Suicide Gorge Adventure, Western Cape
Did you know?
Kloofing in South Africa started in the Western Cape province, which is still considered Africa’s kloofing hotspot
When adventure-junkies want to let loose they head for Suicide Gorge in Hottentots Holland Nature Reserve, Grabouw, in the Western Cape for a little kloofing.
Like canyoning, kloofing is an adventurous, adrenalin-fuelled journey that entails donning a wetsuit, plunging into a mountain stream and following it along its course.
Even though you’re constrained by the sides of the gorge (so it's hard to get lost), there’s no path, so choose your obstacles and have a blast: boulder-hop, paddle, swim, climb, butt-slide, scramble and leap like a lemming, but remember, everything gets wet.
This challenging, beautiful gorge lives up to its name by providing several huge cliff jumps, up to 15m high, into deep, icy pools below. Some are compulsory and some are just for the sheer insane fun of it. Although the idea might send shivers up your spine, it must be enjoyable since it's more popular than hiking in the region.
Suicide Gorge is a 17km, strenuous outing and is really only suited to those who are fit and fearless. Do not attempt this without a guide. Permits are mandatory and beginners must be accompanied by an experienced kloofer.
Wade through tributaries, slither beside waterfalls, dodge potholes, clamber up rock faces for a better view or just stop at a perfect pool for a three-hour lunch break and absorb the breathtaking scenery.
Travel tips & Planning info
Who to contact
Tel: +27 (0)21 785 2517
How to get here
Take the N2 past Grabouw and Elgin to the Hottentots’ Holland Nature Reserve.
Best time to visit
Due to the cold and rain, the kloofing routes are closed from May to September.
Self-drive is best if you're keen not to miss anything along the way.
What will it cost
Around R800 per person includes transport, a qualified guide, entrance fees, meals and wetsuit use. Check with operators when you book.
Length of stay
Four different overnight routes and three day hikes are available in the Hottentots Holland mountains – over and above two kloofing trails and a 4x4 route.
What to pack
As on any large mountain, conditions can be unpredictable, so always prepare for the worst and take warm gear and sufficient food and water. Sun block, hat, comfortable walking shoes, warm top, costume and shorts.