Rugged rock formations, clear mountain pools and a patchwork of fynbos – a hiker’s dream
The Groot Winterhoek Wilderness is known for its rugged, wild landscape, with exceptional rock formations carved by the elements. This mountainous area lies about 120km north of Cape Town, near Porterville.
The greater Groot Winterhoek conservation area is particularly important for protecting mountain fynbos and wildlife. It is also one of Cape Town’s sources of fresh, clean water, and is a World Heritage Site.
This area is rich in history, with ancient rock paintings by the San and Khoi people, and the oldest farm established in 1875. Early settlers in the area used animals to transport produce and supplies between Porterville and Saron. Their tracks are still visible above Driebosch and Weltevrede.
As Groot Winterhoek’s name suggests, winters are cold and wet. Winter nights are very cold, with temperatures below freezing. Summers are moderate, but hikers should always be prepared for sudden cold and mist.
There’s plenty to do in Groot Winterhoek, including various day and overnight hikes, crystal-clear mountain pools and mountain biking.
To find out more, download the Groot Winterhoek Wilderness brochure.
How to get there
Travel about an hour-and-a-half up the N7 from Cape Town towards Piketberg. Opposite Piketberg, take the R44 towards Porterville, but instead of going into Porterville at the T-junction, turn left for Cardouw on to what becomes a dirt road and head for the Dasklip Pass. Follow the signs to the office, which is on top of the mountain and about 33 km from Porterville.
GPS: 33.073519 S 19.163143 E
Office hours: 07:30–16:00 Monday to Friday
Tel: +27 (0)22 931 2860
Accommodation and permit bookings Tel: +27 (0)21 483 0190