The town of Franschhoek is about 80km (49.7 miles) from the centre of Cape Town. The origins of this charming and beautifully situated village date back to 1688 when some French Huguenots fleeing religious persecution in Europe settled in the valley, then known as Elephants Corner. As the settlers increased the elephants ceased their annual migration to the valley, which gradually became known as French Corner, or ‘Franschhoek’ in Afrikaans. The French influence is evident today in the names of the surrounding wine estates and the number of excellent restaurants.
Mont Rochelle Nature Reserve is found at the top of the Franschhoek pass. The pass is directly behind the town and the top of the pass about 15 minutes’ drive from the town centre. The Reserve is part of the UNESCO declared Cape Winelands Biosphere Reserve and boasts spectacular views of the Franschhoek Valley (on a clear day one can see as far as Table Mountain), diverse plant life and well-maintained hiking and walking trails. Spectacular fynbos diversity.
Route Description: The hike starts at the entrance gate, past Breakfast Rock and follows the westerly valley of the Perdekloof stream. The trail crosses the stream where we will have a well-deserved rest. Then carries on to the Look Out (1093m/3586ft) approx. 3km (1.8miles) from the entry gate with superb panoramic views of the Wemmershoek valley and surrounding cliffs from where we double back to the entry gate. Total distance approx. 6km (3.72miles). The trail is fairly straight and rises approx. 360m/ 1181ft.
There are more challenging hikes available in this area – please enquire if interested.