From Ladismith, take the road eastwards towards Calitzdorp/Oudtshoorn for about 11km to where a sign indicates "Hoeko". Turn off here (north) and directly after that, right again on the Balmoral dirt road. Please follow the map below for more details. With a diff-lock bakkie or 4x4 SUV one can drive up a steep track to gain some height and cut out 30 minutes of hiking before parking your vehicle at the upper parking spot. If you're driving a sedan you can park at the base of this steep section near the farm's irrigation dams. Do not block the road.
From this upper parking area the hiking trail follows a jeep track (recently upgraded) and continues until a hut/shelter is reached after 1,5 - 2 hours. From here on a hiking trail continues zig-zagging up the hill for about 10 minutes (+-200m from hut) where after it starts turning left (north), crosses a small stream (mostly dry), and continues along the base of a rocky ridge. Eventually a rain gauge will be found. This is unfortunately the end of the hiking trail and one needs to look out for stone beacons that guide the way further.
From the rain gauge one climbs the steep slope until on top of the ridge and roughly follows it all the way until the cave area is reached. Look out for a large rock leaning against the rock face, cross underneath and the cave is about 50m further on the right-hand side, although it's not easily seen since it's a horizontal split. Seweweekspoort Peak's cave (also known as Colas' Cave) is roughly at S 33°24'12.6" E021°22'09.5'' at 2015m a.s.l. if you're using a GPS. The cave's water puddle is between thick grass near the rocks about 10m from the cave.
From the start from the cars to the cave (up, one way) will take 6 to 8 hours' hiking and although streams may be crossed after rains, it is recommended to take enough water from the parking area to cover the trip (3 - 4 lt p.p.).
Most call it a day after reaching the cave and go to the summit the next day before descending back down. Between the cave and the leaning rock one scrambles very steeply upwards in a narrow gully until more even ground is reached. From here on it takes a sharp eye to follow the stone beacons between the rocks and boulders, and some exposed scrambling will be encounter where after a large plateau is reached. Cross this in the obvious (northern) direction to the summit and after some more scrambling and a short chimney/gully one will see the old trig beacons on top. Descend the same way down to the cars.
Northern (Vleiland valley) approach: (normally used in the 9-Peaks Challenge)
(Please click on images for larger view)
The parking/start for this route can be reached either from Laingsburg, or by driving through the magnificent Seweweekspoort pass when coming from the Ladismith/Calitzdorp side on the Route 62 (please refer to the map above). Vehicles are parked at an old gate next to the gravel road that runs through the Vleiland valley (between Laingsburg and the Route 62). Please refer to the map for the exact location (S 33º21'59" E 021º21'54") and strictly use this parking only please. Do not park at any of the nearby houses.
Please contact Mr Fritz Hunlun on 076 600 1113 to make arrangements for crossing the farm property next to the Vleiland road. Most part of the northern route falls on the so-called "Towerkop Staatsbos", sharing the summit with the south side's private property, for which permission can be requested via Mr Jan Viljoen on 083 698 2973 or firstname.lastname@example.org. No hiking trail exists, but over time the route indicated on the map (blue line) has been proven to be the easiest. The northern approach is much shorter than the southern route, but steeper in general. Water and natural shelter (caves) are non-existing and water supplies need to be filled up in advance.
The northern approach route is normally done as a "car-to-car" up-and-down day hike within about 6 to 10 hours depending on group size, fitness and weather. Please be prepared for gale force winds on top, as well as snow and ice during the winter months from April up to October. Mobile reception might be limited. Should accommodation be required, please click on www.seweweekspoort.co.za for camping and self catering. It is close by in the Vleiland valley and very convenient as an overnight stop when climbing Seweweekspoort Peak (especially for the northern approach).
Thank you to Mr Hugh Sussens for the use of his GPX files.