Hiking in Cape Town is very popular due to the beautiful Table Mountain Chain and the dramatic scenery with craggy peaks and sea scapes in all directions. One of the most spectacular hiking trails is the Hoerikwaggo Hiking Trail. Hoerikwaggo is a Khoisan word that means “mountain in the sea” and the trail links Cape Point to Table Mountain.
The Hoerikwaggo Trail however seems to have confused ‘wanna-be’ hikers – partly because they can’t find the information as they don’t know how to spell it and partly because there are many options and alternative ways to walk this trail or sections of it.
Hoerikwaggo Trail: What is it?
The Hoerikwaggo Trail is a 5 day, 4 night trail along the length of the Cape Peninsula. The trail can be done in its entirety. You can also hike any section of the trail as a single day hike or you can combine adjacent sections for 2 or more days. You can also hike the trail in either direction. See map below or click here
Hoerikwaggo Trail: Accommodation
Accommodation is in permanent tented camps which were specifically constructed to accommodate hikers on the trail. There is a central communal boma at each camp, which is fully equipped with kitchen supplies. The camps sleep 12 people each with proper comfy beds in each tent. The majority of the tents sleep 2 people in single beds per tent, although at 2 camps there is a 4 bed tent. The great part of the accommodation is you don’t have to pitch a tent and you’ll get to sleep in tented comfort! Click here to view all the camps.
Hoerikwggo Trail: Which direction?
The hike is traditionally done from Cape Point to Cape Town but it can be done in either direction. If one is doing the entire 5 day hike, my personal preference is to finish the hike standing at the top of Table Mountain, though the views are spectacular in either direction. If doing a 1 or 2 day hike, it is personal choice. If you head towards Table Mountain there is a little bit more uphill walking, however doing it in reverse will involve steeper downs which can be equally challenging.
Hoerikwaggo Trail: How many days to hike?
It’s entirely up to you and your fitness levels and the time you have available. The full 5 day hike is fairly demanding, however it has been described as a slackpacking trail as you don’t have to carry all your equipment. If you do it alone you will need to carry your sleeping bag and food. You can also book a guided and catered hike, so your luggage will be transferred to the next camp and food organised for you so all you need is to walk with your daypack.
We have found the most popular request to be a one day hike with an overnight stay– so happy hikers can kick back and enjoy a good braai and a cold beverage after a day on the trail. Some people are keen to walk on the 2nd day. Cape Point Route has put together route information based on each section for one day and one night. (see below or click here)
Hoerikwaggo Trail: How far is the hike each day?
This depends on which section of the trail you walk. The shortest day is 9.5km and the longest day is 21km. The total distance for 5 days is about 75km long. Click on each section for a description of the days walk.
Hoerikwaggo Trail: How many people can hike the trail?
The tented camps sleep a maximum of 12 people so if you plan to overnight in one of the tented camps then you cannot have more than 12. Remember that if you have a guide, the guide also needs a bed so guided hikes only take a maximum of 11 people.
Hoerikwaggo Trail: Guided or unguided?
If you are not familiar with walking on Table Mountain and the local conditions we recommend a guided walk as it is surprisingly easy to get lost. The trails are marked with small signs but it is easy to miss them if you are gazing at the view! It is best to purchase a hiking map to assist you if walking alone. The guides know the trails and can share vast amounts of knowledge about the flora, fauna, history and geology to enhance your experience.
Hoerikwaggo Trail: Porterage Service?
If you walk alone you will need to carry all your provisions including sleeping gear and food. If you book an organised hike with a guide, the service to transport the heavy items is usually included in the price.
Hoerikwaggo Trail: Catering
The trail is self catering so you need to provide all your food and drinks if hiking alone. Many of the organised hikes will arrange or include meals for you but it’s best to enquire what is provided. The camps are fully equipped with braai area, pots, pans, cutlery, crockery etc
Hoerikwaggo Trail: Transport to the start and finish
This needs to be arranged independently. It is usually best to book a taxi or a transfer service to the start and similar system at the finish. It is possible to leave a car at the starting camp but this does need to be pre-arranged to lock the car behind closed gates and remember you have to remember to arrange to have the gates opened to collect your car as well, which is why we recommend being dropped off at the start!
Hoerikwaggo Trail: Facilities
All the camps have communal shower facilities (except Smitswinkel which has en-suite showers) with gas powered hot water for showers. Fresh water is available.
Hoerikwaggo Trail: The Sections
To make the trail easier to understand we have described each section as a one day trail starting at Cape Point. Please refer to the map below!
A. Cape Point to Smitswinkel Trail
A 15km hike from Cape Point Lighthouse to the entrance of the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve. Experience views of False Bay and the Atlantic Ocean. See Shipwrecks, ostriches, reptiles and more.
Overnight Accommodation: Smitswinkel Tented Camp
B. Redhill to Slangkop Trail
A 12km hike from Simon’s Town to Kommetjie with panoramic views of both False Bay and the Atlantic Ocean and some wide open spaces as you traverse the peninsula past Kleinplaas Dam. Look out for fish eagles!
Overnight Accommodation: Slangkop Tented Camp
C. Slangkop to Silvermine Trail
A 21km hike from Kommetjie to Silvermine Nature Reserve above Noordhoek. Experience Noordhoek Beach, Chapman’s Peak, oystercatchers & marine life, the Kakapo shipwreck. This is a long day with some challenging climbs.
Overnight Accommodation: Silvermine Tented Camp
D. Silvermine to Orangekloof Trail
A 15,5km hike from Noordhoek to Hout Bay. Experience sweeping vistas of Hout Bay, Fynbos, and end in the beautiful Afromontance forest near Constantia Nek.
Overnight Accommodation: Orangekloof Tented Camp
E. Orangekloof to Table Mountain Trail
A 9.5km hike from Hout Bay to Table Mountain. More panoramic views, historic landmarks, dams, fynbos and arrival at the top of Table Mountain with the option to walk down or catch the cablecar.
Optional Overnight Accommodation: Platteklip Washhouses.
Hoerikwaggo Trail: What do you need to bring?
In your daypack:
• Lightweight top/ fleece in case of cold weather • Rain jacket or windbreaker in case of wind & rain • Sunscreen & Lip balm • Tissues or Handkerchief • Lunch & Snacks – energy bars or dried fruit • Water Bottle (at least 2 litres) • Cash (Silvermine Entrance & Cable Car) • Camera & charged Battery • Optional: first aid kit including blister kit • Optional: Trekking poles • Optional (& useful): penknife
What to wear:
• Good walking shoes • Socks- hiking socks & liners recommended • Comfortable trekking pants or shorts • T-shirt (Moisture Management top is ideal) • Hat or Peak Cap • Sunglasses Overnight Pack: • Warm Clothing for evening- long pants and top • Beanie/ fleece hat • Extra socks • Evening footwear (optional – flipflops/sandals for shower)
• Personal toiletries • Towel • Torch/flashlight – headlamp recommended • Mosquito repellent
In camp: • Sleeping Bag & Pillow (Bedding can be arranged on request) • Food and drinks (If you are doing an organised hike – check what is included!)
Cape Point Route offers day tours, packages, accommodation, activities and car hire in Cape Town’s south peninsula in addition to teambuilding events in Cape Town.
Call 021 782 9356 or visit www.capepointroute.co.za