The Swart Tobie Hiking Trail is approximately 4 hours from Cape Town.  This is a five day wilderness hike on the beaches of the West Coast near Koekenaap on the West Coast.  The first and last night you sleep over at the same base camp, the “Kliphuis Bushman Cave” All backpacks and tents are transported by vehicle to the next overnight spot.    The route curves through breathtaking nature scenes and follows through cliffs on the beaches of the West coast.  A variety of birds can be seen, especially the Swart Tobie.  This is a five day hike of 15 – 18 km a day. Total distance is 64 km.  If low tide falls over mid day – trail can be regarded as moderate.  High tide at mid day changes difficulty to strenuous.  This trail should be regarded as a wilderness experience.  Little or no facilities at overnight camps – it is advisable to take a spade for ablutions.


Arrival@ Boesmangrot:

  • No electricity
  • On sunny days you will have solar heated water
  • Please take own gas lamps


DAY 1: Jakkalshok – Sandbaai (15 km / ± 5 hrs / Moderate)

From Boesmans caves go to the owners’ house to park vehicles.  You are transported from here to the starting point at Jakkalshok.  It is mostly beach walking, not very strenuous.  There will be opportunities for swimming and crayfish (during season) and to view the marine life.


Day 2:  Sandbaai to Helga’s Heights (app 19km / 7 hrs / moderately strenuous)


From Sandbaai follow the trail past Duiwegat with its scary but breathtaking potholes to Geelwal Karoostrand.  Depending on the tides we could be forced to follow the trail 45m up the kranzes to the fossils.  The old coastal line according to modern scientific research is approximately 5 million years old. Fossils as well as remains of primitive private tools are around.


Day 3: Helga’s Heights to Luck se baai (15 km / ± 6 hrs / strenuous)


This is the most beautiful part of the coastline.  Plenty of heights – hikers with a fear of heights will be supported.  Sleeping at “Luck se baai” – shelter and 2 long drops.


Day 4  “Luck se baai” to Mond van Olifantsrivier (Camp David) (9Km / app 3 hrs / moderate)

The last 6km of this day is beach walking.  Closer to the mouth of the river the Red Beak Oyster Catcher will be found in great numbers.  At the mouth of the Olifantsriver a variety of wading birds can be seen.  Overnight at Camp David.


Day 5: Camp David to Withuis – boat trip to Boesmangrot  (6 Km / app 2 hrs – moderate)

From Camp David walk upstream on the banks of the Olifantsriver and experience the different eco systems between sea and land. 

OPTIONAL: Boat trip available at Withuis to transport hikers to Boesmangrot.  This trip is app 1 hr long. The rest of the day can be used to relax, for sightseeing or to visit the wine cellar at Strandfontein and Doringbaai.


The trail is finished with dinner at our house if the group is not too big.

Additional information:

  • Flower season middle August to end September
  • Crayfish season – 15 November to April (PERMITS ESSENTIAL)
  • Whale to be seen
  • BOAT TRIP: Pre arrangement essential. R130.00 pp
  • Bring your own cutlery, bedding, tents and mattresses
  • Minimum 5 hiker’s and maximum 15 hikers