Hi-Tec SA

Olifantsbos shipwreck trail

Visit the Hi-Tec factory shop for great deals:
Mon - Fri | 09:00 - 17:30
Sat | 09:00 - 17:00; Sun | 09:00 - 14:00
 
+27(0)21 555 0707
Shop F1&F2 | Access Park | Chichester Rd
www.hi-tec.com
info@kapstadtmagazin.de
HiTec_SA
Hi-Tec SA
kapstadtmag

Olifantsbos shipwreck trail

A hike with Hi-Tec in the Cape Point Nature Reserve

Dutch born, J.K Van Der Luit, clearly remembers the day the Nolloth, his family’s coaster, was shipwrecked at Cape Point. “In 1963, we left Cape Town for Durban in stormy weather. We sailed painfully slow. At 1am or 2am that morning we started shipping water; and after about an hour the bilge pump gave up. Within two hours, we had taken on two metres of water. The vessel was very sluggish and we all went to the wheelhouse where, miraculously, and with the engine still running, my father was able to steer the vessel clear of the coast.

“All we could do was pray that the engine wouldn’t stall. I will never forget the sound of the ship smacking the beach.”

This, now rusty, piece of family history can still be seen partially submerged beneath the sand along the shipwreck trail at Olifantsbos.

Far from the madding crowd

As we pull up in the Olifantsbos parking lot at Cape Point a herd of bontebok are grazing on the outskirts of the beach. There isn’t a tour bus in sight, and it’s wonderfully quiet. I’m wearing my V-Lite Altitude Ultra Luxe WPi Hi-Tecs which do a great job of keeping the sand out, plus they keep me stable on the rocks.

What to bring

  • A map. Pick up a pamphlet at the Buffesfontein Visitors Centre. Written by volunteers, they’re a wealth of knowledge and will set you back just R3.
  • Hat and sunblock. You’ll need to bring your own shade for this walk along the beach.
  • Hiking shoes. For the rocky bits and path to the beach.
  • Water. Make sure you bring enough to keep you hydrated.
  • Camera. Cape Point has some of the most dramatic landscapes which makes for interesting photos.
  • Children from age 10 and up.
  • Warm top. It’s not called the Cape of Storms for nothing; the wind can be icy even when the sun is shining.
  • Don’t bring food with you, plan your picnic before or afterwards: there are sometimes baboons on this route, and they will be attracted to the food.

Routes

There are three routes that start and end at Olifantsbos which vary in length so you can choose between them depending on how much time you have and how energetic you’re feeling. Once you’re in the Cape Point Nature Reserve look out for the Olifantsbos turn off on the right. This will take you through the reserve and down to the beach where there’s a parking lot. You’ll get to enjoy the fynbos and occasional animal along the drive. Look out for the Thomas T. Tucker sign on the left if you’re facing the sea, this is the start of all three routes.

Thomas T. Tucker shipwreck trail
Easy
Follow the yellow tipped markers along the path down to the beach. You’ll leave the path through the fynbos behind as you clamber over a rocky section which will lead you to the beach. There’s plenty of interesting sea life in the rock pools at the water’s edge. Continue on along the beach until you see the remains of the Thomas T. Tucker – an American ‘Liberty Ship’ that struck the rocks while avoiding torpedoes in a night attack in 1942 (don’t worry, everyone on board survived). You can stop here for a break before returning the way you came or continuing on to see the Nolloth and following one of the circular routes back.

Duration: This 3km route will take about an hour and a half.

Shipwreck circuit
Easy
Carry on past the Nolloth shipwreck and up to the inland ridge. The path will lead back towards the Olifantsbos parking lot, go past the sign that turns off to Sirkelsvlei and keep going towards Staavia Edge.

Duration: This 5km route will take up to two and a half hours.

Sirkelsvlei circuit
Moderate
Sirkelsvlei is the largest body of fresh water in the area and is thought to be fed by underground springs. You can reach this route by following the path near the boom gate at the top of the road from the parking lot. You can choose which way to start out with when the path splits, the path on the sea side will take you along Staavia Edge and then around to Sirkelsvlei and then on to a rock shaped like an arch before leading back to Olifantsbos.

Duration: This 6.5 km circuit will take about three hours and 45 minutes.

What to look out for

Flora: The large stretches of open plains at Cape Point are home to over 1200 species of indigenous plants so there is plenty for plant lovers to discover. We stopped to admire the fields of white everlasting flowers (also known as Cape snow and sewejaartjie), they were covering the area looking very much like snow and filling the air with their rustling in the wind.

Fauna: We spotted ostriches, dassies, bontebok and snakes as well as a troop of chacma baboons who were foraging on the beach. There is plenty of birdlife in the reserve too. It’s great being able to walk freely in the reserve with the chance of spotting so much wildlife. You can also spot Cape mountain zebra, eland, Cape grysbok, red hartebeest and many others.

Trivia: This is the only place in Africa where the chacma baboons are protected. The herds of bontebok we spotted are the rarest antelope in the world and closely escaped extinction in the early 1900s.

Cape of Good Hope (Cape Point):
+27 (0)21 780 9010

Opening Times:
April - September (winter) 7am - 5pm
October - March (summer) 6am - 6pm

By Lindsay Callaghan

*Sponsored by Hi-Tec


Have a look at our Facebook album of the route and follow us on Twitter to find out where (and what) we’ll be hiking next. Plus, subscribe to our weekly newsletter for a seven day weather forecast.

Cape Town Events Calendar
May 2017
SUN MON TUE WED THU FRI SAT
1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29 30 31

amayzing race Lourensford Wine EstateThe aMAYzing Race at Lourensford Wine Estate

Join the fun in the Cape Winelands in aid of children with disabilities

Monark Winter Tour with MajoziMajozi Live at Quay Four

Catch this proudly South African act paired with views of the ocean at the V&A Waterfront.

Bubble Parade - 1The Global Bubble Parade in Green Point

You’ve simply never been to a parade like this one; a bubble wonderland!

Super Hero Dash - 2Super Hero Charity Dash

Don a cape and save the day!

Art of Meditation Cape TownThe Art of Meditation Cape Town

Discover inner peace through this three day course that teaches you the art of meditation with Mukesh Vassen.

The Backyard Grill Lounge RibsBBQ Ribs Special at The Backyard Grill Lounge

Savour succulent, sticky ribs for just R150 per kilogram on Wed, Sat and Sun

Markets3Sunday markets in and around Cape Town

Take it easy this Sunday at one of these great Sunday markets to take a stroll through

Dizzys Camps BayDizzys Beer Pong and DJ Sundays Competition

Are you Cape Town’s next beer pong champ?

GONOW LogoGet 50% off Sunday Sunsets with GONOW Electric Bicycles!

Watch the sun set over the Sea Point Promenade from an electric two-wheeler at half the price!

Battlefield Live SA Laser Tag Children's Events Cape TownKids’ Party Special with Battlefield Live SA Laser Tag

Treat your little one to the ultimate military-style birthday bash and save R500

Bugz Playpark in Cape TownSunday Funday at Bugz Playpark

Every Sunday, CapeTownMagazine.com readers can enjoy a day of fun and learning with their children.

Kloof Street HouseSunday Lunch & Free Live Jazz at Kloof Street House in Cape Town

While away the last few hours of the weekend with some smooth tunes and good grub at this hidden gem

Glowing Rooms 3Glowing Rooms SA offers a special opening price!

Pay a special rate for entrance into SA’s first 3D space-themed glow-in-the-dark mini-golf adventure

grand-africa-cafe-and-beach-image-9Sundowner Sessions at Grand Africa Café & Beach

See out the weekend with a chill session at this iconic seaside destination in Cape Town

Camissa Tour 5 2015Sunday Gospel Experience with Camissa

Embark on a spiritual Sunday journey through one of the Mother City’s most soulful settlements

Springbok at Thali Thali Game Lodge West CoastSunday Lunch Buffet at Thali Thali Game Lodge

Cap off the weekend with a hearty, affordable spread at this family-friendly West Coast reserve

Piano Bar 2016 food and cocktails 4Date Night at The Piano Bar in Cape Town

Tuck into four tapas and a bottle of wine for R250 on Mondays at this intimate musical revue bar

cape town comedy club logoHalf-Price Sundays at Cape Town Comedy Club

Laugh 50% off top-notch entertainment every last day of the week at this one-stop-funny-shop

WeatherGiveawaysTravel Tips

Curious to make exciting discoveries in Cape Town every day? "LIKE" us for a daily hidden gem.