Perdekop Hiking Trail in Mont Rochelle Nature Reserve, Franschhoek

I still am not sure who’s idea the Perdekop trail was, but I’m glad we decided to do it regardless of the thick fog.  When we got our permits at the gate, the guy told us that it would clear as we hiked further up the mountain and he was correct.

This scenic hiking trail is one of the about 3 hikes in the Mont Rochelle Nature Reserve, just outside Franschoek. It is a +-15 km hike and took us just over 7 hours with stops and enough time to take loads of photo’s. The circular hike up is considered a moderate hiking trail, but it is uphill ALL THE WAY and the steep route DOWN is rather challenging on the knees.

It was a typical winters day with a fairly cold start, but once we got walking and the folg lifted, the layers soon came off. The first part of the hike is a fairly easy uphill hike past  Breakfast Rock and then to Uitkyk view point. There was plenty of opportunity to stop to take photographs of the fog rolling in and out between the mountains. Magical at times.

Perdekop Trail at the Mont Rochelle Nature ReserveWe stopped for tea at the Uitkyk view point, enjoying the view over the Wemmershoek dam. When we arrived it was clear and you could see the dam but within 10 minutes the fog came rolling in. Really stunning to watch and experience.

The hike up from Uitkyk to Perdekop is more strenuous with the destination hidden from view for most of the route, so we really were not sure where we were going except following that narrow path ahead. The view were really stunning and when the fog cleared you could see Franschoek and the Theewaterskloof Dam in the distance.

We made it there by about lunch-time, but 2 of the ladies for some reason decided not to go all the way up and are now really regretting it. The 360 degree views. On clear days you can see Table Mountain in the distance and Worcester in the opposite direction. My video shows it much better but this is just a taste of the view so that I don’t spoil it completely for you 🙂

Look for the holder under the pile of stones with a book that you can sign. Not sure what the stamp stuff in the one holder is for, but its been damaged by water.  Perdekop is the highest point in the Mont Rochelle Nature Reserve at 1575 meters. 

The circular path leads back down the valley to the office at the start. They say this is shorter but definitely the most strenuous part of the hike. If I ever do this hike again I will go down the way we came up. Don’t let the 1st part of the return path fool you because the last stretch includes a very steep descent into the Du Toit’s River gorge, and a steep climb back up past the diesel-electric generator serving the Du Toit’s River pump; from there it is a short walk back to the gate.

We actually didn’t find the last bit of uphill too bad but then maybe it was just such a relief from that downhill. When you look back up at the mountain it is hard to believe you were way up there a few hours ago. A beautiful hike but give me at least a year to recover from that downhill… Happy Hiking!

Mont Rochelle Nature Reserve - Perdekop hiking trail
Perdekop in the centre way up high!

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