Two days hiking the Hoerikwaggo Trail
Natalie Roos for Cape Town Tourism
On a beautiful Sunday morning I awoke to the sounds of birds chirping and the smell of a wood fire being prepared outside my tent. It was still dark and my muscles were aching, but I was already looking forward to the day’s challenges that lay ahead.
I had spent the night at the Orangekloof Tented Camp in the Constantia Nek Valley, after an 11km hike from Silvermine on the day before. We had 14 more kilometres to climb before we reached our final destination: the top of Table Mountain.
The full Hoerikwaggo Trail ("Hoerikwaggo" comes from the Khoisan word for “mountain in the sea") takes you from Table Mountain to Cape Point over a five-day hike. We were only hiking part of the trail, spanning 25km over two days. Our group was made up of first-timers as well as more experienced hikers but our guide, Binny Ridgway of Ridgway Ramblers, set a pace that was comfortable for everyone in our party.
Binny has been a full-time walking leader in the Cape Peninsula region for over six years and knows all the hidden gems, like the Waterworks Museum and the opening on the Woodhead Tunnel, which was built in 1891 to transport water from the mountain to the city.
The trail starts off at Table Mountain, taking hikers to Maclear's Beacon, its highest point, , passing one of the dams along the way to Orange Kloof Forest.
From there hikers head towards Silvermine, and enjoy the magnificent views of False Bay. The adventure continues towards Kommetjie via Chapman’s Peak, along the magnificent beaches. Hikers then make their way towards Simon's Town and Cape Point, to explore the beauty of the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve.
After a long day, hikers arrive at one of the eco-friendly camps which were exclusively built for the Hoerikwaggo Trail. Hikers overnight in tented camps that blend into the surroundings, boasting comfortable beds and are equipped with fireplaces, braai facilities, and a big kitchen.
On Sunday we hiked through thick indigenous forest and over rocky plains, stopping for lunch on a rock ledge overlooking the route we had experienced so far. We reached the top of Table Mountain with its spectacular views later that day with aching legs, feet and shoulders, but the sense of accomplishment and joy was worth all the effort. The experience was definitely one to remember.