There are three day hikes in the reserve: Rooikat, Heron and Boesmanskloof. The trails vary in difficulty, each offering views of the striking landscape.
* Please note All the day hiking trails at Vrolijkheid are temporarily closed till further notice. There is currently ongoing maintenance due to recent flooding damage.
Hiking options range from day hikes to more strenuous overnight experiences. Each offers hikers something different in terms of scenery, habitats and birdlife. In summer, hikers should set out early in the morning to avoid walking during the heat of the day. Trails may be closed at certain times of the year depending on the weather conditions.
Help us protect nature
No pets/no firearms/no fires/no picking of flowers or collecting of seeds.
Permits may be purchased for R50 per adult and R30 per child at the reserve office or through CapeNature Central Reservations.
- Wear comfortable walking shoes, sunscreen and a hat.
- Do not hike alone.
- Carry enough food and water with you.
- Make sure you know what the weather conditions are before you depart.
- Take a warm jacket/raincoat in winter.
- Make sure you have a relevant map of the area.
- Take a field medical kit with you for emergencies.
- Obey all signage.
- Stay in a group and on the trails.
Trail distance: 19km
Estimated time: 8 hours
This circular trail winds up around the Elandsberg Mountains. On the way, you’ll see stunning views of the Langeberg and Riviersonderend Mountains, and the odd springbok nibbling on the succulent Karoo vegetation. The route is fairly strenuous and it can be very hot during summer. There is no water available along the route. If you set out early, you should make it back before nightfall. Start your outing with a visit to the information centre at the entrance for more information on the reserve and its vegetation.
Trail distance: 3km
Estimated time: 1 hour
This easy hike takes you to two shimmering dams, the first with a wonderful bird hide and the second with two bird hides, one of which is wheelchair-friendly. The trail is surrounded by succulent Karoo vegetation, with informative boards that provide facts about the reserve.
The Braille Trail
Trail distance: 1km
Estimated time: 1 hour
The Braille trail is a new trail for visually impaired visitors that follows the first kilometre of the Heron Trail (above). It leads to the first bird hide and back and has boards with interesting information in braille along the route.
Boesmanskloof Day Trail
Trail distance: 14km
Estimated time: 6-7 hours
The trail is approximately 14 km and can be hiked in one day, starting from either McGregor or Greyton. Hikers should note that on the Greyton side the trail starts just outside Greyton and that the first 6 km is on a jeep track up to the view point. On the McGregor side the trail starts approximately 14 km to the south of McGregor at Die Galg, and transport should be organised accordingly.
The trail winds through the Riviersonderend Mountains, passing through the beautiful Riviersonderend Conservation Area. Stop for a well-deserved rest at Oakes Falls – a breathtaking series of cool waterfalls and pools.
The Boesmanskloof Two-Day Trail and the Genadendal Trail (also two days) are strenuous hikes that are well worth the effort.
Boesmanskloof Two-Day Trail
Trail distance: 28km (14km per day)
Estimated time: 2 days
Hikers should note that on the Greyton side the trail starts just outside Greyton and that the first 6 km is on a jeep track up to the view point. On the McGregor side the trail starts approximately 14 km to the south of McGregor at Die Galg, and transport should be organised accordingly.
The trail winds through the Riviersonderend Mountains, passing through the beautiful Riviersonderend Conservation Area. Stop for a well-deserved rest at Oakes Falls – a breathtaking series of cool waterfalls and pools. The route is fairly strenuous and it can be very hot during summer.
Hikers can overnight in McGregor or Greyton, depending on where the hike started, where ample private accommodation is available. Private overnight facilities are also available at Die Galg. Click here to download the Boesmanskloof hiking trail brochure for more details (brochure will open in a new tab).
Trail distance: 25.3km (first day – 14.3km and second day – 11km)
Estimated time: 15 hours (first day – 8 hours and second day – 7 hours)
This beautiful, challenging trail winds through private property and the conservation area on both sides of the Riviersonderend Mountains. The route provides panoramic views of the Overberg and the Worcester-Robertson Karoo region.
The trail begins and ends in Genadendal at the historic Moravian Mission Church, which dates back to 1738. Overnight facilities are available at the church for hikers who prefer to stay the night before starting their hike.
On the first day, hikers make their way past two pools at Groot and Klein Koffiegat, before ending their day at Die Hoek farm on the north side of the mountain. Overnight accommodation, including braai facilities, is available here. On the second day, the trail leads back to Genadendal. The route is fairly strenuous and it can be very hot during summer, while winters are cold and wet. Hikers should adhere to weather warnings as the trail can be dangerous in extreme conditions. Please note that hikers need to book the trail and accommodation separately. Contact CapeNature Central Reservations for details.
Maximum 24 hikers per day, with maximum 14 people per group.