The three trails are the Boegoekloof of 17 km that will take some 7 hours to complete, the Buys se Pad Trail of 20 km that will take some 6 hours to complete and Groenlandberg Trail of 24 km, that will take some 8 hours to complete, and the Riviersonderend kloofing trip. Book in advance at the Hottentots Holland Nature Reserve. Booking is provisional until payment is made. A simple map is provided with the permit.
The main attractions include mountain scenery, wild flowers, natural pools for swimming and breathtaking views. There is a limit of 12 people per permit for all overnight and day trails. The weather is unpredictable; cloud, mist, strong gusty winds and rain can occur at any time of the year; hikers must always be prepared for extreme conditions. Boegoekloof is closed from May to end September, when the high river level blocks the route. During poor weather other trails may be closed at short notice. At such times there will be a pre-recorded message at the office. In summer water may be scarce. Illegal entry, departure from the marked routes, littering and picking of wild flowers are offences and can result in large spot fines.
To reach the Hottentots Holland Nature Reserve, which is 83 km from Cape Town, drive through Grabouw and turn left to Villiersdorp; continue for 11 km along the Viljoens Pass road, when you will see the sign to the Hottentots Holland Nature Reserve. All the trails are clearly marked.
Boegoekloof Walk begins on the route of the Boesmanskloof trail. Hikers can choose how far they wish to walk. The first kilometre follows a jeep track beneath pines, then leads through fynbos, across the Palmiet River (no swimming allowed). From the ridge 1,5 km further on, the Dwarsberg and the Riviersonderend Valley are a lovely sight. Turn right, down the jeep track and into the valley of the Riviersonderend River, where you will find Eensbedrogen pool, a wonderful swimming spot. Having crossed the river, take the path straight up the valley - which crosses the river a few times - to the exquisite Dwarsberg pool. Return the same way.
Buys se Pad. Walk the route starts at the forestry gate near the country club outside Grabouw. t proceeds through the plantation and makes a clockwise loop in the Hottentots Holland Nature Reserve, past the ridge known as The Protestants across a pleasant stream of the Klipdrift River, joins Buys se Pad, rounds two unnamed peaks, and returns to the start through pines. Wear hiking boots, as the going is stony underfoot.
Groenlandberg Trail offers breathtaking views over the Theewaterskloof Dam to the north and the verdant Elgin Valley to the south. Follow the jeep track over the Groenlandberg for a distance of 12 km (or more if you wish), returning the same way. As there are no significant streams along the route, carry ample water, especially in summer.