Swellendam Trail Info


We have booked the Swellendam Trail over early Jnuary and was wondering if anyone had done it recently who have tips and advice for us?


Hi Corrie

I’ve hiked the Swellendam Trail last month and written a pretty comprehensive post on it for this website - it should be up in the next few days. It contains a lot of info on what you can expect, the facilities at each hut, realistic hiking distances/times etc.

You’re welcome to check back when the post is up - until then I can offer some tips:

  • Day 1 is about 15km/7.5 hours’ hike and 90% of it is uphill. It will be the toughest day by far. You have to start early to beat the heat, ideally around 07:00. It’s best to stay in Swellendam the night before if possible, or even enquire about the Glenstream Hut situated at the Marloth Office.

  • Day 1’s hut, Boskloof, burned down some years ago and was replaced with a very simple metal hut. It has space for 10, but you must take your own mattress. If you’re willing to sleep on the floor for one night, you can ditch the weight of a mattress altogether.

  • The other 3 huts all have bunk beds and mattresses

  • ALL huts have access to a nearby stream as well as long drop toilets.

  • Swellendam is in a summer rainfall region, so waterproof gear is essential.

  • Try to organise a lift beforehand with the park manager to the start of the trail at Duiwelsbos.This wins you about 2km.

  • If you can wake up at 05:30 (sunrise) and start at 07:00 on the trail, you should be able to reach your hut by lunch (applies to Days 2 - 4)

  • Only the Boskloof-Goedgeloof-Proteavallei-Wolfkloof route is open. You have to take the Kruispad from Proteavallei to Wolfkloof on Day 4, the Vensterbank detour (lookout point) is closed.

  • You have to take your own cooking gear and fuel.

  • The Trail is often compared to the Otter in difficulty. You do need to be fit and experienced, but it is an absolutely amazing hike with majestic mountain views that few get to see.

You’re welcome to ask any specific questions if you have!


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