Nestled between towering mountains in the beautiful Cape winelands lies the magnificent Franschoek Valley.

When visiting the town of Franschoek one would have to look towards the mountains and wonder about the hiking trails close to the town.

Some of the best hiking close to Franschoek is found in the Mont Rochelle Nature Reserve. You need to buy a permit to hike there at either the Protea hotel, the tourist office or the Huguenot museum shop. You then head up the Franchoek pass and at the top turn into the reserve.

Du Toits Kop.

Hiking up the DuToitskop trail


Although there are a few trails to choose from my favourite is the Du Toitskop trail. This is an in and out trail to the Du Toits Kop Peak. A moderately fit person could reach the summit in 2.5 hours and return to the car in under 2 hours. The total length of the return journey is 7.5km, but do not be fooled by this relatively short distance. This is a steep trail that gets the heart pumping and the legs straining.

From the car park follow the jeep track for 15 minutes. Then take the small path to your left as you pass some buildings on your right. The path climbs relatively steeply for 15 minutes until you reach a junction. This is called breakfast rock and a good place to catch your breath. To get to Du Toits Kop you take the left fork here. The path continues steeply up zig zagging its way up the slopes of the mountain. The trail is clear for most of the way, with just the odd very short rocky section where you follow cairns. This is one of those trails where just as you think you are getting to the top, you see the trail leading on and over yet another climb.

However the views from the top are worth all the effort. On one side the beautiu lvalley of Franschoek with the coast and Table Mountain in the distance. On the otherside the Tierwaterskloof dam.

DuToitskop trail

Enjoying the view from the top

For more information on this trail and others in the Cape Winelands contact Binny