WALK & TALK
TAAL MONUMENT | 7.7km, 2.5 hours, moderate
The iconic Taal Monument in Paarl, South Africa is located on a hill that gazes out over the Paarl Valley. Taal, meaning ‘language’, was built in October 1975 to commemorate Afrikaans being declared an official language of South Africa, separate from Dutch.
Considered to be a moderately challenging route, this hike begins at the Volksmond Coffee Shop and takes you through the Taal Monument, up into the Reserve following the contour of the mountain to Xmas Camp before looping back. An entry fee is required and you need to collect a key to the reserve gate before you depart (a deposit is required and repaid on the key’s return). The hike is well signposted along the route, and maps of the reserve are available for purchase. This hike is a similar terrain and view to Paarl Rock, and the two can in fact be combined for more time outdoors enjoying the fresh mountain air.
NOT FOR THE FAINT HEARTED
Italian Cross | 7.5km, 4.5hrs, hard
The Miaspoort Trail is an out-and-back route located just before Du Toitskloof which leads to an incredible summit vista and the Italian Cross which was erected in February 1945 by Italian prisoners-of-war who built the Du Toitskloof pass. A challenging hike, there are steep sections and loose rocks which test one’s patience, but it’s worth the work – just go slow. In winter, the summit offers breath-taking views of snow-capped peaks on clear days after snowfall.
For such a short trail, it offers incredible diversity in vistas, route challenges and flora. From boulders to single track, rock scramble and waterfalls, the trail keeps hold of your attention throughout. The initial ascent is steep and challenging (trekking poles are advised), however it eases slightly midway up. The route is fairly well marked with cairns and or yellow painted footprints on rocks, however a guide is advised for those new to the area. There is one water crossing, so this hike is not recommended immediately after heavy rains. A permit is required, and we recommend you take plenty of water, snacks and a pen to complete the visitors’ book at the top. Start this hike early as it can be a long, but immensely rewarding day!
SPECIAL OFFER | 19 APRIL – 30 SEPTEMBER 2022
Stay for 3 nights at Brookdale Manor House this winter, and only pay for 2. The perfect way to explore the Cape Winelands. Or, speak to our team about special offers for SADC residents.
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