This walk takes you up an easy-to-follow trail from Beaverlac up the Ratel River ravine. There are numerous beautiful pools and waterfalls along the way, and the surroundings include dramatic rock formations which characterize the Cederberg area.
The kind people of Beaverlac will have supplied you with a map of the area: this trail is referred to as the Leopard Trail. The sketched map and the route descriptions are accurate and easy to follow. I downloaded a more detailed map of the area from the The Maps website (the companion site to the Slingsby range of maps) as well.
As per the directions, leave the campsite through the gate leading to the Main Pool. After about 20 metres, take the path that leads off to the right, up the valley. From here the path leads up the valley — the river is on your left. At intervals there are paths leading to the left taking you down to the river. Follow the cairns up the main path. Only once, up near the end of the trail, does the path lead you to the right — away from the ravine: it goes up around Castle Rock before heading back into the ravine at Totem Poles.
There is a series of beautiful pools to swim in which are far less crowded than the Main Pool. I would recommend packing a lunch and spending some time up here, and maybe stopping in at the other pools in a leisurely manner on the way down.
You can continue past this area if you are in search of your own secluded pool…
Warning: please do not jump off the waterfall into this pool — there is a submerged rock.
This is one for: lots of water, swimming costume (or not!).