Hi-Tec SA

Swellendam’s hidden hikes

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
HiTec_SA
Hi-Tec SA
CapeTownMag

Swellendam’s hidden hikes

Discovering Bontebok National Park

The Western Cape’s five South African National Parks (SANParks) have a wealth of walks—some more undiscovered than others. Bontebok National Park is one such uncharted adventure, and even though it’s the smallest of all the parks, there are still plenty of hikes to meander.

This conservation area was established to protect the rapidly dwindling population of bontebok (an indigenous buck species). But there’s way more than buck to ogle here; the plant life is unusual and unique, the bird life rampant and rare, and the vistas of Langeberg Mountain take your breath away.

A river runs through it

We’ve decided to take the path that cuts along the Breede River. The hiking trails are open for both day and overnight visitors, but because of its relative anonymity, solitude is almost a guarantee. Normally this would mean an element of danger, but the hikes are as safe as it gets—no visitor can pass reception without signing in. Still, it’s always best to be prepared, so read our tips on hiking safely in Cape Town.

What to bring

  • Binoculars, you’ll want to have an eagle eye out for the birds. There’s a viewing deck along The Aloe Walk, so bring a thermos too, and get spotting.
  • Bring a picnic, The Bushbuck trail leads you to the Die Stroom picnic area.
  • Swimming costume. There are designated swimming spots.
  • Fishing rod. The Aloe Walk passes an angling spot; just make sure you’re licensed.
  • Water or sundowners. If you’re an overnight guest, you can do the walks at sunset.
  •  Children. The walks are easy and beautiful, and the children will love the unusual flora. If you book ahead, a ranger can take groups of children on walks, and tell them interesting facts and legends along the way.
  • Conservation fee, for South African residents, adults R22.00, children R11.00. Standard fee: adults R54.00, children R27.00. 

Routes

The Aloe Walk
Easy

The trail is marked with signs and is easy to follow. The path goes up on the aloe-knotted, higher banks, and then dips down to the Breede River, which has carved its way through a canyon peppered with the nests of birds of prey. We spotted a fish eagle on our walk.

Duration: 3.3 kilometres, it will take you roughly an hour there and back.

The Acacia Walk
Easy

An acacia tree, if threatened by an animal nibbling its branches, can give off a scent of shoe polish and taste bitter. A recent study in the Kruger National Park found that all the trees in the area will quickly follow suit; a type of arboreal osmosis. There’ll be plenty of these thorn trees on this bush walk, and lots of game as well.

Duration: 1.6 kilometres, the shortest of all the walks.

The Bushbuck trail
Moderate

Pack a snack rucksack for this one, the trail leads to Die Stroom picnic area, complete with wooden decks and tables. The stone tables have permanent game boards etched into their surface, so bring along the chess or checkers. This spot has the best river view.

Duration: 5.5 kilometres, make a day of it.

What to look out for
Bontebok of course, as well as other game, such as Cape mountain zebra, red hartebeest and grey rhebok.

Tip: Buck the trend with a stay in Swellendam. We did, and loved our riverside chalet.

Words and photographs by Malu Lambert.

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
February 2019
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

SaySay.Love Exhibition 2German Artist SaySay.Love Exhibits At ...

The artist who can’t see in 3D uses a unique medium to create inspiring art

Langarm The Fugard Theatre 6Final Show + Watch The Teaser: ...

Last chance to see: Some of South Africa’s most established stage performers take to ...

richardLook Who's Playing Shakespeare's ...

One of SA’s award winning actors and funniest comics portrays the famous hunchback with ...

Nom Nom_New1Something New: Invent Your Own Gin at ...

All-new DIY gin bar, double your wine every Wednesday, PLUS: an all-new menu to share

La Paris_Deli2Wednesday Delights at La Paris Deli in ...

A bakery and bistro experience at one of the most beautiful winelands wedding venues, now ...

cartelcafe6Lunch Sorted: A Midweek Buffet At The ...

Fill up your plate and tuck into a tasty lunch spread every Wednesday and Thursday: From ...

LaParada20Two Hours of 2-For-1 Drink Specials ...

Two Hours of 2-For-1 Drink Specials with Happy Hour At La Parada

two_oceans_aquariumMake Memorable Moments at Cape Town’s ...

Throw a party unlike any other at the Mother City’s underwater wonderland

knife barMai Tais To Margaritas At Discounted ...

Jugs of Jack Black lager included

Comedyclub_new11End Hump Day With a Laugh At The ...

Share the experience at Cape Town Comedy Club in the Waterfront’s Pumphouse every ...

Om Revolution vinyasa poseHave an Outdoor Yoga Experience with ...

Embrace your inner yogi outdoors

High Five SUP 3Stand Up Paddle Surfing Group Lesson ...

Learn to SUP for less thanks to High Five Kitesurf school

Rotterdam_EventGirlsGin2Ultimate Bachelorette Party: The Girls ...

Three days of gin pairings, massages and pool parties on a private guest farm in ...

Galileo_LourenGet Comfy at Kirstenbosch Movie Nights ...

Great films, fabulous scenery, delicious food and cosy seats – look forward to a night ...

HaskellVineyards 6Save On A Meal and Wine For Two At This ...

Haskell Vineyards offers patrons a delicious meal and glass of wine at a discounted price

glam_barBeauty Special: Gelish or Shellac Nails ...

Book via Whatsapp: Workday-perfect nail treatments with free rinse and discounts on all ...

OX boat rides 110% Off: See The Marine Big 5 on an ...

Whales, dolphins, penguins, cape fur seals and mola mola (sunfish), an awesome boat trip ...

theatre and film costume hire25% Off Hollywood-Calibre Costume ...

Wednesdays only: Gorgeous vintage cocktail dresses to realistic historical costumes for ...

Roast and Co Daily: Two Hours of 2-For-1 Specials at ...

Plus: Half-price on all “To Share” plates – see what’s on the menu here

Strolla New 1Half-Price Rotisserie Chicken (And Live ...

Here’s your chance to sip Corona on the Sunset Deck in shorts and slops (while the kids ...

house of hLook Who's Serving a R50 Lunch Special ...

Loved by locals, House of H now does delicious new lunch specials – from boerie rolls ...

Primal Eatery Primal HourHalf-Price Bespoke Cocktails At This ...

Bacon bourbon to spicy rum, there’s an exciting (half-price) cocktail to try at Primal ...

Park Inn_RGB_ItalianDinnerSpecial5All-You-Can-Eat Italian Dinner Special ...

Made fresh right in front of you, with your choice of sauces and toppings – this is one ...

Coco Safar 1New Dinner Menu Available at Sea ...

Make your dinner worthwhile with this new set menu from Coco Safar

Jack Black Burger Winter SpecialGet Two Burgers for the Price of One ...

Grab your growler and bring a friend for burgers and beer at the Diep River taproom

Leopard's Leap Harvest Table 1Savour the Lekker in What's Local at ...

Discover South Africa through its flavours and traditions at a family-table event ...

Cartel House CoffeeSave on Co-Work Desk on Wednesdays And ...

Secure your desk at this excellent co-working space provider in Cape Town on Wednesdays ...

Just Like Papa 1Just Like Papa: The Ultimate Place to ...

Finally, there’s a place in Cape Town where you can get exceptional home, camping, ...

lou lousBottomless Wine With Your Meal on ...

Head to this classy restaurant and tapas bar in the Cape Quarter for a winter wine ...

Le Bonheur 12Get a 20% Discount on Accommodation at ...

Le Bonheur Reptiles and Adventures offers patrons a 20% discount when they stay at this ...

Beluga Images 22-for-1 Whisky Wednesdays at Beluga

Your midweek escape just got a whole lot better with the 2-for-1 Wednesday special at ...

Stellenbosch Street SoireesStellenbosch Street Soirees

Wine, dine and soak up the summertime vibes with an impromptu food and vino festival in ...

Vergenoegd_duckrun1Cheer On The Ducks At Vergenoegd Löw

Bring the kids along to experience the Duck Parade

cloud 9 rooftop bar table mountain 2Happy Hour Special at Cloud 9 Rooftop ...

Celebrate the midweek mark with discounted cocktails, 2-for-1 local craft beers and ...

WeatherGiveawaysTravel Tips

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