Orange Kloof forms part of the Hoerikwaggo Trail that extends from Table Mountain to Cape Point. A permit obtainable from Sanparks is required for this section, which runs from Constantia Nek to Woodhead Dam on the Hout Bay side of the Nek.
Orange Kloof should be booked months in advance, due to its enormous popularity. This I arranged prior to travelling out from the United Kingdom on my annual holidays to the country of my birth.
There is no cost involved for the actual permit however a guide supplied by Sanparks is mandatory. This was my first attempt at tackling this route. The closest available to my preferred date was the 20th December and so an Orangekloof Permit was secured.
Owing to a limited availability of guides, the Sanparks office acceeded to my request for a friend of mine, Ralph Pina, a member of the Mountain Club of South Africa, to fill the role and to be accepted as a bona fide guide on the basis of affiliation to that organisation. Proof of membership was provided.
My plan was to take my elder brothers along this magical route. In the end only the eldest, Edward, 75 and far from being a seasoned hiker, was able to join, along with his wife of just over a month, Elna.
It’s a fabulous walk. After entering via the gate off Constantia Nek car park along a dirt track, at the point where a track leads off left down to overnight accommodation, on the opposite side, take a path on the right that leads up into the forest, joining a wider track that meanders up the mountainside. A waterfall may be encountered en route.
The track swings towards a route that emerges from Hout Bay with full views across the valley below back in the direction of the Nek. Eventually, one leaves the dirt track via a path on the right which heads up towards a narrow yet enchanting gorge abundant in fynbos, some of it clinging to the rock face. Following the gorge, the dam wall below Woodhrad is reached.
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