The hike up to the summit of Swartkop offers some of the most dramatic mountain-ocean scenery to be found on the Cape Peninsula. The ascent onto the high ridgeline is very steep and definitely not for the faint-hearted, especially on a windy day. The rewards however, as one gains elevation fairly quickly, of the views of the Peninsula’s distant, azure blue bays, and sheer drops into the ocean alongside you, are nothing but spectacular!
Swartkop, falling within the Table Mountain National Park and UNESCO World Heritage Fynbos Floral Biome, also offers a magnificent immersion into abundantly beautiful and pristine fynbos veld. Expect king proteas in the most unexpected places, brilliant bunches of rice heath and magnificently striking conebushes showing off all the way to the top and ancient-looking tree mimetes along the ridge-line, to name but a few of my personal favourites. Not to forget the masses of striking pink Serruria Hirsuta, or Swartkops Spiderhead, endemic to Swartkop, flowering in Spring, on the descent down into Simonstown.
And then, the summit… I am always deeply struck by the views northwards of Devil’s Peak and Table Mountain towering out above the rest of the Table Mountain range of mountains, False Bay and the Cape Flats, as one reaches the summit of Swartkop. It is just jaw-dropping dramatic and magnificent.
This is a strenuous one-way hike, for fit and experienced hikers only, and the ascent, although on a path, is very steep and exposed and the use of hands is required to scramble up to the top of the ridge-line. Once on the high ridge-line, it is fairly easy hiking, with another steep section to reach the summit of Swartkop in the early afternoon. The descent is initially fairly steep and then follows long gradual zig-zags until one reaching Simonstown where the hike ends.
LOCATION - Simonstown, Cape Town
DISTANCE - 11 km
ELEVATION GAIN - 780 m
DIFFICULTY LEVEL - 2B - Strenuous full-day on-trail hike, with exposure to heights and use of hands required to scramble up some sections to reach the ridge-line
STANDARD-PACED HIKE - Up to 7.5 hours is the standard duration for this hike
SLOW-PACED HIKE - Guests preferring a slower pace, can book 8.5 hours for this hike
LOCATION - Simonstown, South Africa
START/END - One-way hike that starts at the Swartkop trail parking on Main Rd near Smitswinkel Tented camp and ends at Jan Smuts Drive in Simonstown.
CLICK HERE FOR PRIVATE GUIDED HIKE TARIFFS
Coffee/tea included. Other drinks/snacks and transport are excluded and can be arranged at an additional fee.
WHATSAPP Santie to book for this special hike.