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Boesmanskloof valley

I was invited along on this hike by a group of very “fes­tive hik­ers”. By fes­tive i mean, its more about par­ty­ing than about hik­ing. I had my fears , but after some thought I said “what the hell, how bad can it really get.”

One thing that I have learnt over the years is that if com­mit to a group of fes­tive hik­ers, there is absolutely no way that you will be leav­ing early the next morn­ing to the start of the hike. No , one MUST sleep over the pre­vi­ous evening, as to get into the spirit (spir­its) of things. Know­ing this I still agreed.

As with all fes­tive hik­ers one ALWAYS has to stop/​meet at the pub/​hotel, and what a pleas­ant sur­prise Grey­tons hotel was on a very nippy win­ters evening. A warm log fire greets you as you enter the pub with many other quaint para­pher­na­lia on the walls and dis­play cab­i­nets. This is also the pub where the very pop­u­lar advert “give that man a Bells” advert was made.

After a heart warm­ing sherry or two we started relax­ing , but at the same time I was start­ing to get wor­ried, for as we know, fes­tive hik­ers have no end.zebra_moon_backpackers

For­tu­nately my escape came quite quick as one of the girls men­tioned her hunger pangs. This almost sparked of a riot amongst the women and of course I imme­di­ately offered to accom­pany them to our overnight accom­mo­da­tion and to start the fire.

We had two choices to choose from for our overnight accom­mo­da­tion, (exclud­ing guest houses, but fes­tive hik­ers don’t do that) the first being Grey­ton camp site, but this was quickly out voted, cit­ing rea­sons like cold etc. Secretly I think this hik­ing party pre­ferred a lit­tle lux­ury, but in the end we landed up at Grey­tons Zebra Moon Back­pack­ers Lodge.
Zebra Moon is an old school con­verted into a back­pack­ers sit­u­ated on the edge of town.There are a few options to choose from con­cern­ing your sleep­ing arrange­ments, and it is best you enquire at man­age­ment about this.Untitled-2

The guys at Zebra Moon was really help­ful, and our wheel­bar­row (which was not enough) of wood was already neatly parked next to the fire­place out­side. Soon the fire was roar­ing, and a long while later the oth­ers finally joined us. It sud­denly dawned on me that every­one was wear­ing their extreme party hats. This was going to be a long evening.

Before I knew it , I was gen­tly relieved of my braaing duties even though the coals was beg­ging for the meat, and only very much later did we finally eat. By now I was dread­ing the next day.
Mid­night was approach­ing at light­ning speed and the cold was get­ting unbear­able. All I wanted was some sleep. I could actu­ally hear my tiny bed beg­ging me to lay my weary butt down in it. Aha, not so sim­ple, first a night­cap or three had to be had before every­one finally had enough. Bliss­ful sleep finally flooded my weary body.

About three sec­onds later i was awak­ened. It took me a while to reg­is­ter, and i couldn’t believe it, these guys were actu­ally get­ting ready for the new day, with only hav­ing what felt like three sec­onds sleep for the night. And to top if all, one or two of these fes­tive hik­ers first had to have a “kop­ski­eter” before their feet actu­ally touched the ground. Whoooaa.

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What felt like many hours later, we finally got to the start of the hike at the edge of town, and this is where we met our first chal­lenge of the day, cross­ing the river. This is nor­mally not much of a chal­lenge, but this day was laced with hur­dles, and need­less to say some­one landed up in the drink. I am not sure if this was due to the pre­vi­ous evenings fes­tiv­i­ties, or a gen­uine slip, but lets give this lady the ben­e­fit of the doubt. I have actu­ally seen more than one per­son slip and fall into the drink.

As if this was not enough the next hour and a half we spent look­ing for the start of the hike. The hike is actu­ally quite clearly marked, all one has to do is fol­low the signs. Simple.

Boes­man­skloof, Greyton
Con­tact Details
Tel no 023 6251735 G.P.S. 34.041578,19.61994
Cell no 0722400498 Email
Fax Web­site
Hike Details
Near­est Town Grey­ton Max Per­sons
Dis­tance from Town End of town Overnight Shel­ter Yes, one can arrange a dif­fer­ent size hut accord­ing to your group size
Map to start of hike View Map Brochure
No of days 2 Trail Type Cir­cu­lar, but you walk back the same route.

ZEBRA MOON ACCO­MO­DA­TION: This email address is being pro­tected from spam­bots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 028 2549039

Camp­ing: Ph Grey­ton Munic­i­pal­ity /​Info – Over­berg (028) 254 9620

Tips and things to do

These tips will prob­a­bly apply to many hikes, but this is what we thought should not be forgotten

As I did this hike many years back, I vaguely remem­bered a jeep track wind­ing its way up a rather rude uphill just after cross­ing the river. The rude uphill is still there, but i think some­where over the years some­one actu­ally piled more rub­ble onto the hill. I just could not remem­ber it being this STEEP and this LONG!

Thank­fully, after a half an eter­nity the hill finally came to an end. This is also where “Break­fast Rock” is and it went with­out say­ing that this was def­i­nitely going to be a place to the rest the weary legs (and heads).
Even though we were at break­fast rock , it did not look like any­one was much in the mood for break­fast. Most of our group was just lying around, try­ing to nib­ble on a choco­late. One of the ladies must have dropped a choco­late or some­thing in one of the bushes of in the dis­tance, as I could see her bent over look­ing for it. I never actu­ally asked her if she found it.

With break­fast (which was almost lunch) finally out if the way, we groaned to an upright posi­tion and slowly started to plod along. No one seemed very much in the mood for this.
A short while later we came to the end of the jeep track, and one is rewarded with a breath-​taking view of the kloof and what is left to walk till the end of the hike. You can actu­ally see the the tall blue gum trees where you are going to sleep under at end of the hike approx­i­mately 8km off. When I pointed this out to our group, I could actu­ally feel their weary bod­ies protest­ing. We were halfway and we might as well fin­ish. How much harder could it get?

The spec­tac­u­lar scenery through the kloof def­i­nitely seemed to have a pos­i­tive effect on everyone’s spir­its as some of the hik­ers actu­ally started point­ing out the water­falls and more of the scenery. Things were finally start­ing to look bet­ter, and we knew our lunch spot above a fast flow­ing water­fall also was not to far of.

In sum­mer the water­fall is a great place to spend an hour or two at, as there is a huge swim hole just below the water­fall, but it was way to cold to even con­tem­plate swim­ming. Even if it were the height of sum­mer, I don’t think any­one would have had the energy to swim any­way. We all agreed the next time we walked this we will with­out a doubt spend some time here.

Once again protest­ing bod­ies were brought to its feet and on we trudged and the “hill” and trees we saw from a dis­tance started loom­ing over us. No doubt things were going to turn ugly soon again. My thoughts were not even vapour yet and I realised how quickly and how far we had spread out. We had to regroup, as some of the ladies were start­ing to take seri­ous strain, but what amazed me was the fact that the whole time they had a smile on their faces. I was expect­ing to hear some very heavy exple­tives, as I have heard more than once before, but all I heard was some heavy breath­ing as we slowly neared the sum­mit of this “lit­tle bump”.

Once you get to the top of the bump and you are tired and think that you can­not go on any­more you will see a beau­ti­ful big house perched on the edge of the cliff. Don’t get to excited, this is not your overnight accom­mo­da­tion. Carry on with the road towards the blue gum trees that you saw for the first time a cou­ple of hours ear­lier. This is your overnight accommodation.

Our accom­mo­da­tion sported beds with matrasses, flush toi­let, hot shower, two plate stove , fridge and cups glasses cut­lery etc. No one would by any means call this five star, but in hik­ing terms this was far more than expected. No one even both­ered to look around and the only thing on everyone’s mind was to dive for a bed. As I lay there I won­dered have many other tired, smelly sweaty bod­ies have lay on this mat­tress over the years.

Our hut had a built in braai, and as I expected there was small moun­tain of wood wait­ing to turn our steaks into some­thing mouth water­ing. It did not sur­prise me at all when one of the lady hik­ers pulled out of her bag a steak so big, it resem­bled a small cow. That steak could have fed a small coun­try some­where in Africa. She prob­a­bly also had the heav­i­est bag of all of us. I was even to afraid to help her lift the bag onto her back, just in case I could not man­age. I have learnt over time it is best not to go some places, and her bag was one of those places.

What did sur­prise me was that as soon as every­one ate, they all headed for bed. And this was before 22H00! The pre­vi­ous evenings antics def­i­nitely took a toll on these fes­tive hikers.

We woke up to a fairly mis­er­able , gloomy and over­cast day two, but I can­not say the same for the mood of these fes­tive hik­ers. They were up and about early and you could actu­ally see a spring in their step. What a con­trast from the pre­vi­ous day.

As with the pre­vi­ous day you are faced with a choice of which route you want take. Their is the his­toric pass route and the scenic route. As we did the his­toric route the per­vi­ous day we opted for the scenic way back down into the kloof. On the way up we sug­gest you take the his­toric route. Although it is quite a bit steeper than the scenic route, it defnitely feels shorter.

Other than a bit of rain the walk back was quite unevent­ful. The pre­vi­ous day we walked for almost eight hours and our hike back took just over four hours. I also have to point out that the walk back to Grey­ton is mostly down­hill and of course the lads and lasses were much “fresher” than the pre­vi­ous day.

Will I do this hike again? Yes , but in sum­mer this is going to be a lot harder with the sun bak­ing down on you in this tight kloof and water being avail­able at only one or two places. The only thing that I would like to change about this hike if I could is the route back. It is a lit­tle dis­ap­point­ing walk­ing the same route two days in a row.

Writ­ten on 25/​11/​2013, 18:26 by Heleen
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