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Se7en + 1 Meet Up With the Cape Leopard Trust and Head out for more Hiking in Cape Point Nature Reserve…

July 16th, 2014 · 6 Comments

It’s been about a year since we began our monthly outings to explore Cape Point, and I have to say after hiking and exploring the highways and byways, it is all starting to fit together. On Friday we hiked one of the trickiest hikes in the park… some of us conquered it and one of us survived… but I have to say we have definitely got a lot better at it and I am well pleased that this wasn’t one of the first hikes that we tackled…

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Before our hike we caught up with friends…

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Climbed an incredible tree…

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Then we headed in doors for class… and don’t you love beautiful old windows…

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Cape Leopard Trust

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We spent the morning learning about the Cape Leopard Trust and what a great time we had… so much to learn and we would love to find out more about their work. Se7en + 1 things about the Cape Leopard Trust…

  1. The Leopard Trust is a conservation group that aims to find solutions to the human-wildlife conflict, with research. A lot of their time and energy is spent on environmental education… and we were lucky enough to be listen to one of their presentations.
  2. First they told us all about how to identify Cape Leopards… their shape and size, their markings, their foot prints, their behaviour… and now that we can identify one we will most likely never see one…
  3. Leopards live alone and are very shy, they also prefer to live in rocky wilderness areas. A leopard has a territory of about 1000 square km, so even if you are in the mountains you are unlikely to encounter one. The Cape Leopard Trust have set up infrared cameras to keep a look out for them…
  4. They capture dozens of amazing animals in their cameras… all sorts of animal behaviour can be observed. Animals such as aardvarks and aardwolfs; porcupines and klipspringer; Cape Fox and Honey Badger, not to mention plenty of baboons and of course, people.
  5. Leopards are very few and far between, they have very low densities and a limited environment… The main threat to the Cape Leopard is habitat loss…
  6. Leopards are predators and eat smaller animals: klipspringer and dassies and even porcupines.
  7. You can take a look at their work and the Cape Leopards in a video in the bottom left corner of their website.
  8. And the se7en + 1th…

  9. If you ever get a chance to meet them and learn more about their work… drop everything and grab it with both hands. You will be fascinated…

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Hiking KanonKop

Straight after class we went hiking, I knew it was going to be a long one and we wanted to get started as soon as we could. It was really two very distinct hikes put back to back.

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The first half of our hike was fairly easy and if you have fairly active and fit kids they would manage it well and have a lot of fun… there is a lot to see and take a look at on this hike and for most families this would be quite enough to go home with that nice “we have been out in the wilderness” feeling. The second part of our hike, I describe it further down, was harder and incredibly beautiful… well worth the effort but I wouldn’t recommend to beginner hikers, rather something to work towards.

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We met this fellow waiting to show us exactly where the hike began… and here is a very enthusiastic gang waving good bye to our friend, who dropped us at the start. You can begin this hike at the information centre or like us, look on a map for the lime kiln and the start…

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Immediately there is a steep, but manageable, climb as you head into the vynbos you can hear water running close by and frogs singing.

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After twenty minutes we stopped on the path…

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Had a stretch and munched our way through a bag of oranges – as one does…

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Nearer the top we realised that suddenly we could see both sides of the Peninsula…

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False Bay and the Atlantic…

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Those huge crosses the Diaz and Da Gama crosses were named after early explorers to the Cape and they are strategically placed for warning ships in False Bay. The crosses line up with a large rock, Whittle Rock, in the middle of False Bay.

We stopped again… (we are good at that…) Somebody found a dinosaur footprint… not really, but it looked like one…Typically lots of energy for leaping around on the rocks…

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And then upwards and onwards…

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Last stretch…

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And there is always that moment when you are on top of the world…

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And Cape Point looked like a miniature world…

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And the reason for the name: “Kanonkop”…

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And a pair of crows came out to play….

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The views from the canon… spectacular!!!

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Now if you are just doing the Kanonkop hike then the path takes a turn and you return to the Visitor’s Centre, it is well signposted.

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But if you are just doing the Kanonkop hike then we recommend that you go a little further along the route towards the Main Gate…

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There is a rocky outcrop and a lovely little cave – well worth stopping for a picnic and some shade, before heading back or onwards.


The Scenic Cliff Walk

The next part of our hike was a lot more difficult and I would only recommend it for fit and able hikers. It isn’t a difficult walk, there is a well-defined path all the way and it is really just a walk. The ups and downs are really up and down though and pretty relentless. Where we anticipated the hike to amble along a contour path on top of the cliffs and overlooking False Bay… the hike actually follows the ups and downs of the coastline. The kids managed it well, but they have had a fair amount of practice. The views however are spectacular and during the whale season this must be one of those life experience that really are worth going the extra mile and pursuing…

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Upppp….

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Down…

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Luckily around this one…

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And up…

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Did I mention upppppp….

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And dowwwwwnnnnn

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Definitely the path less traveled…

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Glorious views… Across the plains…

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The lake we saw on a previous hike…

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Looking down on one of the best rock pooling spots ever… that’s a whole ‘nother post!!!

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Stunning views way down into the ocean…

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Incredible flowers…

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And just like that the clouds rolled in…

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The mist swirled around us… we were very thankful for warm sweaters and some chocolate!!!

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Cape Point was lost in the haze…

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And just as suddenly it cleared…

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Got our first ever look at the pretty village of Smitzwinkel…

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And the sun was setting as we raced across the last plain to finish before nightfall…

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The moon was already out…

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And there were some very elated finishers…

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There may even have been a bit of a victory dance…

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Will we do this one again, for sure… one of the gang was away on a course and we will have to show him what he missed.


All our Cape Point Adventures in one Spot…

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Tags: Cape Town · Outings · Saturday Spot

6 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Marcia (123 blog) // Jul 16, 2014 at 11:05 am

    I was just going to ask about the missing Hood when you mentioned it :)

    Glad you all had fun (could you walk the next day?!!) and that sunset is amazing!!!
    Marcia (123 blog)´s last blog post ..All manner of housekeeping

  • 2 se7en // Jul 16, 2014 at 11:32 pm

    No Marcia, we did not leave one hood floating around in the game park!!! Surprisingly, no one was stiff the next day… a couple of little walks a week and one or two hikes a month keeps us ticking over and fit enough not to suffer too terribly after a hike. It keeps me somewhat motivated to walk in the week, knowing that we will be fit enough to conquer a hike when we get to it!!! Hope you are having the best week!!!

  • 3 aunty muffin // Jul 17, 2014 at 11:20 am

    Well done on the challenging hike!

  • 4 se7en // Jul 17, 2014 at 3:55 pm

    Thanks Aunty Muffin… Clearly I was the one that survived…everyone else bounded along. I tell you every little bit of walking in between our hikes, makes the most amazing difference…. to conquering mountains!!! Hope you have the best week!!!

  • 5 Se7en + 1 Steps to a Great Rock Pooling Outing... - se7en | se7en // Jul 31, 2014 at 3:49 am

    […] Where to Go: We are spoilt for good places to go rock pooling. Beside every sandy beach there is a rocky outcrop… and rocky outcrops are good spots to go rock pooling. Certainly next to most Tidal Pools in Cape Town you will find some excellent rock pooling. We have had great success rock pooling in front of the Shark Centre between St. James and Muizenburg and of course in the Cape Point Nature Reserve. […]

  • 6 Saturday Spot: A Family Friendly Hike in Cape Point Nature Reserve... - se7en | se7en // Sep 8, 2014 at 4:40 am

    […] Se7en+1 Meet Up with the Cape Leopard Trust and More Hiking in Cape Point: KanonKop to Smitswinkel B… […]

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