I started The Swartboskloof-Sosyskloof hike in Jonkershoek, Stellenbosch, from the entrance gate. The start on the wide gravel road is nice and flat and you cross over a bridge, pass the dam and see the majestic mountains all around you.
The actual Trail starts 3km later in the reserve. It is signposted and has a small car park adjacent to it. It took me 40min to get here.
This is the only marking you will see on the hike, so make sure you take a map and familiarize yourself with it.
After a couple of hundred meters on the Trail, you will come to a fork. Take the path going to the right, keep right at the next turn off as well. At the big gravel road go left. There is a wooden fire lookout hut here. Then you enter the veld about 30 meters ahead to the left. Be careful here, as it is easy to miss. From here the hike takes you on a steady climb towards a dilapidated hut. Once you past the hut on the left side, you will go for a while until you cross two small waterfalls in quick succession. It is stunning and very green here with ferns, bright green moss and beautiful trees. You can even fill your water bottle here. If you turn left on the path joining the path you are on, this will take you down towards the start again. I carried on all the way into the next valley on this contour path.
The turnoff to go down you also have to look out for. There are rocks packed with yellow paint on, to indicate where you have to descend. This was the most challenging part of the entire route. You basically descend a rocky river bed. At the T-junction turn right and stay on this path until you reach the big gravel road again. Then the 3km back to the At The End Cafe restaurant for something to eat and drink. The bean bags under the tree are such a win!
A fairly easy to moderate scenic circular route. It took 3:20 and was 13.2km. The views were worth every step!