The Boemanskloof Trail (also know as the Greyton-McGregor Trail) winds through the Riversonderend Mountains in the Robertson Karoo region of the South-Western Cape. The trail links the small towns of McGregor in the north and Greyton in the south. It passes through the Riversonderend Conservation Area, which is a declared mountain catchment area comprised of water falls, mountains pools, over 2000 different species of fynbos and much more. If you’re adventurous and looking for a scenic route with a bit of meat, this is definitely the one!
Price: R 60 p/p
Length: 2 days / 28 km
Distance: ±110 km from Stellenbosch
Availability: Every day of the week
Group size: 2-8
More information: Greyton Tourism
My dad and I along with my brother and sister decided we wanted to have a fun weekend together where we can do something that is both active and exciting. After some extensive research we came across the Boesmanskloof Trail and immediately decided we want to do it. We then booked our permits through Cape Nature via the internet (you can also buy it directly from Greyton’s tourism office) and we found accommodation via Greyton’s tourism website. As this trail is quite popular it is advised that you make your reservation well in advance.
Friday afternoon finally arrived and after we packed the car we drove through to Greyton from Stellenbosch. It took us about an hour via the N2 as the traffic is quite bad on a Friday afternoon; normally it would take you about 40 minutes. As we entered the beautiful countryside of the Overberg we first stopped to take photos of the freshly green corn fields. It definitely contributes to the great memories of the whole trip or maybe my family is just a bit too crazy about photos.
Arriving in Greyton, we checked in at the Post House. Situated in the heart of Greyton it is an exquisite country hotel with old and stylish buildings that dates from the 1800’s. I would definitely go there again even if it is only for its country pub – a little piece of old English culture with its massive fireplace and comfortable lounge chairs.
After a scrumptious breakfast the next morning (included with your stay), we were ready to take on almost anything. On our way to the start of the trail, we stopped at the Greyton Saturday Morning Market which opens at 10h00 and is about 500m from the place we stayed. As it famous for only selling local products, people come from as far as Cape Town to join in the experience. You will find almost anything from pesto’s, pancakes, jams and honeys, art work, cakes, puddings, biltong and even second-hand books. We were, however, a bit disappointed after having to wait about two hours in the different stall’s queues to buy everything we needed for “padkos”. We also couldn’t find any bread.
As we began walking again to the start of the trail we got a bit lost. There are no official signs to direct one towards the point of departure, or any officers that check your permits. We had no option but to trust the only map we had. The trail starts quite comfortably and the green mountains and water streams are really intriguing. After about an hour of walking the route started climbing quite steeply. This keeps on for most of the way. We stopped at a place called Breakfast Rock to have snack after about two hours of hiking. The amazing view of Greyton from there is really something to commend. We planned to have our lunch stop at Oakes’ Falls as the people at the tourism office recommended it and according to the map it is about half way. To our utter dismay, we realised that it is not the case: Oakes’ Falls is only at about three quarters of the route. This misconception caused us to run out of water as there are only a few places where you can fill your bottle. In spite of this error it was definitely worth the extra mile. Oakes’ Falls is extremely beautiful with a waterfall that comes down the mountain forming a huge pool at the bottom with different streams flowing from it. There are also several places where one can slide down into the pool. In summer time this must really be a popular spot.
We continued our hike. It got very rough as the route started to get very steep and it almost got dark. Our map was a bit misleading and we weren’t exactly sure how far we were from our hut. The last part of the route called “Die Galg” is by far the most challenging. It is almost 4 km long and extremely steep.
Eventually, after we figured out where we were suppose to sleep, we got to our hut on the Onverwacht Farm after 14km and 7 hours of walking. It’s about another 2 km walk to the hut from where the route ends. Different accommodation is available but I would really recommend Onverwacht. The huts are very cosy and are equipped with a fireplaces inside and braais outside. Before coming, we organised with Sandra (owner of the farm) what groceries they must put in our hut for us so that we didn’t have to carry it. Very convenient.
The next morning we started walking at about 10:00 after a good night’s rest. The walking back really went smoothly as it was mostly downhill and we knew what to expect. After about 4-5 hours we arrived back in Greyton.
All in all I would say this is really an amazing route and the landscape is beyond words. The level of difficulty is negotiable though. On the website it says that it’s suitable for children. We were quite fit and ranged from 18 to 55 years of age and found it a bit challenging at times, especially when the incline got steep. Keep this in mind should you wish to bring small children along on the trail.
If you’re adventurous and looking for a scenic route with a bit of meat – this is definitely the one!
- The trail is reasonably strenuous and you should be fit and well equipped.
- Water may be required in summer months.
- The trail can be dangerous under extreme winter conditions.
- A valid permit is requested and must be carried at all times, although we never found an officer on the route who checked ours.
- The hike should be booked well in advance.
- Numbers are restricted to 50 hikers per day, with a maximum of 20 per group.
- No dogs are allowed.
- No fires are allowed, only at the huts where you sleep over.
- No overnight camping is allowed on the trail, you MUST book accommodation.
- Be prepared to sweat a bit.
Directions to starting point:
Click here for an interactive map and directions
- Pin B is at the starting point of the hiking trail. Remember that you need to book in advanced
Location & Hiking route:
Experienced on 16-17 July 2011