The Hoerikwaggo Trail is a five day / four night trail between Cape Point, in the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve and the Western Table of Table Mountain close to the outskirts of the City of Cape Town. The whole trail is within the Table Mountain National Park and offers a challenging trek with stunning views of both the False Bay coast and the Atlantic seaboard.
The name, “Hoerikwaggo” comes from the original Khoi Khoi name for Table Mountain, meaning “The Mountain in the Sea”
The terrain that the trail covers includes cliff paths, steep ascents and descents as well as beach walking and some undulating mountain paths. The trail follows a designated path which is generally well marked at most of the strategic intersections. It does not have regular route markers all along the way and it is very possible to take a wrong turn or deviate from the set route, particularly in bad weather. Most of the days are reasonably strenuous, requiring a good level of fitness, yet it is a route that the regular and very fit hiker would not find too challenging.
There is one section of the trail, between Smitswinkel and Simonstown, where it is not possible to hike due to sections of the trail falling outside of the Table Mountain National Park, and transport is required to shuttle hikers from the overnight facilities at Smitswinkel Bay, to the start of the Simonstown to Slangkop leg of the trail. Hikers have to arrange their own transport for this section.
The accommodation is all in fixed tented camps, most of which sleep two people in single beds. The camps all have communal kitchen facilities with gas hobs, limited refrigeration and braai (bar-b-que) facilities. There are also communal ablution facilities with hot showers.
The trail can be walked as one continuous trek over the five day period, or broken into convenient sections of two or three days. Booking is subject to availability of accommodation, although all sections can also be walked as day hikes without booking accommodation.
The accommodation and the trail itself is falls within Table Mountain National Park (TMNP) and the booking is made through the SANParks booking system. If you are doing the trail with Slackpacker SA, we arrange the booking for you. While TMNP do not require you to have a guide, if you do not know the Mountain paths, this is highly recommended, not only for the guidance, but the value added through knowledge of fauna, flora, geology, history and more.
For more information on catered multi-day trails
Day 1. Cape Point to Smitswinkel Bay 17.5 km
The trail starts at the Cape Point lighthouse car park. There is an option of visiting the lighthouse at the Point before setting out on the trail. The trail meanders between the some high cliff paths, low peaks, inland fynbos and coastal rocks and beach. In a few places there are alternative paths where a choice between beach and inland can be made. The day finishes with a stunning cliff view point and a short walk down the tarred access road to the Nature Reserve to cross to overnight tented camp venue.Difficulty level: Moderate
Simonstown to Slangkop Lighthouse 13 km
This is the easiest day’s walking on the trail but transport is required to get from the overnight accommodation to the start at the bottom of the old cable way step in Simonstown. The steps are paved but they are steep and are good wake up in the morning. These come out at the grave of Just Nuisance, the only dog to have been formally enlisted in the British Navy during World War II. From here there is a short walk along the tarred road to Red Hill and a return to the hiking trail. The path is clear and easy going to the Kleinplasie Dam and then on over some fairly rock terrain to the Slangkop Peak, overlooking Kommetjie and your accommodation at the tented camp alongside Slangkop Lighthouse.Difficulty level: Easy
Slangkop Lighthouse to Silvermine: 17.5 km
In contrast to day 2, day 3 is probably the most strenuous of the trail. The day starts with a beach walk of about 6 km across the beach to the base of Chapman’s Peak. This a steep ascent from sea level to just below 600 metre at the top of the Peak itself. The path is well crafted and the views are so amazing that your attention is soon distracted from the climb. From the Peak there is a sharp descent in to a saddle and the a long walk up the path to Silvermine Ridge at close to 700 metres. The reward for the climb is the easy descent to the camp, close the Silvermine Dam (where swimming is permitted).Difficulty level: Strenuous
Silvermine to Orangekloof: 16km
This day starts with a short climb from the Silvermine Valley to the lookout point at Blackburn Ravine. The path appears to drop off straight to Hout Bay and the rocks below. In reality it is a good path with some moderate exposure, that zig-zags down to the contour path below. The route then follows the contour overlooking Hout Bay, before meandering up the side of the Constantiaberg, meeting a short section of the jeep track before descent in to Vlakkenberg Valley and up to Vlakkenberg Ridge. From there it is down to Contantia Nek, across the main road and in to Orangekloop and your overnight camp in this permit access only area of Table Mountain.Difficulty level: Strenuous
Orangekloof to Table Mountain: 10km
The last leg of the hike is moderate and made easier by the beauty of the surroundings. After a short walk through the pristine fynbos of the Orangekloof Valley, you ascend Disa Ravine. Between the end of January and early March you may see the famous red disa growing here. At the top of the Ravine you will come out at the Woodhead Reservoir, before heading for the Valley of the Red Gods, the Valley of Isolation, Echo Valley and the Western Table of the Mountain – the well known ‘flat’ top, familiar in photographs depicting Cape Town. You will come out at the top of Platteklip Gorge, where you may have a choice between visit the cable station precinct and descending by Cable Car or walking down the Gorge to the lower cable station and the end of the hike.
Note: The Cable Car can be closed in high winds or inclement weather conditions.
Difficulty level: Moderate