Jonkershoek nature reserve is found near the town of Stellenbosch about an hours drive from the city of Cape Town. The mountain here offer some truly spectacular hikes.
Sweartboskloof is an 18km trail taking you through ever changing scenery with pristine fynbos and outstanding views. Including some pretty steep ascents and taking you to some very remote areas it is a wonderful hike for those looking for a challenging hike.
I prefer to do this route in the reverse direction than most books describe. This is due to the steep kruktrekkers nek which is often very loose underfoot. I much prefer to hike up this and down.
You reach this steep ascent after a pleasant walk in along side the eerste river. The first hour along the trail is relatively straight forward passing 2 spectacular waterfalls and several lovely pools. On a weekend this part of the trail is often busy with picnickers and swimmers. However as soon as you leave the river and start steeply up you rarely see any other hikers.
Once at the top of the nek there are a multitude of paths leading off. For swartbos kloof you head up to the right. Still uphill it is less steep and much more solid. The fynbos also changes with head high ratios sometimes completely concealing the path underneath.
After a short climb the path levels out and continues with high peaks on either side.
The top is home to ever changing flora and each corner brings yo to a more dramatic view until eventually bringing you to a view over false bay and the entire Helderberg basin. Table mountain is visible in the distance.
From here the path heads fairly steeply down hill and and towards the jonkershoek valley.