Trailblazers Hiking Club x CAPE NATURE x KLOOFING Riviersonderend Trail - Hiking Cape Town South Africa

Trailblazers Hiking Club x CAPE NATURE x KLOOFING Riviersonderend Trail - Hiking Cape Town South Africa

 

Riviersonderend Kloofing Adventure 

with CapeNature

On a fine Summer's day, Saturday the 1st of December, a mix of nature lovers and adventure enthusiasts gathered in Hottentots Holland Nature Reserve for one of the Trailblazers famous Kloofing Adventures down the upper reaches of Riviersonderend. 
This majestic Cape Nature reserve is surprisingly close and accessible, a short drive over Sir Lowry's Pass leads you into the heart of the Hottentots Holland mountain range and World Heritage Site. The reserve is extensive and boasts beautiful terrain with rich biodiversity, a real feel of Africa. 
The excitement in the group was tangible, some having been looking forward to this adventure all year with the kloofing trails opening at the beginning of November. 
    
The water levels were good and the green light given by the authorities to embark down the gorge after signing in at the office. 
We were a large group as we took our time to prepare ourselves properly securing our equipment and gathering our supplies for the days outing. 
Making sure all was in order, we embarked, having our amazing waterproof backpacks to help keep our belongings dry and organized. 
It was an hour hike along the jeep track, leading to the short trail that led us down to the riverbed. The heat mounting and the river water calling. Like in a dream we arrived to the stunning tranquility of the kloof; an ancient path of water set in stone. We had a quick snack and slipped on our wetsuits. For some a wetsuit was not as vital as for others but definitely advisable. 
    
It was a surreal feeling as we all begun to sink into the moment, slowly making our way downstream, with towering cliffs overhead creating the way. 
We slid over boulders and swam through crystal pools, floating on our backs, happy as a hippo, the water delicious and caressing. 
    
Then came the more adventurous part of the tour, a series of small jumps, this is what we were here for, the craze of cliff-jumping! 
Some of the jumps were over waterfalls and others a short hop off a rock, all so fun. 
    
The more extreme members of the group climbing higher, producing perfect backflips to our amazement. The vibe in the band was great, the pure excitement of being in Nature! 
We enjoyed just hanging out in the pools, exploring the rocks around us and cheering each other on as we took turns jumping in the water, sharing lots of love and laughter.  
      
We were somewhat reluctant to leave the protective coolness of the gorge but our hearts were filled with happiness and the steep hike to the jeep track was taken in our stride. 
Thank you to Cape Nature for doing such an important job, conserving our natural environment and allowing us the opportunity to enjoy its’ beauty. 
We will definitely be heading out for another Kloofing adventure soon, with the Cape having numerous options for fun, be sure to join us for the adventure of your life. 
Thanks Cape Nature!
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
The Riviersonderend Route, while still long and difficult, is ideal for those who don’t want to go too extreme on their first kloofing adventure. Starting off with a 4.1km hike, you then reach the kloofing section of the day which, while 6.1km long, only features a few compulsory jumps, the highest of which is 7m. Then it’s a 3.6km walk back to the parking area. The whole route will take you 7-8 hours, so be prepared for a long day.
*Please note the hikers in this video are experienced. All those who go on the trails must adhere to the kloofing rules below if you are not used to these conditions.

To book your kloofing experience, get hold of our call centre on 021 483 0190, or email them on reservation.alert@capenature.co.za.

ACCESS
Parking is available near the office on the entrance road. Both kloofing routes start with a walk from the office along the management road to Landdroskop. Routes are signposted on the footpath.

KLOOFING RULES

  • Start early. Hikers may not set out from the starting point later than 9am and must be out of the reserve before the gate closes at 7pm.
  • You must have a permit.
  • Groups must be guided by an experienced kloofer who has done the trail before.
  • No children under 12.

IMPORTANT TO KNOW

  • Reserve office hours are 8am to 4pm weekdays only. The entrance gate is open from 8am to 7pm. A staff member is on duty seven days a week.
  • The route is open from 1 November to 30 April every year.
  • Saturdays and Sundays must be booked a month in advance.
  • Reservations (permits): +27 21 483 0190, email: reservation.alert@capenature.co.za
  • Group size: five groups of six people are allowed over weekends; groups of 12 to 15 allowed on weekdays.

WHAT TO BRING

  • Hiking permit
  • Good, lightweight hiking shoes.
  • Swimsuit, a quick-drying shirt and swimming shorts. Cotton is not advised. Remember, this is a wet hike.
  • A light wetsuit is recommended – 80% of the kloofing requires swimming and you will remain wet throughout.
  • Bring a change of clothes along and leave it in the car for after the hike.
  • Drinking water (drinking river water can cause illness).
  • At least one proper dry bag, waterproof for 14m drops into water, with warm jackets or tops for the group.
  • Lunch and energy snacks in sealed bags. This hike requires energy.
  • Waterproof sunblock. There are patches of shade to rest under, but for most of the walk you might be exposed to the sun.
  • Waterproof camera/video camera. Views are incredible and you will want pictures of you and your friends doing the jumps.

KLOOFING SAFETY

  • Kloofing is strenuous and jumps can be dangerous. Only do these routes if you are a fit and experienced hiker. Go with someone who has done the route before.
  • Weather can turn quickly in the mountains. Check the weather forecast and do not start if rain or poor weather conditions might set in.
  • Wear a wetsuit and carry food, emergency gear and warm clothing in a waterproof pack.
  • Once you’re in the gorges, the only way out is to continue down the river, so be prepared for a long day. Tell someone where you are going and your expected time of return. There is no cellphone reception in the kloofs, so you’re on your own.
  • Never jump without testing the water. Cape mountain water is very dark due to the natural tannins in the water, and underwater hazards can be invisible. Never assume that a pool that was clear of obstacles before is still safe, large rocks and branches are regularly moved around by water.
  • Land feet first, legs together, with your arms at your sides. Never, ever dive.
  • When booking a guided trip, ensure that your guides are qualified and check whether wetsuits are provided.
  • If there is rain, beware of flash floods, the river can rise metres in minutes.

*Please note that the Suicide Gorge and Riviersonderend Route kloofing trails may be closed at any time at the discretion of the reserve staff, in the event of inclement weather or any other unsafe conditions.