The Kromrivier trail

The tale the river told

Of the hikes that I’ve really been wanting to do this year Kromrivier is the one I’ve had to reschedule the most.

There’s a good reason for that: located all the way out near the Huguenot tunnel it’s quite a drive for those of us based in Cape Town. Coordinating a large group to meet up here early on a weekend morning is no easy task.

Somehow we managed to find ourselves at the starting point this past Sunday morning. After spotting a rather ominous sign about Leopards(!) in the Fynbos, we found the trail and finally embarked!

The trail starts off with a bit of easy climbing followed by some fairly flat walking. This part of the hike is the least interesting in terms of terrain, but I find that the vegetation here more than makes up for the otherwise “boring” walk.

After a while the trail gradually descends until it reaches the shore of the river. It’s at this point that you’ll start noticing how quiet it has gotten. All signs of civilization will have disappeared and all you hear is the running of the water. Perfect!

Once at the shore you will have to navigate the first of the river crossings. These can be quite tricky to navigate as the rocks are quite slippery. Be sure to bring shoes with good grip. It might even be worth it to bring along an extra pair of socks. I found myself ankle-deep in the water more than once while crossing the river and walking with wet socks is not pleasant.

 One of the less disastrous crossings One of the less disastrous crossings

After a few of these crossings the path starts to climb again. This, along with the sound of crashing water, should signal that you’re approaching the end of the trail. This last bit is a bit tricky at places with lots of low hanging branches and rocks at head height. Be sure to watch your head here. Once you manage to reach the end you’ll be rewarded with a wonderful sight.

 The source of the river The source of the river

Here you’ll find a huge rock to sit and watch the waterfall. We took this opportunity to enjoy some snacks in preparation for the return journey.

For the brave among you there are some chains along the side of the waterfall that allow you to make your way up to the top where an even better sight awaits. I’ll leave that one for you to see for yourselves, pictures don’t really do it justice.

The hike to the waterfall took us two and a half hours going at a reasonable pace. We didn’t really take any breaks on the way there though, so perhaps budget for an extra half an hour if you are planning on taking many breaks. There are plenty of spots to swim along way as well, so pack some dry clothes and enjoy the water.

The Kromrivier trail offers such amazing views and fun challenges and the hike itself is not extremely strenuous. It’s definitely up there in terms of trails in and around Cape Town and I highly recommend it. I certainly can’t wait until my next visit.

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