Groot Winterhoek Wilderness Self Catering, Porterville

The Groot Winterhoek Wilderness is known for its rugged, wild landscape, with exceptional rock formations carved by the elements. This mountainous area lies about 120km north of Cape Town, near Porterville.

The greater Groot Winterhoek conservation area is particularly important for protecting mountain fynbos and wildlife. It is also one of Cape Town’s sources of fresh, clean water, and is a World Heritage Site.

This area is rich in history, with ancient rock paintings by the San and Khoi people, and the oldest farm established in 1875. Early settlers in the area used animals to transport produce and supplies between Porterville and Saron. Their tracks are still visible above Driebosch and Weltevrede.

As Groot Winterhoek’s name suggests, winters are cold and wet. Winter nights are very cold, with temperatures below freezing. Summers are moderate, but hikers should always be prepared for sudden cold and mist.

There’s plenty to do in Groot Winterhoek, including various day and overnight hikes, crystal-clear mountain pools and mountain biking.

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Cape Nature's Groot Winterhoek Wilderness

Self-cateringRibbok – With four bedrooms (three with two single beds in each and a fourth with one single bed), Ribbok accommodates seven guests. The kitchen has a table and chairs as well as a sink, but there is no hot water. Please note that no fires are allowed.

Electricity: No
Bathroom: Shower (no hot water), flush toilet, basin
Kitchen: Sink (no hot water)
Bedding, linen and towels: No

SuikerbekkieSuikerbekkie, sleeping eight guests, has three bunk beds with mattresses and an extra room with a bunk bed and a table that serves as a cooking area. Please note that no fires are allowed.

Electricity: No
Bathroom: Freestanding sun-dome toilet
Bedding, linen and towels: No

Klipspringer – Klipspringer’s two bedrooms sleep up to eight people on bunk beds with mattresses. A table is provided in an extra room for cooking purposes. Please note that no fires are allowed.

Electricity: No
Bathroom: Freestanding sun-dome toilet
Bedding, linen and towels: No

Disa – Disa accommodates eight people in two rooms with two bunk beds and mattresses. An extra room provides space for cooking. A table is provided. Please note that no fires are allowed.

Electricity: No
Bathroom: Freestanding sun-dome toilet
Bedding, linen and towels: No

De Tronk basic hiker huts – These huts are difficult to reach for regular cleaning, so visitors need to clean these huts themselves before leaving. Rainwater is captured from the roof of the huts and stored in tanks. The availability of this water is not guaranteed. Water is available on the trail to the huts. Only bunk beds and mattresses are provided.

Activities

  • Kloofing
  • Rock art
  • Hiking and Walking

Groot Winterhoek Wilderness Conservation

The greater Groot Winterhoek conservation area comprises 30 608 hectares, of which 19 200 hectares was declared a wilderness area in 1985.

The conservation area protects mountain fynbos, including various rare, threatened and endemic species like the Tulbagh powderpuff. A large variety of red disas flower along the streams near the reserve office in January and February.

Visitors to Groot Winterhoek are likely to see klipspringers, grey rhebok and grysbok, but shy predators like leopard, caracal, wild cat, mongoose and genet are seldom seen. About 100 bird species, including the endemic Cape rockjumper, the black eagle, goshawk and jackal buzzard, are found here. A few rare lizard species live in the area, most notably the southern rock lizard.

Contact

Contact Groot Winterhoek Wilderness via the Cape Nature website here and Facebook here.

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