Hidden gem of Stellenbosch: Jonkershoek Falls

06 November, 2023

When planning a vacation in South Africa, it is worth setting aside a few days to search for the so-called hidden gems. This country can surprise even the most experienced traveler. Of course, climbing Table Mountain or Lion’s Head are favourite routes for tourists. But we are always in favour of finding something new and unique for you, something that will leave precious memories for the rest of your life!

Let’s imagine one of these days on your trip

You wake up early in the morning, the sun rays fill the bedroom window through the morning fog. All you have to do is wash your face, pack some snacks in your backpack and hit the road. Don’t take it for arrogance, but we have already chosen your destination. And this is Jonkershoek National Forest! Along the way, don’t forget to stop for freshly brewed aromatic coffee: any gas station or take away coffee shop will certainly please you with its price/quality ratio. If you want to read more about coffee in South Africa you can find the articles in the “Food” section. On the other hand, you don’t have to rush with your cappuccino 🙂 At the very entrance to the nature reserve there is a small house, a nice bicycle cafe with freshly baked croissants, chocolate ties, the famous banana bread and a huge coffee machine.

You take your first sip of coffee; there are only mountains, fresh morning air and, perhaps, a family of baboons around you. Just R50 per person per day and your adventure begins! The first 5 kilometers may look like an ordinary trail, and in some places it can become boring. But keep in mind: no matter what, you need to achieve your goal! On the left there will be a lake in which wild mountain salmon used to be caught (today this is forbidden). On one of the paths there is an alley made of a felled oak grove, planted during the Cape Colony. Once mighty trees, now only twigs are greedily grasping for life, trying to sprout again. A couple of kilometers later you will come across an abandoned yellow tractor, don’t forget to take a photo to show your friends 🙂

Hidden gem of Stellenbosch: Jonkershoek Falls

Photo: visitstellenbosch

And now, it’s time to finally climb the mountain! The path to the waterfall stretches across a river, very stormy in season, the view of which opens from the height of the cliff. The green landscapes and ears of corn are reminiscent of the interior of the Alps. The sun is baking, so you want to jump into the cooling natural pool. Just wait a little more!

Turning right after about 25-30 minutes, the destination meets you with a cold spray, hundreds of types of moss and the cleanest air of your life. Hurry up and get out your lunch, croissants and thermos of earl grey tea. It’s time to relax and completely immerge with nature 🧘🏽‍♀️

If you still have the strength and inspiration for heroic deeds, you can reach the second waterfall. There’s only a kilometer left to go. In order to avoid getting lost, you better download routes in the “all trails” hiking app. To get back you need to take a parallel path just to cross the bridge. There you will see Jonkershoek from a completely different perspective. Don’t forget sunscreen and sunglasses. We hope you have a great day!

Address: Jonkershoek Rd, Stellenbosch, 7600, South Africa

Our rating: 1000/10, absolutely incredible!