The trail starts on a jeep track leading away from the entrance gate into the reserve. The Uikyk Trail path, Vista and du Toitskop, all have the same starting point, with the full day Perdekop Trail either starting or finishing on this path. After a short, fairly steep zig-zag path the trail undulates through the valley, crossing a few mountain streams on a gradually upward route. At the Uitkyk (Lookout) view point, from which the trail takes its name, there is a magnificent view of the Wemmershoek Dam and Valley. The return trip is on the same path. A short, steep deviation on the circular, Vista path to a high view point, provides and additional, slightly elevated view of the town of Franschhoek, the Franschhoek Valley, the Simonsberg and Drakenstein Mountains and on a clear day, Table Mountain in the distance. Hikers often reward themselves with refreshments of coffee, craft beer or even wine tasting in the town or surrounding area, after the hike.
Mont Rochelle Nature Reserve
Local transport options: Away from transport hub. E-hailing service from Franschhoek, private transport or by arrangement with guide
Trip Duration / Options
Option 1: Approximately 4 hours – out and back route
Option 2: There are three other trails in the reserve, Vista Trail (short and steep); Du Toitskop, slightly longer circular route; Perdekop, full day’s hiking.
Start / Finish
Start: Reserve entrance / exit at the top of Franschhoek Pass – GPS 33˚90’42.22 S / 19˚15’80.54 E
Finish: As above
Time / Distances
Option 1: Approximately 8 km. 4 hours
Option 2: Various as above – 1 hour; 5 hours; full day
Based on a grading of Easy – Moderate – Strenuous.
This trail is moderate. After a short fairly steep section at the start, it is undulating with a gradual increase in gradient. The path is clear and reasonably firm with some uneven sections and loose rocks underfoot in places.
The alternative routes are all more strenuous, including the short one, which is a steep climb up to the view point.
A good degree of hiking fitness required and ability to cope with uneven underfoot conditions.
Technical detail / Terrain
On path, short sections of steep terrain. No technical exposure.
Mountain terrain with short steep sections at the start and finish. Generally a well defined constructed path with natural rock section and some loose stones and uneven surfaces underfoot in places. Good hiking or robust sports footwear important.
Food Supply / Catering
Bring your own snacks & water. Restaurants and coffee shops in Franschhoek and surrounding area. Lunch packs provided by arrangement.
Logistic support / Guiding
The trail is guided by a fully trained, accredited mountain guide. Transport to and from the trail start by arrangement, cost depending on collection point and distance travelled.
With a starting point at over 400 metres above the Franschhoek Valley the views from start to finish are quite spectacular. Views of the town, the Valley, Theewaterskloof Dam and from the ‘Uitkyk’ (Lookout) view point at the end of the outgoing leg of the trail, the view of the Wemmerhoek Valley and Dam are more than worth the effort. The rock formations are both interesting and impressive.
Wine tasting in the area on various wine estates, as well as food, craft beers and other tourist activities in the town.
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, baboons and rock hyrax. Lizards and agamas with a scattering of birdlife.
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.
1 to 6 hikers per guide
From R2070 for 2 hikers, person rates lower for larger groups. Transport excluded
Price review date: 1 November annually
Registered, experienced Mountain Guide
Uitkyk Trail Enquiry
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