Klapmutskop Hill Walk
Klapmutskop is a prominent conical hill on the Delvera Wine Estate. Set in the middle of the vineyards the natural vegetation has been left untouched from about one third of the way up. It is unique in that the lower slopes of the hill are typical renosterveld (rhinoceras Veld), a biome of which there is only 6% left in the Western Cape, due to the fact that it grows mainly in fertile soil. The middle section of the hill is Cape Fynbos, much of which is endemic to the Cape Floristic Region and which is known for growing in very poor soils. Finally at the top is a Afromontain Forest consisting mainly of small yellowwood trees; these usually grow in the shaded and protected valleys of the mountainous area, so it is quite unusual to see them at the top of small, exposed peak.
What to expect:
The trail starts from the main centre of the Delvera Wine Estate, where there is a restaurant, sports shop, wine tasting centre and various crafter’s at work.
The first part of the walk is through farm tracks that surround the vineyards that give access to the farm machinery and harvesting equipment. The underlying soil is clay based, so it can be slippery in places and a bit muddy in wet weather, but the tracks are wide and easy to follow. As you get closer to the hill – the Klapmutskop – the path narrows and becomes a single track and winds up the slope through the grey, rather dry looking, renosterveld. As you walk you will see signs indicating various cycle and hiking paths. In places there is a cross over with the cyclist and care needs to be taken. The vegetation changes fairly suddenly with a proliferation of protea, erica and restios, indicating the presence of fynbos. Unexpectedly, near the top you enter a small forest, mainly made up of small yellowwood trees. Up to this point the path is generally clear firm underfoot; through the forest the soil is softer and there are a few rocky scrambles near the top. Right at the top you come to rocky outcrop above the forest, affording 360 degree views of the Stellenbosch Winelands and surrounding mountain ranges from the peak at slightly over 500 metres.
Timing: Delvera Estate is about 45 minutes from Cape Town. The permits are issued at the sports shop and the full circuit takes about four hours up and down. Depending on timing, there is good coffee at the restaurant for before or after the walk. We often combine the trip with a visit to one or two wine farms and lunch at the restaurant at the estate or another nearby option or in Stellenbosch. The are many options in region.