Saturday Spot: A Family Friendly Hike in Cape Point Nature Reserve…

I was planning to post our source to the sea river hike this weekend, and then I realised that this week is South African National Parks Week, so I thought I would post our favourite family friendly hike in Cape Point. We have spent the last year doing a number of hikes in the Cape Point Nature Reserve, in the Table Mountain National Park, some are really easy walks and others have been really difficult hikes… but by far our favourite has been the hike down the coast from Gifkommetjie to Platboom.

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Let’s back track a little… South African National Parks Week: “The week grants free access to most of the 21 national parks for day visitors, especially people from the local communities.” You do have to have a valid identity document, click on the link or call your local park for details and terms and conditions. There is so much to do within the nature reserve: picnicing, ambling, rock pooling. Most visitors fly down the central road and head straight for the light house at Cape Point, and then return the same way… we highly recommend getting off the beaten track a little, that is the most likely way to see the fairly shy wildlife and discover the beauty of being out in the wild outdoors, without ever being far from “civilisation.”

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Most of our hikes begin with a morning spent with our ranger, and a class in the great outdoors. This was a wintry day and we were learning about baboons…

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Let’s Get Hiking…

This hike begins above Gifkommetjie and the trickiest part of the whole hike is a right at the start, a couple of flights of fairly steep stairs taking you down to sea-level and then you walk the entire away along the coast.

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The beginning of the hike is tricky enough for your older kids to feel as if they are on an adventure and easy enough for a four year old, or any small child that can manage stairs, to handle.

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On our way down to the plain it started to rain so we stopped in a very conveniently located cave for our lunch.

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And climbing… as one does.

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After that it was down and down…

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And across a marshy swamp towards the shore… Now this was a month or two back in the middle of the harshest of the winter rains and so we were very grateful for the stepping stones.

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While I am sure this is mostly dry in the summer it was really wet when we got there, and one or two members of the gang had just received their new shoes for the year and were more than a little upset that for several meters the stepping stones were really knee deep under water… there is damp and then there is soaked…

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It was time for a life lesson, in times of trouble, you can’t just sit in a heap, give up or turn back… you have to figure out a plan. They made full use of Hood #1, and he made some fresh stepping stones, out of the swamp and onto the rocky shore… deep admiration all round and problem solved.

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Could this be a fan club!!!

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Some new stepping stones out of the mire…

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And we continued for a short distance, boulder hopping…

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Once we had completed the boulder hopping so we carried on on a sandy trail…

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And dunes…

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There were lots of birds to look at…

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And colourful rocks…

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And just over the dunes a lake…

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And flat easy walking…

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And the magic of this trail… Tracks of every kind…

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And these two were looking at something as well…

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Just over the dunes there is some coastal fynbos…

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And a group of Eland.

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All along the ocean crashing…

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The walking never got harder than this…

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A little further along… Bontebok…

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We knew there were baboons nearby, we could hear them and there were plenty of footprints, but they stayed well away from us… and we didn’t actually see them…

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We stopped for a rest and a picnic…

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And further ambling down the beach…

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To the finish… an easy and lovely afternoon’s walk, filled with animal tracking and spotting and not another person along the way… you really do feel like the only people in the world. The ocean crashes beside you the whole way and you do sense the wildness of the whole Atlantic landing smashing into the coast. This hike is a good mix of wild and yet achievable and is by far our favourite hike in Cape Point so far.

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Other SAN PARKS Hiking Posts

Hiking in the Cape Peninsula

Cape Point and Outings with SAN Parks


16 Replies to “Saturday Spot: A Family Friendly Hike in Cape Point Nature Reserve…”

  1. Ah man! I wish we had a park close by ūüôĀ I do so love Kruger and recently wrote some articles on most of the SANPARKs and there are some amazing places!

    Stunning pictures!!!

  2. Hay Laura, This past year we have really been making the most of the Park right in our neighborhood, it has been life changing for all of us… just roaming around under African skies, what a privilege!!! Hope you have a fantastic week.

  3. Hi, are the baboons not an issue? I would love to hike there but once when we were picnicking out of our combo at Buffels a troop came through towards my youngest, then 2. Since then we haven’t really explored there on foot.

  4. Hi Wendy, Our experience has been that the baboons in the more remote areas, like on this hike, are more shy and reserved and the ones closer to the picnic spots like Buffels Bay usually have a monitor with them. The baboon monitors do an excellent job of steering the baboons away and telling folks to pack up their food because the baboon troop is on their way. When there is no food then the baboons seem to move off fairly quickly and your picnicking can quite quickly resume. I do think that a few years back when there were not monitors around to direct and educate the public the problem was a lot bigger and my children have memories of baboons swinging into the car as they got out and so on. That doesn’t seem to happen anymore, as I say, we have found the baboon monitors do an excellent job. And really I wouldn’t let your one experience with the baboons put you off from having a good time in the future. Certainly if you went walking with a group of friends and we form quite a pack, it is unlikely the baboons are going to stop their own personal feasting to come over and take a peak at us interlopers walking through their environment, we just aren’t interesting enough. So may I encourage you to some happy adventuring!!!

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