Hikes around the Cape where you can swim
Summer is here and a swimming spot is needed after a long hike. Here is a list where you can hike and cool off.
Above Skeleton Gorge
There is a dam on top of Table Mountain with a white sandy “beach”. A great reward for summiting the mountain. I am not sure if you are allowed to swim in the dam but it is very irresistible and most of the hikers swim there on a hot day.
Enter at Gate 2. There’s a 1km trail around the Silvermine reservoir. You can also have a picnic but fires are not permitted during summer.
Greyton to McGregor or McGregor to Greyton
There is an amazing place to swim about half way in this hike. We parked in McGregor and hiked to Greyton, slept there and hiked back the next day.
You need to buy a permit from Cape Nature. Just after the Du Toitskloof tunnel is a sign to turn right for the hikers parking. You enter at the left of the gate and instead of going right to the Limietberg hike, you follow the river all the way to the left.
Only 20 people are allowed per day and it is open in the summer months. You can drop them an email to book a permit. I prefer to park the car at The Pitstop where you need to go for breakfast afterwards. Walk over the bridge and there is a gate on the left. Follow the path along the river to the pools.
Beaverlac near Porterville is a popular camping spot especially for campers with dogs. There is great hikes with wonderful natural pools to swim in.
Jonkershoek – Stellenbosch
Jonkershoek valley is about 9 kilometers from Stellenbosch. The top part of the valley lies in the 8 900 ha Jonkershoek Nature Reserve. The reserve is surrounded by a few peaks: Twin Peaks, 3 Rif Peaks, Guardian Peak, Pic-sans-Nom and the Stellenbosch mountains.
Don’t forget to buy a permit online At the moment it is R100 per person. The best is to drive into Jonkershoek and park before the bridge, if you miss it – you will be coming back in the direction of the gate. You don’t necessary need a 4 x 4 but with a normal car, you will need to drive cautiously. Once on the path, after about 3 kilometers, you will see a path to the right. That is the easiest accessible waterfall. The most beautiful waterfall is straight on but the hike there is slightly more difficult.
Limietberg is a pristine nature reserve tucked away in the Du Toitskloof Mountains, near Paarl. After the Du Toit’s Kloof tunnel, you will see a Hiking sign, showing that parking is off to the right. A permit should be bought at Cape Nature prior. There is a gap in the fence on the left of the gate. You follow the Krom river bank all the way up to the waterfall. From this waterfall you can climb the 10 meter cliffs using the metal chain and once on top another 2 minutes later you are at a beautiful large fresh water pool with a waterfall.
Waterfall pic compliments of Ania, my Adventure Guru.
Buy a permit (R10 per person) from the Tulbagh Tourism office in Church Street.
Look up “Waterfall Nature Reserve” on your GPS. It is about 8 kilometers out of town.
There is a dedicated parking area outside the gate. Just before the gate turn left and follow the fence all the way up. Half way you can turn left and visit the first waterfall. The steep path to the top of the waterfall becomes a jeep track. When you reach the top, you climb down the rocks to be at the top of the waterfalls. I can highly recommend swimming in the top pool. It was too deep for me to stand in some parts. The round trip is less than 2km. The views from the top are fantastic over the Tulbach valley.
This is some of the easiest accessible waterfalls. If you are looking for a long hike – this might not be for you.
The route to the 3-tier waterfall involves crossing a river and hiking along a gradual incline featuring incredible views of BainsKloof. The 3-Tier waterfall is at it’s biggest towards the end of winter / spring and is as rewarding as it can get.