This is a tough hike in Montagu that takes you up Bloupunt, which is the highest peak in the area. You will be rewarded with unbeatable views, and a swim at one of the 3 waterfalls!
Getting there: the starting point for this hike is at Die Ou Meul in Badkloof, the same as for the Cogman’s Kloof Hike.
Difficulty: serious hiking on well-marked trail; no exposure
There is an overnight hut in the kloof, the Klipspringer Hut [S 33°46.952′, E 20°06.083′]. One option would be to stay in the hut, and use it as an overnight base while doing both this trail and the Cogman’s Kloof Trail as a two-day option. I chose rather to overnight at De Bos.
You must check in at the office and pay for your permit. You can walk or drive across the drift and park under the trees at Die Ou Meul. From here, follow the dirt road up the kloof, passing through a stand of blue gum trees. In a short while you will come to the Klipspringer Hut sitting neatly on the valley floor.
The trail continues past the hut up the kloof, crossing the stream bed from time to time. You will soon reach the start of the Cogman’s Kloof Trail heading steeply up the left slope, and after a few kilometers you will reach a junction in the kloof with a blue sign marked “Bloupunt” directing you up to the left. Ultimately, you will return to this junction and retrace your steps to finish the trail after doing a big clockwise loop of the summit of the mountain in front of you!
You now climb up and over the ridge, before heading up a smaller kloof to the left called Rietkloof, and finally reaching a saddle with Bloupunt on your right. You actually head around the other side of the peak, slowly making your way upwards, until just before the summit where your assault becomes more aggressive as you follow some switchbacks to the top.
From the summit you will head back down into the deep kloof: the descent is steep and rocky so take care as the trail is fairly loose underfoot. On the descent there are three waterfalls — I found two of them easily on two short marked trails leading off the trail.
On following the first one, I realised I was close behind a Cape Cobra that clearly had the same idea in mind. When I inadvertently got to close to it, it reared up at me. Needless to say I did not see the waterfall on that day!
I have since re-done the trail (in early autumn) and visited both waterfalls. They are both stunning and well worth a visit, but if you are pushed for time, skip the first one, and wait for Vlermuis: it is truly magical, and also affords a better opportunity to swim, either at the waterfall itself, or in the pool just before it. The first waterfall, Silver Stream Waterfall [S 33°46.267′, E 20°05.437′], peals off the trail on the left, whilst Vlermuis Waterfall to the right. Both are clearly signposted. I took a quick skinny-dip in the first despite the cool weather!
Happily, the cobra was not to be seen.
You will soon reach the junction in the kloof with the blue signpost, and retrace your steps back to the start.
The summit is also the place I first sighted my friend Oldenburgia paradoxa. Despite its size I actually missed it at first, and it was pointed out to me by some fellow hikers. I have subsequently found smaller specimens at the summit of Sleeping Beauty.