Panorama Route Hike

jana meerman panorama route jonkershoek south africa (7)

To finish off the greatest year I’ve ever had, I’ve got one final massive adventure up my sleeve. For the last two months of the year, I’ll be exploring nine countries across southern Africa, my first time traversing this continent and one I expect to be vastly different than anything I’ve ever encountered before.

I flew from Salzburg all the way down to Cape Town via Istanbul with a friend of mine from my city, preparing ourselves for a three-week journey through six countries, after which I would continue solo for another month on the continent.

Our trip began with a week based in Cape Town, a gem of a city situated right on the southern tip of Africa. We landed on a beautiful Saturday morning, picked up our rental car and spent the rest of the day getting acquainted with the city and exploring many of its highlights.

That evening, we drove an hour out of the city to Stellenbosch, Cape Town’s luxurious city to the east located in the heart of South Africa’s famous wine region. Our main drive for visiting Stellenbosch was to get to hike through the Jonkershoek Nature Reserve, a challenging yet breathtaking landscape home to waterfalls, epic valley views and even a wild baboon or two (which we encountered on the trail and were briefly scared for our lives).

The best hike in Jonkershoek is the Panorama Route, a challenging 14km loop up one mountain, traversing across a ridge and then descending the mountain on the other side of the valley. The sign says 17.1km but we tracked the whole think on Strava and, with the bit of walking we had to do from the first gate to the parking lot before we got picked up and driven the rest of the way to the trailhead by fellow hikers, we only tracked just under 14km...

PANORAMA ROUTE HIKE DETAILS

When: year-round

Where: Jonkershoek Nature Reserve near Stellenbosch

Difficulty: difficult

Length: just under 14km, even though the sign says 17.1km, which took us about 3.5 hours

Directions: the first gate is 5km from the start of the trailhead. There are only a specific number of parking spots up at the trailhead, and if you're too late in the day (as we were, at 9am!) then you either have to wait until a car comes back out or you have to walk the additional 5km. We walked, because we didn't know how long we'd have to wait for a car. The trailhead starts at the end of the pinshaped road here (Google Maps link). From there, it's a clearly marked loop trail up and across the valley and back down the other side, finishing with the shorter waterfall trail.

Bathrooms: no

Public Transit: no

jana meerman panorama route jonkershoek south africa (1)

First glimpse of the mountains

jana meerman panorama route jonkershoek south africa (6)
jana meerman panorama route jonkershoek south africa (6)
jana meerman panorama route jonkershoek south africa (7)

The trailhead of the Panorama Route

jana meerman panorama route jonkershoek south africa (7)

First look down the valley

jana meerman panorama route jonkershoek south africa (7)
jana meerman panorama route jonkershoek south africa (7)
jana meerman panorama route jonkershoek south africa (7)
jana meerman panorama route jonkershoek south africa (7)

Reaching the main view point

jana meerman panorama route jonkershoek south africa (7)
jana meerman panorama route jonkershoek south africa (7)
jana meerman panorama route jonkershoek south africa (7)
jana meerman panorama route jonkershoek south africa (7)
jana meerman panorama route jonkershoek south africa (7)
jana meerman panorama route jonkershoek south africa (7)
jana meerman panorama route jonkershoek south africa (7)

Found a waterfall on the final few km

jana meerman panorama route jonkershoek south africa (7)

Final views


CHECK OUT OUR VLOG OF CAPE TOWN HERE!


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Jana Meerman

Hi! I’m Jana, a British-Dutch-Canadian with a dream of seeing every country in the world. I am a storyteller, photographer and adventurer passionate about documenting and sharing my travels.

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