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Kloofing Suicide Gorge, Hottentots Holland, Overberg

Suicide Gorge, Hottentots Holland Nature Reserve

If you are a real adrenalin junkie, then kloofing Suicide Gorge in the scenic Hottentots Holland Nature Reserve may just be for you. If you are new to kloofing, this madness entails you test your courage by a combination of walking, bum slithering down rocks, swimming and jumping. This is a 17km, 8 hour, rugged hike, up a gorge, that once in, the only way out of this section of the Riviersonderend Mountains, is via some gravity-defying jumps and scrambles.

This is not for sissies, but the adventure seeker will love the wet hike, ideal for summer, set amidst rock pools and towering cliffs, with leaps from waterfalls and huge jumps into freshwater pools of up to 20 metres. A major adrenalin rush!

Important to know

Please only do this hike if you are a fit and experienced hiker. It is advised to go with someone who has done this hike before. The route can be dangerous in extreme weather conditions. The route is open from 1 November to 30 April; excursions on Saturdays and Sundays must be booked a month in advance. A shorter booking period is allowed for weekday excursions. Group size: five groups of six people allowed over weekends; groups of 12 to 15 allowed on weekdays.

How to get to there

Suicide Gorge lies in the Hottentots Holland Nature Reserve (70 000 ha), 90km south-east of Cape Town. The entrance is at Nuweberg, 11km from Grabouw on the R321. From Cape Town, take the N2, turn left at the Orchard Farm Stall in Grabouw and left again at the Villiersdorp junction.

What to bring:

Money, for the permit. Good, lightweight hiking shoes. Swimsuit, a quick drying t-shirt and swimming shorts. Cotton is not advised. Remember, this is a wet hike. Wetsuit if you get cold quickly. A change of clothes to leave in the car. Water bottle. Lunch and energy snacks in sealed bags.This hike requires energy. A proper dry bag is highly recommended, bearing in mind that everything will get wet. Waterproof sunblock. There are patches of shade for you to rest in but the majority of the walk is exposed. Waterproof camera. The views are incredible and you might want your friends taking pictures of you doing the jumps and the other way around. Start the hike early.

Park your car at the lot next to the starting point of the hiking route (there are changing rooms and toilets). There is good signage, so always hike in the direction Suicide Gorge. You will hike through a beautiful forest and mountain fynbos before tackling the exhilarating gorge.

Enquiries: Tel: for reservations (permits) call National callers: (021) 483 0190: International callers: 0027 861 227 362 8873 or +27 (0)21 483 2949 Website.

See other easier hikes in the Hottentots Holland Nature Reserve.

More info on the town of Villiersdorp More info on the Overberg area

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