About Groot Winterhoek Wilderness Hiking Trails

Start: Cape Nature's wilderness area near Porterville
Finish: in the reserve
Duration: 1 hour – 6 hours
Fitness: easy to challenging
Our tip: hike in groups and make sure you have a map of the area with you

The wilderness area known as Groot Winterhoek is a conservation area protecting mountain fynbos and various forms of wildlife.

The mountainous area is well known for its rugged landscape, rock formations and access to rock paintings by the San and the Khoi.

Hikes in the reserve are numerous and vary in length and difficulty. But the best part of hiking in the Groot Winterhoek area is that you do not have to stick to designated trails and can explore caves and rock formations, as well as camp out in the veld.

It is assumed, though, that hikers will tread lightly.

What Cape Nature has done to conserve the area and lessen the impact of visitors is provide two zones in which walkers can hike. To the east is Kliphuis and Perdevlei, and to the south – De Tronk and Die Hel.

There are 8 trails that are marked with small cairns

Parking area to De Tronk via jeep track is a 14 km hike regarded as relatively easy. The bulk of it is along a jeep track, but there is little access to water, so take plenty along.

Parking area to De Tronk via river is a 13 km hike that follows the Kliphuis River (dangerous in winter), and then the jeep track. Plenty of swimming pools en route.

Parking area to Protea Pool is a quick 1.5 km hike that will take you less than an hour to complete. It is easy, flat and heads to a pool – perfect for hot weather.

Parking area to Groot Kliphuis via river is a 16 km route. Its ease means that even the uninitiated hiker has access to rock formations and swimming pools.

De Tronk to Die Hel is 5 km. Easy until you reach the gorge, whereafter the descent to the really deep pool is difficult and steep. There is rock art on an overhang to the left of the footpath as it starts to descend.

Groot Kliphuis to Perdevlei via jeep track is 7 km. The views more than make up for any degree of difficulty.

Groot Kliphuis to Perdevlei via river is 6 km but is relatively easy and does not take long to complete.

Perdevlei to De Tronk is 12 km along the Klein Kliphuis River, meeting up with the jeep track to De Tronk. Many pools en route.

One can combine any number of the routes.

Need to Know

WhereGroot Winterhoek Wilderness Area, near Porterville, Western Cape

WhenDaylight hours.

How muchPrices on request.

Telephone+27 (0)22 931-2900

OvernightStay nearby in Porterville, in Western Cape


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