Another great trip with the Outramps CREW group! We tackled the De Hoek circuit, documenting the fynbos along the way. Although rather recently burnt, the landscape still has a beautiful dynamism to it. The regrowth of the fynbos in the Swartberg is slow, due to the lower rainfall, but there are definitely signs of life returning.


We started off with frost at De Hoek and faced gale-force winds when we started to climb. All in all, it was a day of fighting the elements.

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This trail is unfortunately closed to the public. It is a loop that forms part of both the trail to Gouekrans hut, as well as the trail to Bothashoek hut. Although Bothashoek is open to the public, Gouekrans is not.

As always, I comment on the trails that CapeNature fail to reopen and maintain. Fire is a part of fynbos, and it is to be expected that maintenance and in some cases, rebuilding of huts would need to take place after a fire. However,  CapeNature sees this as an opportunity to close more and more of our trails. Some of the other major trails we’ve lost include the multi-day Swellendam trail and the Besemfontein trail. For reasons of apparent safety, we have also lost other jems, such as the old Boland trail and old Outeniqua trail.

This is a sad trend. Money and effort were put into creating trails for us to enjoy our beautiful country – now so many lie in ruin. I urge everyone to get out and enjoy what we have left.

Total distance: 11.66 km
Max elevation: 1324 m
Min elevation: 702 m
Total climbing: 996 m
Total time: 05:59:23
Download file: Track_2017-06-16 150812.gpx