See also Encounter Magazine's comprehensive guide on Hiking
in South Africa.
The trail is fairly strenuous, leading through private property and traversing the Vrolijkheid Nature Reserve that lies in the Breede River valley, about 15 km south of Robertson on the McGregor road. The trail provides panoramic views of the Overberg as well as the Worcester-Robertson Karoo.
The landscape is rugged and strikingly scenic, with sandstone and underlying shale formations.
Klipspringer, grysbok, grey rhebuck and springbok are common. Caracal (rooikat) occur here but are rarely seen. Amphibians and reptiles are abundant, a highlight being the rare Robertson dwarf chameleon. Species lists are available at the reserve entrance and office.
Birds are well represented, with a total of 175 species including the jackal buzzard, African and pale chanting goshawk and the spectacular black and African fish eagle. The dams on the reserve also attract a variety of waterbirds. The Trail
Trail Distance: 25,3km
Day 1: 14,3km (8 hours)
Day 2: 11km (7 hours)
Trail limit: Maximum of 24 hikers per day, with a maximum of 14 per group
Hut Capacity: It is necessary to book separately for the trail and for overnight accommodation. Details may be obtained from the reservations office.
Nearest Town: Between Genadendal and Robertson
Nature Reserve: Riviersonderend Conservation Area
This is a two-day circular route of 25,3km. It begins and ends in Genadendal at the historic Moravian Mission Church which dates back to 1738. Overnight facilities are available at the church for hikers who prefer to stay the night before starting on the route.
Day 1 leads past two pools at Groot and Klein Koffiegat, ending at the farm Die Hoek on the north side of the mountain. Overnight accommodation, including braai facilities, is available here. Day 2 returns to Genadendal.
Hikers should be fit and well-equipped. In summer it can be extremely hot and it is advisable to carry water. Winters are cold and wet and hikers should adhere to weather warnings as the trail can be dangerous in extreme conditions.
Extremely high temperatures may be experienced from November to March, and during this period hikers should set out early in the morning to avoid walking during the heat of the day. A sun hat is essential.
Trails may be closed at certain times of the year depending on the weather conditions.Reservations
Cape Nature at Tel: (021) 659 3500