Things To Do in RobertsonArangieskop Hiking Trail
Where? Dassieshoek Nature Reserve, outside Robertson, Breede River Valley
When? Booking is essential.
How? Call +27 (0)23 626-8242
How much? Price on request
Start: Dassieshoek Nature Reserve, outside Robertson
Duration: 22 km, 2 days
Fitness: difficult, the uphill is a continuous slog and will test your endurance
Our tip: hard going on the knees, so you might want to make sure that your pack is light
The highlights of the Arangieskop hike, sometimes referred to as the Kilimanjaro of the Cape by those who have gone before, is the overnight stay in the cabin just 200 metres below the summit, and the views from the top – well worth the effort.
Even Mike Lundy calls this 'the mother and father of all trails in the Western Cape'. Day one is 9.5 km. The route is up. And it will take you roughly 8 hours to complete, depending on your fitness.
The steady climb does have intermittent flat bits that allow one to drink in the views of the Robertson valley as it opens up below you, and a drop into a ravine fairly early into the hike bring relief. But for the rest, it is a constant zig-zag up the mountain.
Day two is a rather difficult descent. The route is circular, so you don't simply go back down the way you went up. The return involves a further ascent to the top of Dassieshoek peak with incredible views out over the Koo valley on the other side. If you've already done this the day before as you reached the hut (because you couldn't resist the views) then you add this re-scramble to your day.
The descent does offer the possibility of a swim, on the river crossing, in a swim hole at the bottom of the ravine.
The overnight hut is built into the rock face and has received acclaim by all who sleep in it, mostly for the views and the added bonus of a donkey boiler and flush toilets.