1st Claremont Scouts regularly hike in Bobbejaanskloof which we rate as one of the best day kloofs in the Western Cape. It is a kloof which as lots of jumps (some of them pretty high), swims and general wading through water without being too long. The jumps are not mandatory and it is always necessary that someone go down and check that there are no underwater obstructions before anyone jumps…
We leave at 06h30am in the morning in order to get an early start. This usually means we arrive at Bainskloof village at about 08h30 and are ready to start the walk up to the kloof shortly after that. Access to the kloof is currently through a locked gate next to a house which the owner will open and check your permit. We understand you can also buy a permit from him. We descend to the river, cross over and ascend on the other side, following the path which will shortcut the corner and bring us up towards the kloof. We usually descend into the kloof about half way up, at a indistinct marker. It is entirely possible to keep following the path all the way to the top of the kloof but this will not leave enough time to descent the whole kloof. There are several paths to the left, the one we usually take puts us in the river about 5 minutes later.
We take a break at this point, waterproof packs, have a snack and get ready to move. Then it is off down the river. Much of the initial section is just wading or clambering and it is quite possible not to get wet for quite some time. Scouts being scouts they have usually had a swim before we even take off!!
There is one section where we are forced out of the river itself and traverse along the side before descending again down into the kloof. Staying in the river is likely to result in a pretty bad accident.
There are two big jumps. Neither are mandatory but it is essential that someone clambers down and checks the water depth before jumping. This is especially important on the first one where the water is the typical dark colour and the bottom cannot be seen. More than 2 metres of depth is needed othewise you could find yourself with a medical emergency on your hands. The first jump is actually the more tricky because the take off rock slopes down and it is important to jump out on take off. On the right hand side the rock has some small cup sections where you should stand to take off. Anywhere else and you risk slipping on take off. Make sure that the person in the water has cleared before jumping. We throw our packs in and a jump after… After a bit of repeat jumping, we have lunch and move on.
The second big jump happens closer to the end of the kloof. The water is clearer here but jumping towards the middle of the pool is advisable as there is a shallow rock ledge on the left hand side as we jump. Once this jump (and repeat jumps) are over we still have a way to go so we head on down until we meet the junction of the rivers. Here we turn left and most of way after this is through shallow pools and (increasingly) more people until we reach the pumphouse on the right of the river and head up towards towards the cars and the end of another fine day of kloofing.
Bobbenjaanskloof can be done by scouts of any age (we have done it with scouts from ages 11 to 45) and while everyone is pretty tired by the end, everyone can make it.