Cape Point Hikes

Ridgway Ramblers offers a variety if hiking trails throughout the Cape Peninsula

Day 1

The 2 day hiking trail through Cape Point is magnificent. Although only 70km from Cape Town you are truly in the wilderness. Wildlife to be seen include Eland, Zebra, Bontebok and Ostriches. The accomodation is well equipped and comfortable. Really this is a trail that has it all. 

You start at the entrance gate to Cape Point. Walk through the gate and about 800m along the road before taking a path to the left. Today you follow the coast of False Bay. Although only 13km the trail is constantly undulating throughout the day so most people take 5 to 6 hours to reach the cottages. 

The start of the Cape Point hiking trail with magnificent views over False Bay


The path takes you very quickly to a viewpoint at Smitswinkel so you immediately get a taste of the scenary to come. 

From here you head South towards Judas Peak and then inland and around the base of Paulsberg which is the highest peak in the area (367m) The path is well marked but rocky, and some of the downhills quite steep. If the Southeaster is blowing you are quite exposed in places but luckily the wind blows you inland and not into the sea! The sea views are astounding all day, with the sheer cliffs of the Paulsberg giving a great backdrop to much of the mornings hike. 

The trail leads past Judas and around Paulsberg Peaks


After 8km you reach the top of a small peak kanonkop. So called as it is home to a canon left from the early days of the second British occupation of the Cape. It was used to signal Simonstown and warn them of an approaching ship. From here you can see Cape Point in the far distance as well the Diaz and Da Gama crosses close to the Buffelsfontein centre 4 km away. 

The cannon on Kanonkop


The Buffelsfontein visitor centre offers a good place for a lunch stop and to refill the water bottles. The trail leads to a junction in the path where the centre is clearly marked to your right. The visitors centre is is a restored homestead originally built in 1809. Here you will find toilets, a cafe and a wide variety of information on the flora, fauna and history of the area. 

 To get back onto the trail after lunch go past the centre and take the path leading to the left after the wooden boardwalks. This last section of the trail is 0.7 km long and relatively easy. The last 100m or so takes you right along the top of some awe inspiring cliffs to the Rooikraans view site which is one of the best whale viewing sites in the Cape. 

From the view site follow the path to the carpark and follow the yellow feet up a small trail until you come to a tar road. Here you are directed right to Erica hut and left to Restio and Protea. 

The cottages are well equipped and comfortable


If you have the energy and reach the hut relatively early in the afternoon it is well worth dumping your pack and continuing over Da Gama peak to Cape Point itself. This final stretch will take you an hour each way and then you also need an hour to explore and visit the light houses so ensure you have enough time before you set out. 

Cape Point seen from Da Game Peak


 An important thing to be aware of is the baboons. When you leave your packs at the hut put them inside and lock the doors. Once back at the accomodation don’t work with food in the kitchen with the doors open until its dark. After dark the baboons go to bed and won’t bother you any more. 

Day 2

Day 2 on the Cape Point trail is longer with a distance of 20km being covered. However it is less undulating and should also take 6 to 7 hours to complete. Today you hike along the Atlantic coast. Much of the day is spent on the beach with a wide variety of birds including the endangered Afican Black Oystercatcher often being sighted.

Ostriches and other wildlife are a common sight in Cape Point


From the hut follow the tar road down to the boom that meets the main road. Cross straight over the road and follow the path through the fynbos and across another tar road.  45 minutes after leaving the hut you come to the Atlantic coast at Pelgrams Point. Turn right here and follow the trail to Platboom. The path is broken up in places but just keep following the shoreline until just before the beach you head a little inland to the Platboom car park. From here head straight to the beach and cross the beach towards the ocean. There you will pick up the path again heading North along the coast. The path passes some Khoi san middens and the wreck of the Phyllisia which ran aground in 1968.

Day 2 follows the coast for much of the trail


After 6km you head inland at Hoek Van Bobbejan. Continue along the path for another 6km to a clearly marked junction where you turn right towards Sirklesvlei. This is the largest freshwater body in the area and is a great place for lunch. 

Sirkelsvlei is a good place for a lunch stop

After a well deserved break you set off for the final 3km of the trail. It leads you through fields of restios covering the wide central plain called Smitwinkelvlakte, and then up onto the rocky slopes of Rooihoogte, the only climb of today. You reach a height of 275 metres and then descend quite steeply to the entrance gate where you began the trail.