CapeTownMagazine.com

Hiking to the grave of Just Nuisance

Always exciting discoveries around the corner.
Unwrapping Cape Town with you.
Un-clicking the clique-iness
 
+27(0)21 4222 444
Cape Town & Surrounds
www.capetownmagazine.com/subscribe
partner@capetownmagazine.com
CapeTownMag
CapeTownMagazine.com
CapeTownMag

Hiking to the grave of Just Nuisance

Simon’s Town and Red Hill: the perfect area to explore with Hi-Tec

It’s the year 1939, and the Royal Navy in Simon’s Town is enlisting their new recruits. One of these new sailors still hasn’t found their sea legs (and never will) but is given the name ’Just’. His occupation is put down as ‘Bone Crusher’ and his religious denomination as ‘Scrounger’.

This strange new member is Just Nuisance, the first and only dog to be enlisted by the Royal Navy. This Great Dane loved the sailors whom he recognised easily from their distinctive uniforms. He was often caught travelling by train without a ticket, and he would join the navy men on their trips into Cape Town. The irate conductors would escort him off at the next station. Joining the navy ensured Just Nuisance received all the standard benefits – one of which was a free train pass.

Just Nuisance became a local legend and when he was put to rest it was with full military honours at Klaver Camp on top of Red Hill in a solemn ceremony that included a firing party of Royal Marines.

Visiting Just Nuisance
After a quick visit to see the statue of Just Nuisance looking noble in Jubilee Square in Simon’s Town, we drive to the bottom of Red Hill and start the climb up the stairs. It’s a sunny day so we’ve come smothered in sunblock. I’m wearing my Hi-Tecs: V-lite Total Terrain Lace, which support me and keep me stable on the walk.

What to bring

  • Hat and sunblock. Even if it’s overcast it’s a good idea to keep your skin protected.  
  • Hiking shoes. To give you support and traction on the paths and rocks.
  • Water. Make sure you bring enough to keep you hydrated.
  • Camera. The hills and mountains behind Simon’s Town offer spectacular coastal views.  
  • Children from age 10 and up.
  • Warm top. The wind can pick up quickly so make sure you’re prepared.
  • Snacks or lunch. Just make sure you keep it packed away in sealed containers; as there are baboons in the area who would love to eat it.

Routes

It’s a short walk up to Just Nuisance’s grave or you can park near it and hike on to the Kleinplaas Dam. If you’re looking for a much longer hike then make the trek to Smitswinkel near Cape Point from Swartkop in Simon’s Town.  

Just Nuisance’s Grave
Easy
Make a day of it: catch the train to Simon’s Town and visit the statue of Just Nuisance in Jubilee Square. Then walk up to Barnard Street, which ends at the bottom of Red Hill where you will see a sign for the Signal School Steps. Here a flight of steep steps and path will lead you to the grave. 

Duration:
This walk will take you an easy hour with a quick break at the top. 

Kleinplaas Dam
Moderate
Take the Red Hill road onto the area above Simon’s Town where you will see a sign to Just Nuisance’s grave. You can park here and pay him a quick visit before setting out for the dam. About 100 metres along the road is the start of the trail. Once you’ve been on the jeep track for about five minutes there’s a fork in the road – turn right and keep going until you reach the dam wall, then take the left turn. Here you can take a break, and enjoy the view.

Duration: The walk there and back will take about two hours.

Swartskop to Smitswinkel
Difficult
This hike takes you up Swartskop and over to Smitswinkel in Cape Point. The walk is a section of the SANParks Hoerikwaggo trail route and ends at their tented camp (where you can spend the night).

You will need someone to drop you off and pick you up on the other side, or go in two cars and drop one off in Cape Point before going to Simon’s Town. The hike starts at the end of the dirt road off of Jan Smuts Road, you will go up Old Mule Trail and up to the Blockhouse Gap. The path will go along the Swartkop Ridges, up to the peak and then down to Smitswinkel. There is a bit of scrambling and exposure to heights on this route.

Duration:
This is a long one; it’ll take about six hours to reach Cape Point.

What to look out for

Flora:
There’s an abundance of fynbos and the pincushions were in their full glory when we were there. Keep an eye out for the Swartkop spiderhead – a rare plant that flowers from July to October. You will also find the fiery red Ericas and the pretty rooikappis. There are also amazing sandstone formations, which have all sorts of lichens growing on them.

Fauna:
I spotted quite a few black girdled lizards sunning themselves on the rocks; these spiny, black reptiles are solitary creatures which usually sit still enough for you to have a good look at them before they slip away. We also encountered a large troop of chacma baboons complete with cheeky little ones sneaking off to eat where the large males couldn’t see them to steal their food.

By Lindsay Callaghan

Tip:
Visit the Simon’s Town Museum to find out more about Just Nuisance and his time in the Royal Navy.

Opening times: Monday – Friday: 10am – 4pm, Saturdays: 10am – 1pm, closed on Sundays and public holidays.

*Sponsored by Hi-Tec

Check out our Facebook album of the hike and follow us on Twitter to find out where we’ll be hiking next.

Cape Town Events Calendar
September 2018
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

Art@Africa Gallery 2Celebrate 100% Madiba At This Art ...

Commemorate the life of a South African icon through the power of creativity

LaParada22End The Weekend Right: Sunday Funday ...

Round off the weekend by dancing the day away at La Parada Constantia Nek’s Sunday ...

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

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

OX boat rides 125% Off: See The Marine Big 5 on an ...

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

AfroFest 1Celebrate Africa and Cape Town, all its ...

Delve into African culture and heritage all over Cape Town this September

CT Food and Wine 1Here's Why About 4000 Capetonians Are ...

Two days of food, wine, friends and family at the Cape Town Food and Wine Festival

Xplore Tours CT Elephant Sanctuary 3Experience The Garden Route Like Never ...

Walk with giants, befriend an ostrich, brave the highest bungee and climb the Devil’s ...

Headquarters BarThe Best Sirloin Salad and Chips ...

#2For1 Mondays: get twice the sirloin, salad and chips at Headquarters for once the price

LGBTI Tennis 1Tennis For Togetherness

The 6th annual LGBTI Tennis Open is around the corner and it’s got the goods

Pilsner Urquell on tap at Cafe ExtrablattMonday Madness at Café Extrablatt

The international franchise is here to blow you away with this pizza deal every Monday

Roast and Co 2Half Price 'To Share' Plates PLUS ...

Every day “on your way”: Discover the coolest mugs and the half price to share plates!

Cape Culinary Tours Valentine's Day InclusionTake a Bite into History with Cape Town ...

Learn about Cape Town’s past while savouring local cuisine with these informative ...

AroundAboutCars 3 Get R100 Off Your Next Hired Car From ...

Quote “CapeTownMagazine” when booking a car through AroundAboutCars and get R100 off

Shakespeare In Love 2018It's Back: Shakespeare in Love Graces ...

Back by popular demand, this crowd-pleasing, popular show returns to The Fugard theatre ...

Villa 47 2Breakfast at Villa 47 and Spoil a ...

Italian breakfast with a friend, plus: two-and three-course lunch and dinner specials ...

The Grey Hotel Win1The Best Staycation Special In The ...

Special offer for you as a reader: 2 nights stay, rooftop drinks, tapas platter, wine and ...

danielasSample Daniela's Exotic Macaroons For ...

Salted caramel, purple surprise, ginger sesame, cinnamon milk tart and 20 more Parisian ...

SA IdolsAll the Times Capetonians Entertained ...

Though auditions for 2018 are closed, Cape Town did us proud during SA Idols Season 14

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

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

Ubuntu Climbs 365 3How Many Hikes Up Table Mountain Does ...

A hike a day gets the funds raised. This guy is hiking Table Mountain every single day of ...

Cartel House 8Get a Co-Work Desk Discount Plus Free ...

Book your hot desk at this ultra-luxe Cape Town co-working space provider this Monday and ...

Sgt pepper live musicRam Jam Rock Parties at Sgt Pepper

The head-banging, guitar twanging rockin’ good times are back

WildFlower2Your 2018 Guide to Viewing the Spring ...

Don’t miss the chance to get up close and personal with South Africa’s budding ...

WeatherGiveawaysTravel Tips

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