Groot Winterhoek Beginners Advice

Hi guys!

Hope everyone is well :slight_smile:

We are planning a weekend in Groot Winterhoek in January. I am struggling to find info and the reserve is not answering their phone…

I know one can book overnight huts at De Tronk (seem to be a couple to choose from) but we wanted to do a 2 night, 3 day wild-camp (1st night near the De Tronk area so that one can explore Die Hel and then a second night at Perdevlei).

Was hoping someone could let me know if the two areas, De Tronk and Perdevlei has suitable areas to pitch your tent close to the huts and what the water situation looks like in January?

I know it is a wilderness area so countless options to choose where to pitch your tent but wanted to know from someone that has been there. And to try and figure out if it is worth booking a hut or not.

Thanks so much for your time!

:slight_smile:

Hi there, when I phoned Cape Nature recently regarding Groot Winterhoek they claimed to still be closed for overnighting but said that I need to follow up with them by end November to hear if things have changed.

There is a nice campsite fairly close to the huts at De Tronk - if you walk past the huts in the direction of Die Hel, you eventually pass two big Oak trees with lots of level ground, and 20m after that the path crosses a stream that should have water. Coordinates are 33deg 4.437’ S; 19deg 5.670’ E according to my phone. We were there in March 2019 and the stream had water. Don’t have any advice on camping at Perdevlei.

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Thanks so much for the info, that sounds like the perfect campsite!

I spoke to the reservation office earlier this week and they said De Tronk is open and one can overnight but I tried to get more info if that counts for Perdevlei as well. I will try and phone again.

I did read that there is a basic shelter at Perdevlei so I guess it shouldn’t be to hard to find a suitable campsite close by. That is if they are open.

Thanks again Gerrie :slight_smile:

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@Gerrienel Just wanted to say thanks for these coordinates for the camp spot near De Tronk, perfect location. :slight_smile:

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Hello Cecilia, my pleasure, happy that I could help

Hi @TrailHunter, myself and some friends are planning on doing the De Tronk - Perdevlei loop over 2 nights and 3 days. Is this the one that you did?

I just want to ask your advice on the Perdevlei campsite (is there water?) and whether the loop is doable in 3 days incl. visiting Die Hel? Any advice would be appreciated.

Hey there!

That’s such a lovely trail. Also, lot less trafficked than De Tronk. Perdevlei is so beautiful as well.

Yes, we did a 2 night 3 day trail. Night one under your oak tree location, also did Die Hel on day 1 since that stretch of trail we reached the camp site quickly and started early.

Day 2 we started out to Perdevlei via the route going along Klein-Kliphuis rivier, all the way to Perdevlei. From the intersection going to Groot Kliphuis, near the old oak trees the trail becomes quite a buschwack (we could see that not a lot of people went that way when we were there) and the vegetation was overgrown. We ended up staying in the Perdevlei shelter because it looked like a storm was brewing and the surrounding area is quite overgrown for tents. (This was beg Jan so maybe it is cleared more now).

Day 3 we headed back on the Jeep track over the mountain (beautiful views) to Groot Kilphuis and back to parking area (longest day) I will see if I recorded the hike as gpx file later tonight and post here.

Water wise, day 1 was not a problem. Day 2, I’d suggest to fill up at Die Tronk before starting out. We crossed a small stream about 500m into the buschwack after the oak tree intersection and then Perdevlei had a full stream about 80m from the hut. Day 3s first water point was at Groot Kliphuis. All the streams where quite full when we were there so hopefully it will still be now thats it has rained.

:slight_smile:

Thank you very much for the info! G

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Here is a link to our gpx file if you’d like to take a look :slight_smile:

Enjoy the trip!

Hi Cecilia, thank you very much for the track. Appreciated (i didnt understand the part about the old jeep track but now i do)

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Hey @TrailHunter , Thanks so much for the advice, the gpx file link has expired, would you mind sharing again?

I am taking on the Perdevlei trial in reverse, so parking to Groot Kliphuis via Disa Pool and then on the Jeep track to Perdevlei. Then heading along Klein Kliphuis river to De Tronk the next day.

This is my first time in the reserve and will be camping, do you have any advice for the emergency shelter and potential covered spots at De Tronk / Die Hel if there is rain?

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Hi Nico

No problem, here is a link to my gpx: https://wsi.li/dl/SKJpPsjy55uAe9CjS/

That’s a nice route! Close to Groot Kliphuis there is a big camping spot under trees, in case you need to emergency camp. Perdevlei was not in the best condition when we were there but hopefully the roof has been fixed, in case of rain. We were there during a windy night and tried fixing a part of the roof, which helped a bit but the one room is rather exposed to the elements (given that it has not been fixed).

So there are hikers huts at De Tronk, they have to be booked though, the big oak tree patch is where most people camp, just before you cross the river towards Die Hel. I think if I remember correctly most of the huts had little patios and cover. The huts are locked unless you booked.

As far as I know one is not allowed to camp after the little stream towards Die Hel. And there is no shelter down at the pool. There is a cave next to the pool but obviously, not allowed to go in there to not disturb the bats :slight_smile:

Perdevlei area is amazing, just keep an eye out for the cairns on your second day from Perdevlei down Klein kliphuis rivier, the path can be a bit tricky to find.

Enjoy your trip!

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Thanks so much :smile: really appreciate the help!