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Fynbos, great views and more ...
Swellendam Hiking Trail, Cape

There are several alternative routes for one of the best hikes in the Western Cape, varying from 2 days/26km to 6 days/84km. They start and end at the Marloth Nature Reserve outside Swellendam, 220km from Cape Town.

Koloniesbos to Boskloof Hut 14km. It starts with a gravel road through pine plantations to Koloniesbos hut and then heads of through an indigenous forest before starting the climb up the south side of the Langeberge, through fynbos to enjoy great views. The trail goes into a valley where Boskloof Hut near a beautiful pool is reached. For the less energetic hiker, one can now take a trip back to the start via Tienuurkop.

Boskloof to Goedgeloof Hut - 11km. The day starts with a steady climb and then a rocky descent to Goedgeloof Hut, which looks over the Little Karoo and is quite close to farmland. OR

Boskloof to Protea Valley Hut 21km. This hike skirts the base of the range and then climbs up to a Nek into Protea Valley, one of the most scenic sections of the trail, with plenty of beautiful fynbos.

Protea Valley to Wolfkloof Hut: Three routes: - Kruispad (7km) is the easiest, but still rather a long descent: Vensterbank (12km) is one of the most spectacular paths in the Cape and quite dangerous in bad weather: The longest alternative is a two-day hike via Nooitgedacht, which first climbs up towards Vensterbank and then begins a rollercoaster of neks and valleys for the remainder of the 13km. Painful, with a fantastic pool at Nooitgedacht .

Nooitgedacht to Wolfkloof Hut - 21km. The first half skirts the base of the Langeberg, heading back towards Swellendam. The path then starts negotiating many gorges, each with its own indigenous forest and stream.

Wolfkloof to the end of the trail 10km. It begins again with a sharp climb and then more skirting along the side of the Langeberg, back towards home. If you took the Kruispad shortcut, you could do this path on the same day without too much effort.

The huts are mainly log cabins sleeping 24, and fires are permitted at Koloniesbos and Wolfkloof (wood is supplied). Goedgeloof and Nooitgedacht are smaller stone shepherd huts. All huts have bunks and mattresses, cooking areas, long-drop ablutions and outside taps.

Acknowledgements: Scouting organisation