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The Limietberg Nature Reserve in the Du Toitskloof mountains, near Paarl, offers some of the best hiking trails in the Western Cape. There are nine hiking trails that wind through the 117 000 hectares of fynbos, indigenous forest, valleys, plus rugged and steep kloofs. One of these trails is the Krom River Waterfall hiking trail which is considered one of the most popular and scenic hikes in the reserve.
The Krom River Waterfall Hike runs the length of Du Toitskloof and covers about 7 kilometers. Depending on how long you stop and swim, the hike will take about 5 hours to finish. The route leads to the Krom River waterfall where you can enjoy swimming in the cold water after the hike and before heading back home. This is not a circular route so you will have to traverse the same path to return to the starting point. Along the hike, you will cross the beautiful Krom river several times.
To get to the Krom River, take the N1 highway from Cape Town all the way through the Huguenot Tunnel. The trail starts immediately to the right after the Worcester exit of the Huguenot Tunnel. A fenced parking area is provided for permit holders. At the start of the hike, you will see the Krom river signs.
The initial stage of the hike follows the right-hand bank of the Molenaars river towards the Old Tunnel. The path is clear and is marked with little white boot prints painted onto the rocks. Once the path reaches the Krom river, the trail heads up over a small cliff and then ascends along the right-hand slopes of the river. The small cliff provides astonishing views of the surrounding mountain peaks and the vegetation becomes very dense. The last section of the trail leads through the indigenous riverine forest towards the first waterfall.
From the first waterfall, you can proceed to the second waterfall which is even more spectacular than the first one. This is where the hike ends. To get to this waterfall, you have to climb your way up quite a steep and slippery path with moss enveloping the rocks. Chains are placed to assist you in climbing this relatively short but challenging stretch. This path requires a bit of skill and bravery.
Those who cannot tackle the path should rather stay at the first waterfall and wait for the others. Upon reaching the second waterfall, a large plunge pool will welcome you and you will soon realize that the effort was well worth it.
What to Bring
To make the most of your hiking trip, be sure to bring swimwear and sunscreen. A sturdy pair of hiking shoes is also a must. Since the hike will take more or less 5 hours, bring enough food and water to satisfy your hunger and quench your thirst. And don’t forget to bring your camera so you can document your amazing experience at the Krom River Waterfall trail.
Krom River Waterfall Permits
You need to acquire a permit to hike in the reserve. To manage the impact on the reserve and to prevent it from being too crowded, the trail is limited to about 30 people every day. It is best to book your permit in advance. If you are lucky, permits can be bought on the day at the Trout Farm just after the tunnel on the left-hand side.
The Krom River Waterfall Trail is only suited as a summer hike. During the winter rainy season the river can become difficult and dangerous to cross, plus the water gets very cold for swimming. Swimming in river pools surrounded by indigenous forests after a long and relatively easy hike makes the Krom River Waterfall Hike worthy to add to your Cape Town bucket list.
For hiking permits please contact the CapeNature call centre on 087 087 8250.
Enquiries can also be emailed to [email protected]
Watch the video for a taste of what to expect.
Before heading out on a hike, make sure you have the relevant numbers programmed into your phone:
Mountain Rescue : 021 937-0300
West Coast Control : 022 433-8700
Watch the video for a taste of what to expect.
Frequently Asked Questions About The Krom River Trail
Do not bring your dogs along as dogs are not allowed in the Reserve as is the case with most Cape Nature Reserves.
This is a moderate hike so it should be enjoyable for most hikers. However after the first pool and waterfall there is a steep climb up some chains. It is not recommended for people who are scared of heights. This is an out and back hike so there is no other way around these chains if you do decide to proceed.
Always keep your own abilities, fitness, stamina and skill in mind whenever hiking in nature and make sure you are not pushing your limits.
Yes a permit from Cape Nature is needed in order to hike the trail. There is a limited number of permits available every day – this stops the hike from being too crowded and manages the impact on the reserve.