The Riebeek Valley hiking trails will be operational from 1 September 2016. All efforts to have the trails available earlier is currently in progress.
This site will be updated accordingly.
DISCLAIMER OF LIABILITY
All persons entering this area and using its facilities, do so entirely at their own risk. Riebeek Valley Tourism and/or its employees and/or agents and/or its successors in title shall not be liable for any damage, loss, theft, injury, accident or death suffered by any person, howsoever caused. Right of Admission Reserved.
|C O N D I T I O N S |
1 A permit for each hiker must be carried on the trail at all times. Sign in at the start of the walk, and sign out when complete. Notify someone of your route and when you expect to be back.
2 Permits may be obtained from Riebeek Valley Tourism, Riebeek Kasteel, during their opening times.
3 Do not approach any of the wildlife, especially the baboons, and especially do not feed them or leave food lying around – they are still in their natural state and respect humans as superiors. Feeding them will change this.
4 No smoking and under no circumstances light a fire.
5 Cliched as it might sound, take nothing but photographs. Some of the vegetation on Kasteelberg is endemic to this mountain and any disturbance could endanger its survival.
6 If you encounter any of the San art or other historical features respect them; they are of cultural importance, and the San sites reflect spiritual places for these people. They are also protected by law.
7 In an emergency there is good cell phone reception on most (not all) of the mountain.
The number for the local police is 022-461 8100.
8 Enjoy the hike!
Pieter Cruythoff was the leader of a party sent out by Commander Jan van Riebeeck to scout the hinterland.
When they arrived at this mountain, one of the party, Peter van Meerhoff named it Riebeeck’s Casteel, in honour of the first commander of the Cape. At the parking spot on Bothmanskloof Pass is a memorial commemorating this event, and this is the starting point of the hike. Once you have parked and admired the view, walk up beside the road to the top of the pass, being extremely careful of the passing traffic, especially large trucks. At the top, on the northern side, you will see a stile (GPS 33°24'9"S 18°52'13"E)– this is the beginning of the hiking trail.
After walking a short distance through the cleared patch, you will see the route indicated on your left by a white footprint on a rock. From here the path is clear and similarly marked. As soon as you start up the incline cast a look to the south west where you will see Table Mountain on the horizon; as you ascend so more of this symbol appears.
Please note that this route is through private property, and permission for access has been given by Mr Pieter du Toit of Kloovenburg and Mr Gert Kotze of Meerhof. At all times respect this and do not stray from the marked route. The exception is that you may enter the Waterval Kasteelberg Nature Reserve (see map), which is a free ramble without marked paths. For this you must have experience in mountain exploring in wild terrain.
For security reasons you must be in possession of a permit whilst on the mountain – it may be obtained from: Riebeek Valley Tourism, on the square in Riebeek Kasteel during published opening hours.
Carl Peter Thunberg was a Swedish botanist and explorer who ascended Kasteelberg in 1774, and who left a vivid description; this path leads to the approximate place he summited.
The start of the trail is Pulpit Rock Winery, which is just north of Riebeek West on he R311.
Walk up the path between the vines (but please do not stray into the cultivated area – remember, this is a working farm) until you are above the vineyards; below you will be Pulpit Rock Winery.
At this point (GPS 33°20'31"S 18°50'37"E), at the side of a gully you will see a jeep track running sharply up to the right; it goes up the slope of the mountain. Follow this. It soon turns into a narrow trail until you arrive at a very large cairn (GPS 33°20'30"S 18°50'30"E) indicating the route up.
The next landmark is a large wild olive tree (GPS 33°20'32"S 18°50'19"E). Keep on the path and you will see it follows a ravine up to a series of rocky outcrops, around which you must skirt. Once above these there is no formal path but the vegetation becomes much lower and it is easy to walk up to the summit.
Just avoid the obvious sheer rock faces and the route up, although fairly steep, is not difficult. Make a note and return by the same route.
On the summit you can scramble along the ridge, savouring ravishing views of Table Mountain and the Cape in one direction, and into the Piketberg, Cederberg and beyond in the other.
For security reasons you must be in possession of a permit whilst on the mountain – it may be obtained from: Riebeek Valley Tourism, on the square in Riebeek Kasteel during published opening hours only.