Surrounded by gorgeous mountains, Hout Bay – with its southern coastline and mountains to the north, west and east – is an ideal location from which to set off on a hike. Visitors to the area are spoiled for choice when it comes to hikes, and even more so for the residents at Maison Noir, who can walk straight into the mountains from the villa itself.
Many routes in the area require no permits, so all you need to remember are the essentials: comfortable hiking shoes, sunscreen, plenty of water and don’t forget a change of clothes as Cape Town’s weather is infamously temperamental, likely to change from a hot, still day to cold and windy without notice. We’ve put together a collection of a few of our favourite routes below.
MYBURGH’S WATERFALL RAVINE
The easiest hike to reach from Maison Noir, Myburgh’s Ravine is an excellent hike in the summer (when the red disa flowers are on full display) as well as in colder and wetter months, when the waterfalls pound down the mountainside. While still something of a steep climb (anything up Table Mountain involves climbing), Myburgh’s Ravine on Table Mountain is easy to reach.
From Farriers Way there is a footpath that leads up the mountain (there is a wooden sign indicating the start of the walk) via an indigenous forest. You will meet the contour path that follows the stream (to the right). A little further along brings you to the base of Myburgh’s Waterfall. From here the hike is simple enough to follow unless the waterfalls are flowing, in which case you’ll need to scramble through a detour or two.
A good place for lunch is where you have views out over Oudekraal, Camps Bay, Clifton and Llandudno.
The path down the Llandudno Ravine is steep and loose. Watch your step. You descend onto the contour path above Suikerbossie. Right takes you to Suikerbossie restaurant, while a left turn takes you back across a ravine to Farriers Way (2,5km).
LITTLE LION’S HEAD
Also called Klein Leeukoppie, this short but taxing trail to the top should take you less than an hour and is lovely in late afternoon or early morning. It is perfect for those who want a good workout within an hour or want to reach a summit and superlative views without too much fuss. The hike takes place on Klein Leeukoppie, which is private property, hence the security wave in.
The Karbonkelberg is the largest of the peaks that tower over the northern side of Hout Bay. Viewed from the top of Chapman’s Peak there are two visible peaks that tower over the sea to the left of Hout Bay. The Sentinel is the smaller, more southerly peak ,with the taller Karbonkelberg behind it. The round trip to the top of the Karbonkelberg should take you about 4 hours. You follow a very eroded jeep track the whole way up, so navigation is relatively easy.
The Baviaanskloof hike is known for its seasonal waterfall, which is simply breathtaking. It is best to find out when it is flowing, because it is the perfect conclusion to your hike. The waterfall is surrounded by shade and lush greenery, and can be the perfect spot for a picnic or to relax with a book. There is also the small forest past the waterfall if you follow the firebreak trail. Here you enter a pine-tree woodland that is reminiscent of a Grimm’s fairy tale. For the really adventurous, deviate and take a hike up to Klein Koppie to take in an unobstructed view of Hout Bay.