The Kogelberg Trail is a gorgeous loop hike through the heart of Kogelberg Nature Reserve, with amazing views, beautiful flowers and an opportunity to swim in the river.
The Kogelberg Trail starts from the parking by the reception at Kogelberg Nature Reserve. It’s about 1.5 hours drive from central Cape Town via the scenic R44. The turnoff to Kogelberg Nature Reserve is well-signed from the main road, and the last 2.5 km are along a good dirt road through the reserve.
Map of Kogelberg Hiking Trail
Get the route by downloading the .gpx or .kml file below. For navigation with Maps.me on your mobile phone, simply download the .kml file and open to add it to the Maps.me bookmarks.
Tips for the Kogelberg Trail
- This hike is in Kogelberg Nature Reserve, managed by Cape Nature. Entry is R60/30 per adult/child, or free with a WildCard.
- The Reserve and Reception are open from 7:30 am to 4 pm every day.
- Bring swimming stuff to swim in the river. It’s also a great place for a picnic.
- You’re not allowed to start this trail after 8am/10am in winter/summer to make sure you’re back before dark.
- Sometimes if it’s ‘too hot’ this trail is closed.
- For navigation on this hike you can use the offline maps app Maps.me.
- For a shorter walk in the area, try the Palmiet River Walk or for another mountainous walk, hike up the Three Sisters Trail.
- For other hiking trails in Kogelberg Nature Reserve, check out our guide to Kogelberg and Cape Hangklip area.
- For more hikes in South Africa, see our South Africa Hiking Guide.
First visit the park reception to get a permit for the hike. Head out the other side of reception along a wooden boardwalk and up some steps. At the track turn right, then in 200 metres turn left. Soon the track continues onwards, but follow the smaller path to your left, marked by a yellow hiking boot symbol.
This small path bends around and above the Kogelberg Eco Chalets. On the other side of the chalet area, another small hiking trail joins this route. Continue onwards as the path heads upwards through a valley that begins to narrow.
The Oudebosch River flows down this valley, and at its upper reaches you’ll find the Oudebosch (old forest) itself. It’s slightly surprising to find these big trees here. Enjoy a rest in the woodland as it’s the only shade you’ll find on this hike.
Shortly after you exit the forest, keep right at the fork in the path. The path continues through the vegetation around the corner before entering a rockier section. You’ll now find yourself in a new little valley, and the path climbs gradually up it. Soon you’ll be on a flower-covered plateau. There are nice views all around.
The path continues across the plateau before heading downwards through the rocky ground to a larger track. At the track turn right. After about 5.5 km of gentle walking down this track, you’ll meet a junction with another track near the Palmiet River.
Back along the track or by the river
You have a choice here to either walk back the easier way along the track to the right, or walk back the nicest way along the Palmiet River. If you’re tired and just want to walk back along the track, turn right and follow the track all the way back to the car park. If you want to walk back along a smaller trail by the edge of the river, head a few metres left and then take the small path on the right. This trail bends around to meet the river and then follows down along its bank.
After just over 1 km along the river trail, there’s a lovely beach on your left. It’s quite sandy and there’s a deep, refreshing pool to swim in. Mountains surround this pool and it’s a gorgeous location. After the pool it’s another 4 km along the small hiking path back to Kogelberg Reserve Office and the car park.
For a shorter walk in the area, try the Palmiet River Walk or for another mountainous walk, hike up the Three Sisters Trail. For more things to do nearby, check out our guide to Kogelberg and Cape Hangklip area, or for many more hikes in South Africa, see our South Africa Hiking Guide.