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Mont Rochelle’s Uitkyk Trail

Spurred forward by the very sight we could not believe we were seeing, we made it to the top of the peak with our mouths open in awe.


Mont Rochelle’s Uitkyk Trail

Making the most of a sunny winters day, myself and three friends met up for what I thought was a gentle hike along Mont Rochelle’s Uitkyk trail on Saturday the 18th July 2020.

Equipped with facemasks, snacks and our cameras, we paid the R50 entrance fee and set off just after 10am. The first few hundred metres wind their way towards what was my first challenge: an even more winding and steep path up to Breakfast Rock. I had to stop a few times to catch my breath while my companions patiently waited. With some huffing and puffing from me, we made it to Breakfast Rock.

The path gets easier from there and leads to a charming bridge over Perdekloof Stream. We stopped there to take some pictures of the fynbos and fill up our bottles with the fresh mountain water. It’s a steady incline from the stream to the Uitkyk viewpoint and it can get a little strenuous on the knees with steps most of the way to the peak. We walked with the sound of rushing water and fluttering feathers as our companion along the fynbos lined path.

As we neared the top of the peak, I was ready to give up. My lack of fitness getting the better of me. One of my companions jogged ahead to see how much further there was to go while I caught my breath for the umpteenth time. He came back with another group who were making the return journey, all of them encouraged me to continue and my friend reassured me that it wasn’t far.

With another swig of water, our bags on our backs and cameras ready, we climbed those last 500 metres. Slowly, as we climbed, the green horizon fell away and a white and grey one greeted us instead. Spurred forward by the very sight we could not believe we were seeing, we made it to the top of the peak with our mouths open in awe. Tall peaks dotted with a light dusting of snow and sweeping views of the Wemmershoek valley and dam greeted us.

We stayed there from almost an hour, eating some of our snacks but mostly marveling at the site above, before and below us. The midday sun, clear skies and sharp wind made us believe we could spend a couple of hours there comfortable but we knew otherwise. Around 1pm, we finally tore ourselves away and made the journey back to the car park. I’m prone to heat exhaustion and walking back, I could feel the affects of opting not to wear a hat and having forgotten to don any sunscreen despite having drunk two-litres of water on the walk alone.

Next time, and there will be a next time, I’ll remember to wear sunscreen.

I suggested the Uitkyk trail as it was the second shortest of the seven trails at only 3-4 hours long and roughly six kilometers in length. It’s rated as moderately difficult which for those of average fitness feels adequate. The shortest route, Breakfast Rock Trail, is only an hour long while the longest, Perdekop Trail, will take almost seven hours. A year ago, I had an issue with my health and was only give the all clear in May 2020. Since then, I’ve working to slowly rebuild my stamina and I still have a long way to go. It’s part of why I suggested one Mont Rochelle’s easier hikes and while I did struggle, I’d definitely do it again.

The views at the end are worth it.

For more information, please visit the Mont Rochelle website.