The standard touring day starts early with collection from accommodation and a scenic drive down to the Cape of Good Hope via the Southern Suburbs and False Bay Coast. On entry to the Nature Reserve, it is usual start with a short walk up to the Cape Point Lighthouse and various scenic view points in the vicinity. This is followed by a short drive to the Cape of Good Hope itself. It is a 20 minute drive to the start of the Olifantsbos parking, where we start our hike. The path follows a sandy track to the coast for a few hundred metres, before the start of the beach walk to the exposed shipwrecks of the Thomas Tucker (1945) and the Nolloth (1963). The rusted hulks are slowly breaking up, but nevertheless make interesting viewing. The route turns inland after passing the Nolloth, crossing a short coastal plateau before a short ascent to a low ridge. The track is clear and firm, although uneven rock in places. A left hand turn takes you back to the car park. There is a fairly steep, uneven descent before the finish. It is possible to follow the inland path to the right to the natural wetland of Sirkelsvlei before meeting another path that leads back to the car park, for a longer hike. Alternative timing by arrangement.
Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve
Cape Town – Far South Peninsula
Local transport options: Far from regular transport hub – Transport arranged by hike leader, included in cost; alternative self-drive or e-hailing service.
Trip Duration / Options
Option 1: Approximately 5 hours – circular hike from Olifantsbos parking and return
Option 2: Approximately 2 hours – beach walk out and back
Start / Finish
Start: Olifantsbos parking: GPS 34˚25'88.57 S / 18˚38'22.08 E
Finish: Olifantsbos parking: GPS 34˚25'88.57 S / 18˚38'22.08 E
Time / Distances
Option 1: Approximately 10 km. 5 hours
Option 2: Approximately 3 km. 2 hours
Based on a grading of Easy – Moderate – Strenuous
Easy. Start on a sandy coastal path leading to beach, return via a ridge path rocky and uneven underfoot in places.
A moderate degree of hiking fitness required and ability to cope uneven surface and soft sand.
Technical detail / Terrain
A sandy path with some rocky patches leads to the beach, where the trail crosses a wide expanse of beach leading to the shipwrecks. The route turns inland to a low ridge and firm path across the plateau path. Underfoot sandy in places, with uneven natural rock underfoot. There as a fairly steep uneven descent back to the car parking area.
Good sports style footwear or hiking boots.
Food Supply / Catering
Bring your own snacks & water. Lunch packs provided by arrangement. Fully operational restaurant and take away outlet for coffee / light meals at Cape Point.
Logistic support / Guiding
The trail is guided by a fully trained, accredited mountain guide. Transport from hikers accommodation needs to be arranged. In addition to hike it is usual for clients to visit the well know site of the Cape Point Lighthouse and Cape of Good Hope. Both of these sites are away from the location of the hike, although can be reached by foot with longer time allocation.
Views over the Atlantic Coast of the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve and Cape Point. Abundance of diverse flora, rock formations and scenic coast.
Visit to the Cape Point Lighthouse and the Cape of Good Hope – usually included in the cost of a full day tour.
Fauna & Flora
The core of the 'fynbos' biome and part of the Cape Floristic Region World Heritage Site. Mostly nocturnal and shy small animals, occasional small antelope and rock hyrax. Lizards and agamas with a scattering of birdlife.
Cape Town and Table Mountain are 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.
1 to 8 hikers per guide
From R2250 per person for 2 hikers, inclusive of full day touring and hike, including entry fees to Cape Of Good Hope. Lunch packs but arrangement. Rates lower for larger groups
Price review date: 1 November annually
Registered, experienced Mountain Guide, Cape of Good Hope entry
Shipwreck Trail Enquiry
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