Palmiet River Trail


The Kogelberg Nature Reserve is a hikers paradise with many options to explore, from short strolls to long and strenuous trails. The Palmiet River Trail is a good single day option, giving the opportunity to visit the area and explore a few of the added attractions. The trail itself follows the river through high stands of proteas and prolific Fynbos. The path is mostly firm and easy and sticks reasonably close to the river with occasional small waterfalls and rapids. The path meets the river at a few places where swimming is possible. At the end of the trail it is possible to return via a jeep track or follow the same path on the out and back route.

Trail Details

Trail location

Kogelberg Nature Reserve

Nearest village

Kleinmond / Betty’s Bay

Transport options

Local transport options: far from local transport hubs – self-drive or as part of tour package. Turn off from the R44 (Clarens Drive) GPS 34˚32’24.57 S / 18˚98’79.88 E

Trip Duration / Options

Option 1: Approximately 4 hours – out and back route along from the reserve visitor centre.

Option 2: Approximately 7 hours – circular route on the Kogelberg Trail

Start / Finish

Start: Visitors Centre in the Kogelberg Nature Reserve – GPS 34˚32’24.15 S / 18˚96’71.59 E

Finish: as above

Time / Distances

Option 1: Approximately 10km. 4 hours

Option 2: Approximately 24km 7 hours (this is a much more strenuous hike requiring high fitness level)

Trail Grading

Based on a grading of Easy – Moderate – Strenuous.

This is a moderate hike, following the flow of the river along a well defined route. Mostly firm and sandy underfoot, with rocky uneven surfaces in places. Return on the same path or via adjacent jeep track.

The alternative 24 km Kogelberg Trail is a more serious strenuous hike requiring a high degree of fitness. There are various other trails in the area.

Physical Fitness

A moderate degree of  hiking fitness required for the distance of 10km.

There are various hikes in the area that require a higher degree of fitness and difficulty, as well as shorter routes.

Technical detail / Terrain

On path, even terrain along the river, no technical exposure or scrambling

The path is clear and easy walking along the river. No steep sections. Possible swimming places during summer and warmer weather. Good, robust walking footwear required.

The more difficult hike is described in a separate post.

Food Supply / Catering

Bring your own snacks & water. Lunch packs provided by arrangement.

Logistic support / Guiding

The trail is guided by a fully trained, accredited hiking and nature guide – transport arrangements by tour operator



This is a biodiversity hot spot with extensive fynbos and mountain terrain. The surrounding mountain peaks and ridges are awe-inspiring.

Other Activities

Overnight accommodation and visits to the Harold Porter Botanical Garden (not included)

Fauna & Flora

The core of the ‘fynbos’ biome and part of the Cape Floristic Region, with special interest of two other distinct biomes. Mostly nocturnal and shy small animals, lizards and agamas with a scattering of birdlife.


The Kogelberg and this part of the Western Cape is located in a Mediterranean climate with winter rainfall. Summer can be hot (up to 35 degrees). Spring and Autumn are moderate and the best hiking season although good winter days can be quite warm and summer temperatures are seldom high for long periods. Hiking is possible all year round.

Seasonality & Best Time Year

Spring and Autumn are moderate and the best hiking season although good winter days can be quite warm and summer temperatures are seldom high for long periods. Hiking is possible all year round. This particular trail is suited to summer as it can be cooler in the valley and there is potential for swimming in many places along the trail.

Group Size

1 to 6 hikers per guide

Price P/P

From R2070 for 2 hikers, person rates lower for larger groups, excluding transport

Price review date: 1 November annually


Price Includes

Registered, experienced Mountain Guide.

Palmiet River Trail Enquiry

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