The Palmiet River Walk is a fairly flat, easy stroll along a gorgeous river with swimming opportunities in Kogelberg Nature Reserve.
The Palmiet River Walk 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 Palmiet River Walk
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 Palmiet River Walk
- 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 2 pm to make sure you’re back before dark.
- For navigation on this hike you can use the offline maps app Maps.me.
- For a longer, circular walk in the area that ends along the Palmiet River, try the Kogelberg Trail.
- For more things to do nearby, 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. After a few hundred metres turn right along the small path signed Palmiet Trail.
The path heads gently downwards, around the corner and then you’re in the gorgeous Palmiet River Valley. The path continues up along the side of the river, with wild mountains on either side.
At the Sandy Beach
Just over 4 km from the start of the hike, there’s a little path off to the right to a beach on the edge of the Palmiet River. There’s sand and a gorgeous, deep pool to swim in. It’s a fabulous setting and a great place for a picnic. The water’s slightly cold, but it’s worth at least paddling.
After a refreshing dip or just a sit-down, continue along the path. Just over 1 km further, the path bends left and away from the river to meet a larger track. At the track head left. This track is very easy walking and it leads gradually downhill. It actually parallels the small path you walked up on, but further away from the river.
After about 5 km you’ll be back at the Kogelberg Reserve Office, the car park, and the end of the Palmiet River Walk.
For a longer, circular walk in the area that ends along the Palmiet River, try the Kogelberg 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.