I last did this hike in June 2013 with Tim Lundy and actually wrote a review about this route https://www.tripadvisor.co.za/ShowUserReviews-g2427457-d3803208-r162804879-Cape_Town_Hiking_with_Tim_Lundy_Tours-Kenilworth_Western_Cape.html It was through hail and thunderstorms so wanted to return on not a rainy day.
I can’t remember who suggested this hike in our Easy Hike chat group but we had to book this permit 2 months in advance! The permit is free and only allows for 12 people (including your guide which is a must) and only 1 permit is allowed per day. That’s how restricted this area is and why you have to wait so long for a permit.
Anyway, after group photos, I checked 12 of us in Tracking with an ETA of 13:30 and merrily made our way along the jeep track with Saeed (our Sanparks Volunteer Ranger as our guide) leading us and Aslam and Johty (spellcheck) sweeping (both of them doing the Ranger course).
I of course at the back most times busy taking photos lolz. We regrouped several times and of course had to take photos at the waterfalls and oh yes! One of my Instagram followers and blog readers and her husband joined us today ^_^
We then took the fork up to Disa Gorge which is a new route for me as we did the circular route back in the day and I am in awe with the views. We stop for breakfast at the first communication pole (just above the path down to Woodhead Tunnel) and we feast on various delicacies. As we were busy getting ready to go down to the Tunnel, a hiker (who shall not be named) came along and we are all surprised to see this hiker as I am in possession of the permit and we are 12 hikers so said hiker is in the area illegally. Said hiker chose the wrong day to do Orangekloof as we had 3 Sanparks Rangers with us so said hiker will be getting a fine as Sanparks Ranger gave said hiker the option to turn back but said hiker chose to go ahead instead x_x
Anyway, we make our way down to the Tunnel but not before crossing a bridge which became wobbly after some weight and Saeed decides to shake it as well! Most of the planks has fallen away with rot so carefully and slowly crossed over. Kareemah’s husband has a phobia for heights so told him he doesn’t have to cross but go under it haha
We get to the Tunnel and I am in awe! I cannot describe how beautiful the area is with Gorge and all! Volunteer Ranger Saeed gave some history about the area but I wasn’t paying much attention as I was too mesmerized by the views of course. What I did hear was that the Tunnel itself leading to the Pipe Track is as long as Lion’s Head is high (from Sea Level) and the Tunnel is closed due to some rock falls.
We make our way back up the same path and make our way up to Woodhead Dam but not before taking several more photos at the bottom of the Dam! Sanparks Volunteer Ranger Saeed wanted to go the ‘Surfboard’ on top of Kasteel’s Poort which I was totally up for as it was a clear sunny day which would make for the perfect photos but we took too long at the bottom of the Dam so had to can that idea. I sorry Saeed L
But anyway, we get to the top of the Dam which happens to be 119 years old today!
After several more photos, we make our way along the boring Jeep Track (sigh) and I rush along until I got distracted by a Mountain Roach! I took some photos and wanted to poke it with a lollipop stick I had but I was too scared! I had it like a mm away but couldn’t poke it lolz until Achmat (Muneerah’s husband) picked it up and had the thing crawling on his hand! This freaked the bejesus out of me! I screamed and ran away but came back as I wanted a photo of the thing crawling on him but couldn’t get myself to get close enough lolz. I made quite the scene but fortunately Sanparks Volunteer Ranger in the making, Aslam, took the photos for me lolz.
We had another break at the water fountain and as this is the boring Constantia Nek trail, I wanted to get down as fast as possible so rush down until I get distracted again by a mole. As I wanted to take a photo of the mole, a bakkie comes along and the mole ended up as splattered and gore road kill no photos.
Down I go (leaving the others behind yet again) and see a Savanna bottle down a path and contemplated whether or not I should go down and get it as its quite steep but climbed down anyway as who is going to pick it up? This was the second time on the hike that I had to climb down from the path to get the bottle but this time I had no-one around to help me but I did make it up safely again hehe.
I get to the bottom of Constantia Nek at 13:00 and wait for the others to come down and watched 2 dogs get into a fight and the owners trying to control them. The 1 dog got a hiding!
Anyway, I check out from Tracking at 13:25 and how’s that for timing! Saeed said 6 hours and we did it in 6 hours haha! We had a first time hiker with us as well and he did amazingly well!
Before parting ways and thanking each other, I take a photo of the litter I collected. Now the thing is, I didn’t bring a packet with for litter as I didn’t expect there to be litter in the most restricted and serene trail in Cape Town! Sanparks Volunteer Ranger in the Making, Johty was kind enough to keep the litter in her bag 😀
Sanparks Ranger Aslam Levy (not in the making but for real) course leader will be proud of his new students. They were knowledgeable and took their job seriously. Saeed did test them here and there and could answer all of his questions. Their assistance was greatly appreciated thank you!
Orangekloof is a phenomenal route! Hope I don’t wait another 3 years to do this hike again! Thank you to all those who made it all the more awesome! So awesome that I even wrote this blog before nightfall haha! (just uploading pics takes forever (3 hours!) and it’s always a struggle choosing which photos to upload lolz)
I’m not hiking next week so until my next hike, ciao for now and thank you for reading!