Houdenbek Camping and Highveld Arch

I joined a group of hikers over a weekend to camp and hike on the Houdenbek Farm in the well known Koue Bokkeveld, nestled in the rugged Skurweberg mountains, a mere 60 km from Ceres and 200 km from Cape Town. They do offer self-catering accommodation but we stayed at the camp site.  View photo’s and info below or watch the YouTube video


I drove down with a friend and we arrived a bit early along with one of the other members, so while they played a board-game, I wandered around a bit. It was rather sad to see the dam so empty but with the drought in the Western Cape it was to be expected. The Camp-site is private and caters for one party at the time which is awesome. Clean running fountain water is available. There is one hot shower (which sadly we battled to get to work) and a separate toilet with basin. There is a basin to wash dishes and a lovely braai area with a huge cooler box so take lots of ice-bricks to keep your stuff cool. There is no electricity available but you do get a bit of cell phone reception, if you really need to connect to the world 🙂

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I did not venture too far as the baboons were in the dam and I was not going to take any chances by myself with those big fellows. Once everyone arrived we set up our tents, had a group chat then took another walk as the sun was setting. I love the way you can take a photo of the same mountain or tree and every hour it will look different.

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The men started a fire for our braai and the ladies put out some of the salads we all had to bring. My gosh there was a lot of food! LOL We watched the moon come up and as Saturday was a early morning start, most of us turned in early.

Saturday – Heiveld Arch trail We got up early and had our breakfast while the sun came up then left camp at about 7.30. The group is a mix of hikers so it was a slow uphill hike to the Heiveld Arch with lots of stops for some to catch up and recover. This of course gave me lots of time to take photo’s along the way 🙂 I promise to only share a few of them…

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The Cederberg Mountains offer vast open space where rock formations frame the horizon and if you let your imagination go you can see all kinds of strange and wonderful things. 

At The Heiveld Arch – I was a bit disappointed at first but then again I was trying to compare it to the Woldberg Arch and that is a big mistake.  We explored it from below and above and had a wonderful break in the shade it had to offer. And yes with my fear of hight, with the help of a friend, I also managed to stand at the top.

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Strange how the hike down always goes so much faster than the hike uphill. 🙂 It was very hot so we tried not to rush but once down we had a wonderful swim in the cold water the dam had to offer.

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A lovely relaxing afternoon. Some of the group had a nap, some swam, some read and some just sat around chatting and watching the baboons on the rocks behind us. We had a fairly early braai and watched the moon come up.

As usual I get up very early… but the baboons were really noise from about 4 am, so just before 6 am I got up and enjoyed the sunrise with one of the other ladies who were also awake and spoiled me with coffee, seeing that my coffee and big camera were still locked in the car (safety for baboons). The sunrise photo’s are all taken with my iphone.

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Once everyone was up and had their breakfast, we took a slow stroll down along the river bed to the little water hole.

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We had a our lunch back at camp (all the left over food), packed up and took the drive back to Cape Town. What a wonderful weekend with a group of wonderful people.  Looking forward to the next one… 🙂

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