Do you like to go on a hike, take beautiful photos and show all your friends you’ve been sporty during your holiday/getaway, but secretly aren’t that fit, or that keen to go for a long, heavy and sweaty hike? Then don’t look any further, this is the hike for you! Also with children (older than let’s say 8 years) it’s a nice day outing. A relaxed 5km walk/hike in the mountains, behind the stunning La Motte Winery in Franschhoek. Beautiful views, birdlife and nature, without too much of an effort. And the best thing: almost at the end of the trail there is a Lapa where you can have a drink (bring yourself), or even better: book a lunch, wine tasting or high tea at La Motte after your walk.
The circular route, which starts at the La Motte Tasting Room, stretches over 5 kilometres, with the hiking trail section covering (only) 2 kilometres. You could say this an easy to moderate hike. The time required to complete the trail is 1 – 1,5 hours for the fit, 2 hours if you take your time, and 2,5 – 3 hours when strolling or when you go for drinks and snacks afterwards in the Lapa. Almost everyone can do it, except when you are really struggling with walking or maybe children under the age of 7/8 it’s a bit too challenging. Trail stone route markers are situated everywhere on the trail, so you can’t get lost. The map the staff gives you at the Tasting Room is good and detailed, so you have that, too.
The sustainable hike is quite biodiverse. The flora and fauna diversity of the Wemmershoek mountain range is great; hundreds of fynbos species, birds, small game, mammals, reptiles, a protea garden, vineyards of La Motte, and breathtaking vistas of the Franschhoek Valley. Besides this all you can see some interesting national monumental buildings on the estate: The Manor House and Jonkershuis (both built in 1751), the Historic Cellar (built in 1782) and the Water Mill (erected in 1721), all of which are predated by a humble building known as the Veepos (Afrikaans word for cattle-station) that dates back to 1712. On the mountain trail itself you will see a cemetery from early 18th century too. Furthermore La Motte of course is known for its restaurant Pierneef à la Motte, art and history museum, wine tasting room and farm shop. So if you are ready for some light physical exercise, in combination with a visit to a beautiful wine farm in Franschhoek, go and do the La Motte Hiking Trail. In case you want to do a more challenging, long hike which make you burn calories like crazy, skip this hike and go for another hike in the area. For example the Perdekop Trail at Mont Rochelle Nature Reserve, at the top of the Franschhoek Pass. I wrote this article about it.
About the La Motte Sustainable Hiking Trail
You can walk the trail Monday – Saturday from 9h00 – 14h00 at La Motte Winery, R45, just outside the village of Franschhoek. Get your trail map at the Tasting Room area.
Please note the restaurant is closed on a Monday, so if you’d like to combine the trail with a lunch I recommend you to go on another day than Monday. Unfortunately on Sunday the trail is closed (but the restaurant is open).
Costs: R50 per person (includes a detailed map and a bottle of water)
R100 per person (including a detailed map, a bottle of water and light refreshments) for the Guided Tour on Monday morning 8h00 am.
Never hike alone. Wear good hiking boots or other firm footwear. Take water, sunblock (in summer) or rain protection and something warm (winter) with. Beware of ticks and snakes (although it’s rare to see one)
More information about the trail can be found here.
* Note: I have not been asked or payed to write about La Motte’s Hiking Trail. All photos are mine.
Follow these signs to stay on the La Motte trail……