Things To Do in Cape PointFarmers Cliffs Trail
Where? Smitswinkel Viewpoint to Buffels Bay / Black Rocks. Start at the Smitswinkel Viewpoint parking area to Buffels Bay beach in Cape Point Nature Reserve
When? Best during daylight hours.
How much? Price on request
Start: Smitswinkel Viewpoint parking area
Finish: Buffels Bay beach
Duration: 8 km one way (leave another car at Buffals Bay beach)
Fitness: a fairly easy hike
Our tip: get there early! (best to enter the reserve when it opens - 7am)
Map: best done with the latest Peter Slingsby Cape Point (and Simon's Town) map
To find Smitswinkel Viewpoint follow the main road roughly a kilometre from the main entrance to Cape Point Nature Reserve until you see a gravel parking area on your left on the curve of the road as it swings right towards Buffels Bay.
From the parking area there are excellent views over the little enclave of Smitswinkelbaai.
Continue on to Buffelsbaai (Buffalo Bay) beach to leave a car there, and then return to Smitswinkel Viewpoint with the second car. Buffalo Bay beach is a beautiful beach, but extremely popular during summer.
The stony path that leaves the view point is easy to follow and heads south towards Cape Point. The joy of this hike is that you are below the road and have access to scenery not possible from a car in the reserve.
The path heads up Judas Peak and then on to Die Boer, wending its way around the slopes of Paulsberg (the highest of Cape Point's peaks) before finally climbing Kanonkop (and yes, there is a canon atop the hill that used to let Simon's Town know of approaching ships).
From the top of Kanonkop are incredible views down over Buffelsbaai and Cape Point – taking a good camera along is imperative. The trail slowly heads down to sea level along a gully, reaching the sea at Booi se Skerm (there is a parking area here too, where you could alternatively leave a car).
From Booi se Skerm the views of Paul's Rock and the coastline are superlative, and provide aspects of the coast seldom photographed. The scenery is beautiful, barren and devoid of human activity. Only the odd Chacma baboon's call to disturb the quiet.
From Booi se Skerm follow the tarred road south looking out for an old lime kiln on your right. The path hugs the edge of the beach easily reaching Bordjiesdrif's tidal pool and picnic area, where you could spend a while. Just around the headland is Buffels Bay beach. To reach it entails a bit of boulder hopping (look out for the Diaz and Da Gama monuments).
Buffalo Bay is picturesque, has its own tidal pool and ablution block, braai areas and shower, and the beach is swimmable.