This nature reserve lies in the majestic Hottentots Holland Mountains, about 90km south-east of Cape Town. The 70 000-hectare reserve stretches from Elfin in the south to beyond Villiersdorp in the north, and from the Stellenbosch Mountains in the west, eastwards to the Groenland Mountains. The rocky mountains, bright wildflowers and still natural pools make the Hottentots Holland Nature Reserve perfect for challenging hikes. The reserve’s mountainous terrain ranges between altitudes of 500m and 1 590m. Summers are generally hot and dry, while winters are cold with annual rainfall as high as 3 300mm on the Dwarsberg plateau.
DAY 1: We all meet up at the entrance of the Hottentots Holland Nature Reserve at 7.30 am after a somewhat slow drive in thick fog.
On day 1 we hike from the start at Nuweberg to Shamrock Hut via the Sphinx Trail. Mostly uphill but it you take it slow it really is not difficult at all. (Distance +-12 km.) I found the 1st stretch to be the most difficult because your body is still trying to adjust to carrying a +-17 kg backpack with all your possessions for 2 days and a night 🙂
We stop for a tea-break before carrying on. A rather windy but beautiful day. I tried to count all the small streams we crossed but gave up as some are so small you don’t even know if you should count it as a stream. Sadly we didn’t come across any King Protea’s this year which as very disappointing as they were absolutely stunning 3 years ago.
We realized we had gone quite fast so we stopped for a nice relaxing lunch with a view of our cabin way up on the hill.
After lunch we did the last stretch to our lovely rustic cabins. All of the huts are equipped with bunks, mattresses and water points with stunning views. Especially from the toilets 🙂
We are sharing the cabins with another group but they have the big one and our group has the 2 small ones. (Ladies and Gents have their own quarters in our case) Chopping wood and braai’ing is left to our very capable men. Lovely dinner and sunset before crawling into our beds nice and early.
DAY 2: On the second day we get up very early to view a stunning sunrise & breakfast before getting ready for our walk down.
We started off in a rather chilly wind. Our plan was to go to some waterfall but somehow got a bit lost. Anyhow we did end up at a waterfall. We started off by following the jeep track…
Here we take a turn off the jeep track… teas stop and a after getting lost we found a waterfall and stopped for lunch and the brave for a swim.
Lunch in the bush before finding our way back to the jeep track and to our cars.
A great hike that I hope to do again one day when we have had better rain and the King Protea’s are in flower. 🙂 A wonderful group of people who I hope to do many more hikes with. Thanks to Iain from Awakening Intuition Network for organizing.