Our guide to visiting Jonkershoek

For Moments of Joy. Follow our social channels
for useful news, daily local champions
+27(0)72 350 2062
Ideas Cartel, The Old Foundry, 1 Sand Hill Road, Green Point

Our guide to visiting Jonkershoek

From hiking routes to permit fees: what you need to know

If you’re looking for an adventure-packed day that’s budget friendly, Jonkershoek Nature Reserve is the perfect spot for you. For R60 you can hike or cycle to gorgeous picnic spots and picturesque waterfalls, where you can swim, too. Here are the activities you can do at this gem just outside of Stellenbosch. 

The second waterfall trail includes a jungle-like setting. Image: Lara van Zyl


There are two waterfall trails on the reserve; the Tweede Waterval trail is the most popular. The route takes 2 hours and is roughly around 6.4 kilometres. It's a moderate trail that gets a bit steep near the end. You then start walking through a thick jungle in shallow water. Eventually you’ll emerge at the magnificent waterfall and crisp mountain water pool. It looks like a scene straight out of The Jungle Book!

Good to know: During the summer months, it's best to start hiking as early as possible because it can get hot. Take a towel and bathing suit so you can swim in the waterfall before heading back.

The waterfall is situated in a cove in the mountains. Image: Lara van Zyl


One hiking trail leads to a picnic table that is set on top of a mountain. The views are unbelievable and it is such a great spot for an early morning picnic. When you walk through the gate (where you pay your permit), you will find a jeep track to the left. Keep following the jeep track to the top of the mountain and you will find the picnic table. 

Good to know: The hike is quite steep and takes about +/- 3 hours to get to the top, but it is so worth it!

The view at the picnic table is best during sunrise or sunset. Image: @james_boets


Jonkershoek offers numerous biking trails around the reserve. The trails range in difficulty, depending on the route you take. Each route is carefully marked and colour-coded so riders can identifywhich is the best route for them. 

Good to know: There is an extra cost involved for mountain biking at the reserve, as this section of the land is owned and managed by MTO Forestry. Day permits for bike riding are R60 (R40 for students or pensioners). 

Jonkershoek is a popular spot for cyclists in Stellenbosch. Image: Jaco Lups (@jacolups)


The nature reserve is home to over 1 100 plant species and a variety of small mammals, birds and reptiles. Hikers should look out for King Proteas, black eagles and typical fynbos birds like the sugarbird or protea seed-eater. Puff adders, boomslang, Cape cobra and baboons are fairly common, so hikers should be alert!

The King Protea spotted at one of the hiking trails in the nature reserve. Image: Justin Mills (@just90sjunkie87)


Jonkershoek Nature Reserve is open: Monday to Sunday; 7am to 6pm
Find it: The end of Jonkershoek Road in Stellenbosch
Price: Adult - R50; Child - R30; Cycling - R60. Pay for your permit at the gate.
Contact the reserve on: 021 866 1560


By Lara van Zyl



Discover more waterfalls + rock pools in the Western Cape.

Check out this guide to hiking Elephant’s Eye Cave.

Find some of the best and hidden hiking routes.

Enjoy one of these 7+ suggestions to do this weekend.


Loved discovering this? Make sure you get our popular weekly newsletter. Follow and like us on TwitterFacebookLinkedInInstagramPinterest for updates.

Cape Town Events Calendar
November 2022
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

Park Inn Foreshore ribsAll-you-can-eat ribs in the CBD

Tuesdays are ribs days (and nights) at Park Inn by Radisson Cape Town Foreshore

Old Fashioned MonthThe best bars for Old Fashioneds + how ...

Where to drink one of the world’s oldest cocktails + a recipe

Fairtrade giveawayTake a quiz, win coffee + tea for a ...

Life isn’t fair. But you can be (and win). It takes 2 minutes

Drumstruck performersDrumstruck at Silvermist! African drum ...

Drumstruck is back from Broadway and playing for a limited run in Cape Town

Elvis BrewElvis Blue’s “lekka” padstal on ...

Elvis Brew in George has the closest viewing deck for large aircraft in SA

Taj Jiva SpaJiva Spa Special: 3 massages x 30 mins ...

Select 3 treatments from 7 options, from head massage to deluxe pedicure

Bombay BrasserieBombay Brasserie offers sumptuous ...

Taste 7 unique dishes (+ a surprise) at Taj Cape Town’s signature eatery

Blue Train ParkKids Party Idea: Take a ride on the ...

BOOK Now and let the outdoor adventure begin!

Breathwork Africa foundation3+ ways to get your breath back and ...

Classes, courses, retreats on conscious breathing run by the trainers leading the global ...

The Blue Room interiorLive jazz at The Blue Room

Dine, drink cocktails while top local muzos jam at this moody new bar

Taj kids bedHere’s an unbeatable deal: Kids stay ...

You’ll get 2 interleading rooms, 1 harbour + canal cruise and royal treatment

Oasis Association Claremont coffee shopDo Good

3 ways to support Oasis: shop, donate or take your recycling there

White Shark Cage Diving - BoatSpectacular rates on shark-cage diving ...

Where conservation meets adventure. FREE Buff + ask for current CapeTownMag specials

Ficks CocktailsFicks: the best sundowner pinchos bar ...

Pair wine, cocktails and mocktails with pinchos and a spectacular sea view

La Motte Tasting RoomVirtual and on-site wine tastings at ...

Or do this specialised La Motte wine-tasting virtually

Klein Roosboom tasting caveTaste wine in a cave

Boutique winery with 6 six cosy tasting nooks. Plus platters, picnics + trails

Canto Wines champagne + macarons tasting3 unusual pairings at this Durbanville ...

From MCC to tonic tastings: there’s something at Canto for the whole family

GiveawaysTravel Tips