This 14km trail winds through the Riviersonderend Mountains in the Robertson Karoo region, and links the towns of McGregor in the north and Greyton in the south. It passes through the Riviersonderend Conservation Area, which is a declared mountain catchment area comprised of state land and private property.
The trail may be hiked in one day, from either McGregor or Greyton, but a popular option is a 2-day there and back route. If you opt for the 1-way hike, it is important to arrange for transport. It starts just outside Greyton, while it starts approximately 14km south of McGregor at Die Galg. Ample private accommodation is available in both towns, with private overnight facilities also available at Die Galg. No overnight camping is allowed on the trail, but there is a municipal campsite in Greyton.
The Boesmanskloof trail leads through spectacular Riviersonderend Mountains with steep gorges, large rock pools, waterfalls (The popular Oakes Falls) and lovely Cape wildflowers. At either end lie the lush Greyton and Mcgregor valleys. There is a great diversity of plant species with many different Protea and Erica, and the stream conebush and wild almond growing along the watercourses. Animals found in the area include the Duiker, Grey Rhebuck, Klipspringer, Baboon, Dassie, Spotted Genet and, rarely, Leopards. Birdlife includes the Black and Booted Eagle, Cape Sugarbird, Malachite Sunbird and others.
Physically the trail requires a reasonable degree of fitness as it continuously ascends, descends and contours the slopes of Boesmanskloof. This is winter rainfall area (generally cold and wet) and the summer months are extremely warm and dry. Water may be required during the summer months.
The Boesmanskloof Trail winds through the only gap in the rugged Riviersonderend mountain range. It is in the Robertson Karoo region of the south-western Cape. The trail links the small towns of Mcgregor in the north to Greyton in the south. It has become one of the most popular trails in the Western Cape, especially as the beautiful colonial-style town of Greyton lies at the one end.
The trial may be hiked within one day. It can be started from either Mcgregor or Greyton. While the trail lies just outside Greyton, it only commences 14 km to the south of Mcgregor at Die Galg. Hikers may often choose to walk the trail there and back (a total of 28 Km ) and overnight in either of the two towns. Another delightful option is to begin the trail at Mcgregor and walk to Greyton. No overnight camping is allowed on the trail. Because the trail requires between 4 - 5 hours to complete, there is plenty of time for swimming and enjoying the views. See directions from Cape Town to Greyton. Alternatively from Cape Town follow the N1 to Worcester (about 100 km), turn from the N1 to
Robertson (about 55 km) and from there to McGregor (about 25 km)
The main attractions along the route are the spectacular mountain scenery; large rock pools waterfalls and Lovely Cape wildflowers. Highlights include views of the majestic Riviersonderend Mountains, with their steep gorges and the lush Greyton and McGregor valleys. Water is abundant in large rock pools. There is a great diversity of plant species - many different Protea and Erica species occur here. The stream cone bush and wild almond grow along the watercourses. Animals found in the area include the duiker, Grey roebuck, klipspringer, baboon, dassie and spotted genet. Leopard is very rare. Among the birds, species like the Black and booted eagle, Cape Sugarbird, malachite sunbird and other are found The hike is extremely popular among tourists and City dwellers. It is a total get-away and only one and a half-hours drive from Cape Town. Just being in Greyton and McGregor itself is a walk into another world
Climate, plants and animals
The summer months are extremely warm and dry while winters are generally cold and wet. Vegetation in the area is typical mountain fynbos with a rich diversity of plant species. Many different protea and erica species occur here, notably the extremely rare Erica galge bergensis and Erica parvulisepala. More than 50 species of the grass-like restios are found in these mountains. Distinctive riverine vegetation grows along the water courses, with typical species being the stream conebush and wild almond.
Mammals found in the area include common duiker, grey rhebuck, klipspringer, baboon and dassie. Caracal and small spotted genet are fairly common, and leopard occur but are unlikely to be encountered. Birds include malachite sunbird and Cape sugarbird which are attracted by the vast tracts of sugarbush and common pincushion. Black and booted eagle, jackal buzzard and other raptors may also be seen.
The trail is approximately 14 km and can be hiked in one day, starting from either McGregor or Greyton. Hikers should note that the trail lies just outside Greyton, while it starts approximately 14 km to the south of McGregor at Die Galg, and transport should be organised accordingly. A popular option is to walk an ‘out-and-back’ route (28 km in total) and overnight in either of the two towns where ample private accommodation is available. Private overnight facilities are also available at Die Galg. A series of waterfalls and pools known as Oakes Falls provide swimming and resting opportunities for weary hikers.
Hikers please note:
· The trail is reasonably strenuous and you should be fit and well-equipped.
· Carry water with you, especially during the summer months.
· The trail can be dangerous in extreme winter conditions.
· A valid permit is required and must be carried at all times.
· Numbers are restricted to 50 hikers per day, with a maximum of 20 per group.
· No dogs are allowed.
· No fires are allowed.
· No overnight camping is allowed on the trail.
· The flora and fauna are strictly protected.
· Field rangers regularly patrol the route and will assist hikers with information.