2 Day Hike
HOW LONG AND TOUGH IS THIS HIKE:
Distance = 16.5km
Climb = 1,027m
Descent = 295m
Total Hiking time = 5 - 7 hours
Distance = 14.4km
Climb = 390m
Descent = 1,146m
Total Hiking time = 4.5 - 6 hours
Difficulty: 7/10 (Not technical but you need to be fit/strong)
Notes: Remember sunscreen, hat, mattress and toilet paper. Fill up at least 2 liter of water at the start of day 1. Also take along something for when the weather turns bad while you are still on the route. Prepare for adventure.
Indigenous forest, mountain fynbos and rare birds make Boosmansbos a hiker’s paradise. The Boosmansbos Wilderness Area is located next door and to the North of Grootvadersbosch Nature Reserve. You will access this hiking trail from the Grootvadersbosch Nature Reserve's main gate and office. This is also where you will leave your vehicle.
Tradouw’s Pass is located to the west and Barrydale to the North - on the other side of the mountains. The name Boosmansbos is apparently linked to a hermit who lived in the forest in the early 19th century. "Boos" is the Afrikaans word for "angry". This Wilderness Area lies in the Langeberg mountains, between the towns of Suurbraak and Heidelberg. It is 14,200 ha in extent and is incorporated into Grootvadersbosch Nature Reserve.
Boosmansbos is a World Heritage Site with one of the last remaining stretches of indigenous forest in the south-western Cape. The wilderness area is home to several rare erica species found higher up on the mountain slopes. A variety of buck, baboons, mongoose, genet and other small mammals inhabit this area. Unfortunately, while there are still leopards in these mountains, they are rarely seen. The isolated pockets of Bokkeveld shale support the growth of the indigenous forest while mountain fynbos, with its characteristic proteas and beautiful ericas, covers the rest. Nearly 200 bird species, including many species of forest birds and birds of prey, inhabit this region.
I have not hiked this route myself. But I sent my Garmin watch with #SwellendamGirl (Fleur van Eeden) and her mates to track the route. Fleur did the same for me on the Barrydale Hiking trail. Here are my questions and Fleur's answers.
Question: At what time did you start hiking?
Day 1: We started hiking at 8:30am but I would recommend to start hiking at sunrise.
Day 2: Started hiking at 7:20am.
Q: Where did you take breaks?
A: Day 1: We took a lot of photos along the way. We stopped at 2hours and again at 3 hours and rested for about 20 minutes.
Day 2: We stopped at 5km, 7km and had a swim at 10.5km.
(Blogger Note: I would recommend stopping for a bite to eat and a bit of rest every hour. Rests should be 5-20minutes. Remember to take along enough snacks.)
Q: How much water did you take along?
A: On the first day of hiking there was no water spots along the way to refill, so I would recommend to start hiking on the first day with 2 liters of water with you. For the second day you can refill at a stream near the Helderfontein Hut where you start day 2 and again at about 10km.
Q: Are there any swimming spots?
A: On day 1 there are no swimming spots along the route. There is a big pool about 70m from Helderfontein Hut where you stay for the night. On day 2 there is also a swimming spot at 10.5km.
Q: How much of the route is in the shade?
A: Day 1 = no shade; Day 2 = Some shade and great swimming spot at 10.5km. So remember your hat and sunscreen.
Q: How big was your bag?
Q: Can you braai on the route?
A: No fires allowed.
Q: Does the hut have water?
A: There is a beautiful stream next to the hut and swimming spot about 70m away. No water at the hut.
Q: Does the hut have mattresses and utensils?
A: The hut is very basic with no electricity, mattresses or cutlery. If you want something at the hut you should take it with you.
Q: Is there a toilet at the hut?
A: No, no toilet. There is a spade to dig a hole. So remember your toilet paper.
Q: What did you eat for dinner?
A: Mince and Noodles
Q: What did you eat for breakfast?
Q: How many people can sleep in the hut?
A: 12 people per night - there are 2 huts, the one is a bit bigger than the other.
CONTACT AND BOOKING INFO
Helderfontein provides basic overnight accommodation in an old stone building that was once a management hut.
It is probably 30% more basic than the picture you have in you mind right now.
Bathroom: No. Spade provided, take your own toilet paper.
Mattresses or beds: No
Disabled access: No
Pets welcome: No