Monday, 7 December 2009


The Kouebokkeveld mountains here are largely privately owned so access is pretty exclusive unless you know the right person or belong to the right hiking club.

The Olifants River Dome (1621m) is a spectacular peak which is very hard to get to, along a tortuous traverse and a huge descent and ascent just when you thought you were there. The summit log shows it was climbed in 1991 (for the MCSA centenary), and next by the SMC in 1994. The peak is an 8-hour round trip from base camp at the top of Naauwkloof (where a shepherd's hut provides shelter if not warmth for 3 to 4 people, or 15 in a storm), and from the farm Schoongezicht to the camp takes 2 hours.

Another nice peak with a spectacular nek is Driekoppe (1760m?). (Spectacular is a word which you will probably use often in the Kouebokkeveld.) Unlike the Dome, Driekoppe is an easy climb and is reached in about 2 hours hiking from the campsite and about one hour back down. You can see Table Mountain easily on a clear day and all the major peaks from Sneeuberg and Tafelberg to Groot Winterhoek.

Then somewhere out there is an old shepherd's cave which has been visited maybe two or three times in a few decades. It still has the original kettle, potjie and firewood supply, and a few tins of coffee. It also has some old bushman paintings, very faint, and a magnificent view. Well worth the slog through unmarked mountains, but only a few people know where it is, and it's not a location I would want to geocache or blog about!

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