This is a rewarding hike, sometimes known as The Farmer’s Cliffs, in the Cape Point Nature Reserve. Leave a car at Buffels Bay to make it a one-way trip — pack a picnic and your bathing gear — there is a beautiful beach and tidal pool for swimming!
Getting there: from the main entrance to the Cape Point Nature Reserve, drive just less than 1 km along the road until you reach a gravel parking lot on the left of the road. This is the Smitswinkel Bay viewpoint. Continue on the tarred road for about 6km, passing the Buffelsfontein Visitor’s Centre, before turning left to Buffels Bay [-34.313600, 18.462339] if you are leaving a car there to make it a one-way hike.
GPS Coordinates: -34.2669, 18.4639
Difficulty: comfortable hiking on easy to follow trail
The trail leaves the Smitswinkel Viewpoint parking lot at the south end on an easy-to-follow, stony path. The trail leads south toward Cape Point, hugging the False Bay coast. Keep your eyes open: you are quite likely to spot Chacma baboons, as well as ostrich and antelope.
The trail leads you almost to the top of Judas Peak, then on to Die Boer.
It then skirts around the inland slopes of Paulsberg (the tallest of the peaks), before ascending to Kanonkop.
There is a canon on Kanonkop, once used to warn Simon’s Town of approaching ships.
The trail then drops down a gully to sea-level at Booi se Skerm. Turn south (right) and follow the tarred road, be sure to have a look at the old lime-kiln on the right-hand side of the road. Look out for game: we saw bontebok and ostrich along the shoreline!
The trail now heads south along the ocean’s edge to the picnic area and tidal pool at Bordjiesdrif, and then on to your destination at Buffels Bay. You will do some boulder-hopping before you finish up walking on the golden sands of Buffels Bay beach. Between Bordjiesdrif and Buffels Bay you will see the Diaz and the Da Gama monuments which double up as marine beacons.
Buffels Bay is an absolute gem. It looks as though at some time in the past it was a camping area: terraced grass surrounding braai areas next to a stunning tidal pool [-34.313321, 18.461963], complete with a shower and ablution blocks. There is a launch slip for boats.
The Reserve’s gate hours are 06h00 to 18h00 from October to March, and 07h00 to 17h00 from April to September. If you do not have a Wild Card there is a gate entry fee of R80 per adult to enter the Cape Point Nature Reserve.