Here’s Why Hiking in Genadendal Has Real Measurable Benefits

Posted by The Cape Country Meander on Thursday, January 08, 2015 with 1 comment
New year resolutions are all about making a fresh start. And, what better way to start 2015 than by heading off to the hills to boost your brainpower for the year ahead. In fact, studies show that spending time in the great outdoors in the fresh air, one foot in front of the other, is the optimal way to improve attention span and creative problem solving. It’s not just about unplugging from technology; there’s something about wafting through fresh air and staggeringly beautiful natural landscape, which according to researchers gets the creative juices flowing far more than sitting at a desk.

Two-day circular hike in Genadendal

While Table Mountain and Cape Town surrounds have all kinds of nature walks and hikes, clambering through the Overberg is hiking heaven. Head to Genadendal, little more than an hour from Cape Town, for a two-day circular hike away from the hordes? In fact, to really get the most out of your pre-grindstone-post-festive-season-mini-holiday take an extra day to explore the beautifully preserved historic town at which your hiking adventure begins and ends.

One size-fits-most

Your walking journey covers breathtaking topography with mountains in brooding colours, rivers, kloofs, forests, gorges and peaks. You’ll also spot an incredible kingdom of plants, mammals, birds and raptors. As the trail falls into the moderate to difficult category, hikers must be reasonably fit and suitably equipped. While the views and natural eye candy is tempting be cautioned before you don some boots and head out. While you don’t need to be a mountain climbing goat the rugged terrain is by all experienced hiker accounts extremely demanding.

Itinerary

Day one (approximately 8 hours)

• Early start from the Moravian Mission Church in Genadendal
• Pass two pools at Groot Koffiegat and Klein Koffiegat.
• Waterfall at Klein Koffiegat and a swim at Groot Koffiegat - the latter is a good halfway stopping point.
• Day one ends at De Hoek Farm on the north side of the mountain - overnight accommodation.

Day two (approximately 7 hours)

• Return trip to Genadendal includes the highest point of the hike before descending into a ravine
• Ends at the Moravian Mission Church

Best time to go

Now, between November and March is best time to venture out from a weather perspective. However, temperatures get exceptionally hot so it’s best to leave in the early morning so as not to be trudging through the midday sun. Do take a sun hat and sun block and a generous supply of water. Also, be sure to check the weather report on the morning of your departure, as the trail can be extremely treacherous in wet and extreme weather. The Overberg is no stranger to weather extremes. Trail permits are required and can be obtained from Cape Nature.

Where to hang your sun hat overnight

De Hoek Farm is the overnight facility and a friendly gent by the name of Frank Briers is your contact person. While the total number of persons allowed on the trail per day is 24, there are two chalets on the farm, each of whi


ch sleep 8 (or a total of 16) and must be booked in advance. Facilities include an equipped kitchen, hot water and a braai (barbecue). Guests must bring own sleeping bag, towel, toiletries and food. For groups of 5 or more the cost is R150 per person per night. For smaller groups the cost is R250 per person. For more accommodation options, contact Cape Nature or Greyton Tourism.

Need to know

Permits: Cape Nature (021) 659 3500
Overnight accommodation: Frank Briers 083 277 5700
Trail distance: 25.3 km (day one 14.3 km and day two 11 km)
Level: Moderate to tough
Maximum number: 24 per day (14 per group)

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