The Klein Krakadouw Slackpacking trail is the easiest of the Cederberg Heritage Route walking trails and is ideal for someone who wants a taste of walking in the Cederberg as its only 2 nights.
The Cederberg Heritage Route is the collective name for some community-based walking trails in the Cedarberg mountains ranging between 3 and 6 days. The trails make this beautiful area accessible to walkers via the use of charming community guest cottages in the Moravian Mission villages of Heuningvlei, Brugkraal and Wupperthal on the edge of the Cederberg Wilderness area, as well as Clanwilliam guesthouses. The trails are fully inclusive: you are ecorted by local community guides whilst your overnight luggage is taken to the next night’s stay.
The two night Klein Krakadouw Hiking Tour starts at lunchtime on Day 1 giving you time to get to the Cederberg and finishes after breakfast on Day 3 so that you have ample time to travel onto your next destination. It includes an easy 12km hike to the mission village of Heuningvlei on the first day and a longer, very scenic hike over Krakadouw Pass on the second day. There is also the option to spend an extra night and do the Krakadouw peak, the highest mountain in the northern Cederberg.
The Klein Krakadouw Trail is priced for 2, 4 or 6 people with the price decreasing with higher numbers. It is suitable for most of the year as it is a short trail, though you may like to avoid the high summer months of January to mid March.
Arrive in Clanwilliam for lunch, afternoon hike from Pakhuis Pass to Heuningvlei (12km-3hours), Full Board
Arrive at Yellow Aloe Nursery in Clanwilliam by the late morning in time for lunch (included). You will be met by a representative from Cedarberg African Travel (CAT) at 13:30, who will hand over your documents. After lunch you are transferred to the top of Pakhuis Pass. From there you will take the Donkey Cart trail to the charming mission village of Heuningvlei where you overnight on a Dinner, Bed, Breakfast & Packed Lunch basis (Rating 2A).
Clanwilliam is one of South Africa’s oldest towns. Colonialists settled the area by 1725. In 1820 about 350 Irish settlers arrived in Clanwilliam. You can still see some of the attractive 1820 settler houses in Park Street. Clanwilliam is now a centre for an agricultural community cultivating the uniquely South African Rooibos tea, citrus, table grapes and vegetables. The citrus orchards can be seen along the Olifants valley from Citrusdal to Clanwilliam. Further north there are a number of vineyards producing both wine and table grapes.
Donkey Cart Trail
You can opt to ride in the traditional donkey cart of the area – an exhilarating 2 hour ride (including a couple of stops for photography), or choose to walk all or part of the trail. This is a 12 km trail on a wide track which would typically take 2½ to 3 hours to walk (Rating 2A) The mountain scenery is spectacular and there are usually a variety of indigenous flowering plants to be seen along the way. Take note that the donkey cart is not a luxury vehicle – it is a bumpy ride though cushions are provided!
Accommodation at Heuningvlei is provided usually in one of two homestays (2 or 3 people in one bedroom) or occasionally in the Community Lodge. Please note that the Community Lodge has two large rooms, one for ladies and one for gentleman with 3 bunk beds in each room. There are several bathrooms and a sitting room with tea/coffee facilities. Dinner, breakfast and the packed lunch are provided by the ladies of the community.
Optional extra day- Hike up Krakadouw pass, DBB & packed lunch
If you wish you can have an extra day to enjoy either a hike up Krakadouw peak or a circular walk around Heuningvlei – depending on your fitness levels and/or inclination! However your whole group will need to choose one of the options.
Option One – Guided hike up Krakadouw Peak
This is an immensely rewarding, but strenuous hike up to one of the highest peaks in the Cederberg Mountains. It is an 8 hour hike (3-4 hours up climbing 900 metres, approx 1 hour on the summit and 3 hours descent). Rating is 4C. Some scrambling up gullies will be required so above average fitness and some mountain experience would be expected. However at the top you are rewarded with 360 degree panoramic views of the whole of the Cederberg range and a fascinating terrain. On the way up and down there are also wonderful views, incredible rock formations and a number of the rather rare cedar tree, Widdringtonia cedarbergensis, which is endemic to the Cederberg area.
OR Option Two – Relaxed guided walk in the hills behind Heuningvlei
Alternatively you can enjoy an easy day hike of 10-12km in the hills to the east of Heuningvlei (Rating is 2B). There are some rock art sites in the area that you can elect to visit if you so wish. Again the rock formations and varied vegetation and wild flowers provide interest along the way. Near the end of the walk you can swim in a large, deep pool in the Heuningvlei River, in a beautiful setting.
Guided walk over Krakadouw Pass to Boskloof, DBB & packed lunch
Today you will enjoy a guided hike of about 13km (5 – 6 hours) up the Krakadouw Pass trail, through the heart of the Cederberg Wilderness Area, to Krakadouw Nek and then down to the guest cottages in the Boskloof Valley The views are breath-taking. The up trail follows the valley of the perennial Dwarsrivier stream through patches of beautiful indigenous bush and trees. It also passes an unusual round blockhouse built in about 1901 by the British forces during the Anglo-Boer War.
The trail is generally not very steep, climbing up some 900metres to the Nek and then descending 300metres to Heuningvlei. Rating 3B.
After breakfast you are transferred back to Clanwilliam.