A guide to hiking in Franschhoek

South Africa moved from lockdown alert Level 4 to Level 3 on 1 June 2020. The great news is that at this level hiking is allowed again. It is the perfect opportunity for locals and visitors living in surrounding areas to take a break and explore the beautiful Franschhoek mountains. Enjoy wide open spaces, fresh air and an opportunity to reconnect with nature. 

Where in Franschhoek can you go to stretch your legs?

The Berg River Dam
Perfect for: Hiking, trail running and mountain biking
The Berg River Dam is Franschhoek’s hidden ‘outdoor’ gem. Not many people know that there are numerous trails to explore and these off the beaten trails lead to some of the most spectacular views over the valley.

It’s the perfect playground for mountain bikers, trail runners and hikers to explore. For those living in the Western Cape and who can visit regularly, get your annual permit (valid for one year) at only R300 per person now. A day permit cost R50 per person. Get your permit online before your visit. Alternatively you can make use of the Zapper and Snapscan options at the entrance to the Berg River Dam trails. Permits can also be purchased at the Franschhoek Wine Valley Tourism Office (62 Huguenot Road) and you will find the Berg River Dam Trail Network map for sale here for R20.
The area is currently open to explore. For more information contact the FWV office at 021 87 2861 or email Find more guidelines and details on hiking or mountain biking in the Berg River Dam here.
Please note that dogs are allowed but that they should be on a lead at all times.

The Mont Rochelle Nature Reserve
Perfect for: Hiking and trail running
Situated in the Franschhoek Mountains, the Mont Rochelle Nature Reserve offers spectacular views of the Franschhoek Valley as well as wonderfully diverse plant life. Choose walks or hikes depending on your fitness level – they range from hour walks to day hikes. 

Get your day permit online via Webtickets at R50 person (children under 16 enter for free when accompanied by a paying adult). Alternatively you can obtain your annual permit valid for a year at R300 per person. A map of the reserve is available at R20 per pamphlet. Permits and maps can also be purchased at the Franschhoek Wine Valley Tourism Office (62 Huguenot Road).
For more information visit their website here.
Please note that dogs and drones are NOT permitted on the reserve.

Aloe Hiking Trail at Topiary Wines
Perfect for : Hiking and trail running
Set on the lovely Topiary wine farm, the new Franschhoek Fan Aloe Trail is a brand new trail which runs along the 4 koppies (rocky outcrops) behind the Chardonnay vine block. We have used the existing baboon trails to get to the koppies and then do a bit of bundu-bashing through the stunning Fynbos vegetation. The elusive and endemic Franschhoek Fan Aloe plant as well as the Franschhoek Blushing Bride Protea feature prominently on the trail and are not found in many other places with such easy access.

Although the hike is not at great height, the koppies are fabulous to visit and the views from the top of the Simonsberg Moutain one the one side and the Berg River Dam in the far distance on the other, are awesome.
Once back on ground level, pop in to the tasting room for a complimentary wine tasting. A well deserved reward after a great hike.
PLEASE NOTE: Please wear good walking shoes / hiking boots and Bug-repellent is highly recommended.
For more details you can contact them on 27 (0)21 867 0258 or email

What are the guidelines?

Please remember that hiking, trail running and mountain biking must be done in compliance with existing guidelines –  between 06:00 and 18:00 every day and not in organised groups.
Also kindly note that all activities are undertaken at the visitors own risk.
We look forward to welcoming you back to our beautiful valley for some much-needed time back in nature.