascend one of the routes from Camps Bay       08h30 Theresa

               083 354 9374           and traverse around GROOTKOP, amazing         Ave, Rontree,
                                      views                                         Camps Bay
               Victor Barnard         Kalk Bay Caves                                Visitors R10 Meet
Sat 24

               021 5574885 (h)        Fantastic views – caves optional if you       12h00 Kalk Bay end

               083 334 7338           would rather chill out and wait outside, if   of Boyes Drive at
                                      not torch and old clothes                     dead end
               Peter Phillips & Sandy Nuweberg Forest Reserve                       Visitors R10 Phone
  Sun 25 Apr

               MacDonald              Hottentots Holland Mountains. An option       either Sandy or
               Peter 021 674 3979     of two routes through this beautiful area.    Peter for details
               (h)                                                                  and to arrange
               Sandy 021 402 3023                                                   lifts.
               Denise Young           Cecilia Ridge                                 Visitors R10 Meet
Tue 27

               083 261 3326           To Reserve Peak for lunch. Easy ascent,       09h30 Cecilia

               021 782 2619 (h)       lovely walk along the ridge with fantastic    Forest Parking,
                                      views.                                        Rhodes Drive
               Janet Fitt             Supper Club                                   19h30, 108
               021 556 7823 (h)       The Africa Café. Come and join us for a       Shortmarket
  Fri 30 Apr

               082 551 9380           real African Feast. This fantastic            Street [on
                                      restaurant offers up to 16 different          Heritage Square].
                                      dishes, originating from countries such as
                                      Mocambique, Morocco, Ethiopia, Malawi,
                                      Mali, Egypt + SA.

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Hiking and Mountain walking in the Cape Peninsula

                     Leader                                                         Cost
                                                 Trail / Walk
                 Contact Number                                                Meeting Details

               Lois Wagner        Botterboom Trail                            R50 plus camping
  Fri 14 May

               082 563 1959       Friday 14 May - Sun 16 May. Botterboom      or B&B costs on
                                  Trail - De Doorns / Hex River Pass.         Friday night.
                                  Overnight in tents. Carry day pack. Train   Booking opens 1
                                  Trolley trips optional alternative.         April 7pm

Popular walks

Cobra Camp - Kommetjie

Time: 2 hour

Distance: 5 km

Route: Return

Dogs allowed

An easy walk along a sandy jeep track to an abandoned World War II radar station. You will

walk through some absolutely classic fynbos and be further rewarded with a stunning view,

which unexpectedly presents itself, looking down onto Kommetjie and the Slangkop

Lighthouse. Return via the same route after exploring the three old blockhouses, each with a

different vista. The place has an aura of both history and mystery about it.

Travelling along Kommetjie Road between Sun Valley and Kommetjie, just after Ocean View

township, there is a turn-off to the left marked "Cape Point/Scarborough". Take it and travel

2,0 km to the crest of the hill, where you will find a gate on either side of the road. The

start of your walk is behind the gate on the right-hand (Kommetjie) side.

Take the sandy jeep track behind the gate. This area was heavily infested with a dense

thicket of Port Jackson willow (Acacia saligna) until 1996, when it was cleared by the

Kommetjie Environmental Action Group. It is most encouraging to see the return of the

fynbos at the start of the walk. The newly exposed graves on the left are those of the

people who worked this ground when it used to be a farm.

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Hiking and Mountain walking in the Cape Peninsula

The sandy jeep track climbs gently for about 20 minutes before reaching a high point where

you are surrounded by classic fynbos. All three components are there -ericas, the reed-like

restios and many members of the protea family. Spring is the best time to appreciate the

area's 550 species of flowering plants. Bird-spotters are bound to see the fynbos specials -

orange-breasted sunbird, greyback cisticola, rock martin, grassbird and others. Perhaps more

common here than most places is the ground woodpecker. Look out for him perching on a

prominent rock.

After about 45 minutes of following the jeep track, you will come to Cobra Camp. The

derelict brick building in the foreground presumably provided accommodation for those

manning the three concrete blockhouses nearby. For the easiest path to the first blockhouse,

aim for the chimney on the barracks almost straight ahead. Go past the left of the building

and keep to the same level, skirting around to the left. Suddenly you are presented with a

wonderful view of Kommetjie village right below you. Also the Slangkop Lighthouse and an

unusual aspect of Hout Bay present a pretty picture. I always enjoy views the most that come

up on you all of a sudden. This is one of them.

A glance at the coastline gives away the origin of Kommetjie's name - the "little basin" which

can clearly be seen. The rocky peninsula a few metres to the north of it is rather oddly called

"The Island" and is a place where all our four species of marine cormorant are found. Also at

different times of the year it is home to some really long-distance visitors - the arctic tern

and the antarctic tern.

After exploring the cliff-hanging observation posts, return to your car via the same route.

Tartarus Cave

Time: 3 1/2 hours

Water: None available in summer

Remember to bring a torch plus matches and candle

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Hiking and Mountain walking in the Cape Peninsula

Even if you don't like caves, this walk is a must between September and November. You

don't have to go into the 50 m long Tartarus Cave to be simply overwhelmed by the variety of

things to see on this hike. It's a walk with a bit of everything, even including whales and

extremely rare and beautiful flowers.

           Your route up Mimetes Valley during springtime is ablaze in a symphony

           of colour. The bright red of the Mimetes trees in full bloom is in

           perfect harmony with the yellow pincushions. From the top of KaIk Bay

           Mountain you can look down on whales frolicking in the bay. And the

           circular route back to your car takes you down Spes Born Valley and

           through a dense indigenous forest of milkwoods and yellowwoods. Oh,

           and there's also a fascinating cave to explore!

The walk starts and ends at No. 110 Boyes Drive, almost above St. James railway station and

tidal pool. With apologies to the occupants of No. 110, theirs is the nearest house to the kink

in the mad, from which this walk begins. Park your car well away from the bend and walk back

to the start on the corner under some trees. You will immediately cross over a stream (dry in

summer) and a mere 30 m further on leave the main path (your return route) and climb up

some steep stone steps to the right. It will take you about 35 minutes of upward climb to

reach your first destination at the top of Bailey's Kloof and beginning of Mimetes Valley.

A few metres up the stone steps however,           over to the right, takes you below a rock

you will be tempted by minor paths off to          overhang cave and cliff face. Look back at

the right. They only lead back to the river        the Riviera-like coastline of St. James to

and should be ignored. After about 8               Simon's Town and notice the colourful

minutes of climbing, the path, having swung        bathing boxes below at the tidal pool.

The path levels out a couple of times before zig-zagging its way up again, eventually coming to

an important fork. This is almost opposite the thatched roof of Rhodes Cottage on the main

road below. At this point take the upward fork to the left. This will take you around the

corner into Bailey's Kloof. Ten minutes later will bring you to near the top and another fork.

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Hiking and Mountain walking in the Cape Peninsula

This time keep right and aim for a fence pole at the top. The paths here are a mish-mash

coming and going seemingly from all sides. Avoid confusion by sticking to the right hand-side

of the valley ahead, just above and to the right of a stream (dry in summer).

The gently sloping valley which begins to open up ahead of you is Mimetes Valley, named after

the bright red flowering trees which find themselves so at home here. They are a member

of the Protea family, as is the equally showy and abundant yellow pincushion.

Half-an-hour's walk up Mimetes Valley will lead you to a 3-way gravel road. Take the centre

option and after about 5 minutes or 300 m you will come to a cut stone beacon built on the

left side of the road. It marks the spot at which you turn left and follow the sandy path up a

rocky valley to reach Kalk Bay Mountain and Tartarus Cave.

Fifteen minutes after leaving the gravel road you will reach a view site at a huge rock where

the sandy path forks just before it. The left fork takes you to superb views just a few

metres on, with shade and shelter under the rock. It's a good spot for a break. The right

fork will take you on and up 10 minutes later to the cave.

You can't miss it. It is literally a black hole in the ground right next to the path. For those

interested in exploring Tartarus Cave, make sure you have at least two torches in the party.

Dropping and breaking the only torch in the group in a black abyss, is not funny. It would give

new meaning to the name Tartarus - a place in Greek mythology close to Hades.

The horizontal entrance slopes down into a large chamber. The main passageway leads off

the far left corner of it. Follow this passage for a couple of metres before it swings to the

right. The passageway becomes narrower and continues for about 25 m before dropping 2 m.

Ten metres after the drop a chasm is reached. It falls 5 m below the passage and rises 5 m

above it, and is about 3 m in diameter. This is no doubt the awesome pit after which the cave

was named.

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Hiking and Mountain walking in the Cape Peninsula

Leave the cave and continue along the path which turns left just before the second trig

beacon, five minutes later. It soon descends down the south slope of Kalk Bay Mountain to a

four- path junction at the top of Spes Bona Valley. Take the left option down into Spes Bona


On a clear day Hangklip on the far side of False Bay is beautifully framed in the kloof. Very

special at this point for most of the year -especially spring - is a vibrant community of yellow

legumes (sweet-pea family) called Aspalathus carnosa.

The path now dives down into a superb indigenous forest, the main components of which are

milkwoods and yellowwoods. Wind your way through it, noticing a great many interesting

plants composed only of two large leaves lying flat on the ground. Called April Fool

(Haemanthus coccineus), they, not surprisingly, flower in March, by which time they have

shed their leaves and have only a single large red flower poking above the surface, on a long

speckled stem.

The multiroute path through the forest eventually emerges from under the canopy and ten

minutes later will deposit you onto a gravel road. Turn right here and follow the road down

hill for about another ten minutes, before it runs out. At the point it ends, take a sharp turn

left onto a clear path which some 25 minutes later will lead you back to your car.

Pinelands High School

The Pinelands High School Outdoor Club has done a number of walks. Below is a picture of

the group on their first walk in 2004 up Lions head. The leader of the group, Mr Kerbelker,

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Hiking and Mountain walking in the Cape Peninsula

is just visible at the bottom of the picture. The walks cater for all genders, ages and



        Details of Meridian from www.meridian.org.za

        Details of Peninsula Ramblers from www.rambles.org.za

        Details of walks from www.hikecapetown.co.za

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