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Hiking Trails Betty’s Bay, Kogelberg, Kleinmond

Kogelberg Nature Reserve Hiking TrailsThe Kogelberg Nature Reserve and the Harold Porter National Botanical Gardens can be reached by Clarence Drive from Cape Town, one of the most stunning self drive routes in the world.

The Kogelberg Nature Reserve, just west of Kleinemond, and close to Betty’s Bay, is one of the best examples of the Cape Floral Kingdom and the beauty of its flowers, indigenous forests, high mountain peaks, steep kloofs, valleys and several tributaries of the pristine Palmiet River make it ideal hiking territory.

Winters are cold and very wet, and snow may fall on the higher peaks. The summer months are hot, dry and often very windy. Hikers should note that the weather conditions are variable and unpredictable.

The Kogelberg does not have many large animals. There are a few leopards; the Cape clawless otter, klipspringer, grysbok, baboons, dassies and hares are all on the reserve. For bird watchers, you can download a list of birds that inhabit the reserve.

Permits and booking is required for all Kogelberg Trails and it is advisable to book well in advance as numbers are limited.

Palmiet River Trail, KogelbergPalmiet River Trail begins at the Reserve office. Walk the beautiful Palmiet River Trail in the Kogelberg Nature Reserve. The trail follows the river where, in summer, one can cool off in some of the first few pools.

The incredible scenery and floral wonders make this four-hour walk very worthwhile. At the end of the walk, you can return for an eight-hour walk via the jeep track on the same route as the Kogelberg trail or along the footpath.

Kogelberg Trail begins at the Reserve office. This is an eight-hour circular trail of 24kms, makes its way through the beautiful indigenous forest area, with old growth yellowwood, stinkwood and boekenhout trees.

Oudebosch to Harold Porter Trail. This one-way route of 6kms starts at the Reserve office and initially follows the same route as the Kogelberg Trail. From the watershed, the trail follows along the western slopes of Leopard’s Kloof, before descending along the Zigzag Trail to the cultivated gardens of the Harold Porter Botanical Gardens. The hike is about three hours and one needs to be dropped off at Kogelberg and collected at Harold Porter, where refreshments can be enjoyed at the café.

See a Map of the Hiking Trails.

All activities must be booked in advance. To make a booking please contact Cape Nature reservations office. National callers: (021) 483 0190: International callers: 0027 861 227 362 8873

The Highlands Highlands Trail, Bettys BayTrail. Book this hike in advance with Cape Nature. This is a 37km two-day circular trail, that starts and ends at Iona Farm, on Highlands Road. The first day of the trail is 21km long and the second day is 16km. The trail runs through orchards, pine plantations and fynbos before descending to the Bot River Lagoon. There are excellent views of the Bot River vlei and the beautiful coastline. The actual lagoon crossing can be up to waist deep if there have been rains, particularly in winter, so take a costume.

You then follow the beach to Kleinmond and the overnight hut. The second day of the trail leads the hiker up through more fynbos, skirting Three Sisters Peaks and up to Perdekop, and then follows a jeep track back to Iona Farm.

To overnight in the area before the hike, book the Frank Robb hut at the Kleinmond Caravan Park. Tel: Pietie Fredericks (028 271 8157). The hut shares the ablution facilities of the caravan park. It is furnished with bunk beds, fridge, electricity, and microwave.  Accommodation is also available at the start on Iona farm.

Harold Porter Gardens
Harold Porter Gardens

The 200ha Harold Porter National Botanical Gardens, known as little Kirstenbosch, is situated on the lower mountain slopes of the dramatic Kogelberg range. Not only is this a great place to stop for tea or lunch, but the walks are magnificent, set in a backdrop of mountain scenery and fynbos, forested kloofs, streams, waterfalls and natural rock pools. Enjoy a few hours ramble here for some good birding results.

Entrance fee, but no permits required except for Leopard’s Kloof Trail.

The Zigzag Hike is a circular trail of two-three hours. It takes you to the spectacular Bobbejaankop view point, where one can see to the coast. A side detour on the trail leads Disa Pool with its beautiful waterfall. In January, the very special red disa flower blooms, hanging from the cliff faces.

Leopard’s Gorge Hike is a two-hour circular trail. It traverses indigenous forest, and features deep pools and waterfalls. The ascent of the gorge to the base of the third waterfall is steep, but there are ladders.

More info on the town of Bot River More info on the Overberg area


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