This brilliant day trip started out as a discussion on New Year’s Eve. This year, we wanted to find the best rock pools in the Western Cape, but we didn’t want drive more than an hour to get there. All it took was five friends, one car, an open road and a feel-good playlist to kickstart the adventure.
We drove along the N1 and headed to the Hugenote Tunnel. A little after the tunnel is the Limietberg Nature Reserve, near Paarl, which is part of the Boland Mountains. The Nature Reserve covers an area of 117000 hectares and is home to baboons, dassies, the Cape sugarbird, Black eagles, the sweet little Protea canary and is the where you’ll find the Krom River Trail.
Steep kloofs and deep valleys are what every blog post mentioned as I googled the Krom River Hiking Trail – I simply had to experience it for myself. Our hike began with a huge fright from a baboon rushing past us, but then afterwards the route winds along the river, with a variation of flat surfaces and a few inclines.
The hike is moderately challenging, but we came across many different age groups, varying from young and old, on the trail. You will be surrounded by dense vegetation and views that stretch out to the valley. Other hiking trails on the nature reserve include the Bobbejaans River Trail, Eland River Trail, Happy Valley River Trail and the Rockhopper River Trail.
The trail allows you to swim in river pools surrounded by indigenous forests. The first rock pool is the deepest and you have the option of setting up here for the day with your picnic baskets or proceeding. We proceeded to the main waterfall.
Getting to the waterfall is no child’s play. At least, it certainly wasn’t for me. You use chains to pull yourself up to the top and it is here that I began to question my fear of heights. Once we reached the waterfall, we had a big picnic feast and relaxed alongside the river for a good three hours before making our way back to the start of the trail. Heading back there was less pressure to see the waterfall so we took our time to admire the green bushes and our surroundings. The Krom River Trail is definitely one to add to your bucket list.
Essentials to bring on the Krom River Trail
1. Sun protection
The sun is intense in summer, so it’s better to hike earlier in the day so you don’t get sunburnt or heatstroke.
2. Water and food
Having as many liquids as possible will be wise and if you run out, you can have some water from the rock pool. Food is wonderful to have, so you can increase your energy with some snacks along the way.
3. Swim wear
Nothing feels better than a well-deserved swim after a hike such as this one. You will have complete ‘FOMO’ (fear of missing out) if you don’t bring any swimwear.
Need to know
It’s best to get to the trail as early as possible to avoid a large crowd when you get to the waterfall.
You can purchase a permit for R44 per person at Du Kloof Lodge, which is a two-minute drive from the toll gates and is the starting point for the hike.
3. Tollgate fee
There is a tollgate fee of R 35,50 for all vehicles.