The Cape Camino Slackpacking Trails.
Become a modern-day pilgrim on Cape Camino - a walking pilgrimage route set in the Western Cape.
The experience offers time and space to reconnect with yourself, your faith, nature, to heal a broken heart or just take a break. Each day you visit a new town or area and are embraced by warm and welcoming Camino hosts who keep you safe and feed you delicious home-cooked meals.
The route prides itself on its diversity, showcasing the unique blend of South African people and places. The full route is 36 days and ends at Table Mountain in Cape Town. Pilgrims can start anywhere and walk for any number of days. There are four main sections of about 7-9 days each called Winelands, Farmlands, Sandveld and Peninsula. These names describe the area and setting.
The Winelands starts in Wellington and pilgrims walk for two days into the hills, surrounded by waterfalls and beautiful views. The next few days take them to a couple farm stays and into Riebeek Kasteel town where there’s an opportunity to browse quaint shops, sit quietly in a church or enjoy local wine. A family home stay in Gouda is next, and pilgrims sleep in the Biker’s Backpacker in loft type accommodation. Then into the Tulbagh Valley for two more days of flat walking, ending at the grand Oudekloof Wine Estate for patio drinks and tasty treats.
Up and over the Tulbagh Neck, after some incline walking, pilgrims enter the Farmlands section and for the next week, their accommodation is a range of converted stable blocks (with wifi, electronics, and comfortable beds); as well as a renovated school, guest farms, and homestays in the Goedverwacht and Wittewater communities. Expect boerekos, snoek en patat and to pull up your sleeves to help milk the farmer’s sheep. The path for the next week follows the Bergriver, through private land and along gravel roads with very few cars albeit the odd farmer off to check his livestock.
The Sandveld section is next: welcome to sandy trails, beachscapes, the magnificence of the West Coast ocean with wildlife and sea life, and sacred spaces of our First People.
During the flower season, this area is littered with colorful carpets of wildflowers. Cape Camino offers a Flower itinerary in August and September each year.
Velddrif town is the last day of the Sandveld section. Pilgrims then jump into a vehicle and head to the Cape Peninsula. A circular route around the Peninsula starts just outside the famous Kirstenbosch Gardens. Shrines, Kramats, Groot Constantia, coffee shops, restaurants, health food and all the magic that brings Cape Town alive carries them for their last 7 days through communities, villages, along beaches and up to the famous Table Mountain.
A certificate of completion is awarded to pilgrims who have walked 23 days or more and a badge for those who have walked less.
Pilgrims can walk the route by joining an existing group or pick their own dates and be added to the Camino calendar. Solo pilgrims, couples and friends, and family groups with children over 12 are all welcome. The Camino spirit can be felt even after a few days walking this pilgrimage route.