- 7 km circular route
- No shade on trail
- No water on trail
- Easy – moderate difficulty
- Sand and dirt single track with some tar
- Not dog friendly
The Kanonkop hike starts in the Cape Point Nature Reserve. There is an entrance fee to enter the reserve, otherwise check ahead to see whether your Wild Card or Table Mountain National Park activity/access card provides you with free entrance. The Kanonkop trail is suitable to hikers with a moderate level of fitness. The terrain in mostly dirt or sand single track with a shorter section on a tar road. There are a few shorts climbs on this hike with the summit at 236 m. The hike takes approximately 2 hours (excluding a tea/lunch stop). After completing this trail, there are plenty of other places to explore in the reserve, including some nice swimming spots and the famous Cape Point lighthouse.
The hike starts from the Buffelsfontein visitors centre. Take some time to look around the visitors centre. There’s plenty of information to take in about the history of the reserve as well information about the flora and fauna. A viewing spot near the centre overlooks a stream where you can often find some the animals of the park drinking. The overnight hiking trail also continues via the visitors centre, so make sure you take the right path. You’ll know you are at the right spot when you find a little blue and yellow boat to your left. Just after this you will see a sign clearly marking the start of the path.
The path starts on a dirt trail through a bushy area, but a after a few hundred meters the path crosses a little stream over a bridge. From this point, the trails becomes more sandy. About 600 m into the hike, the path crosses a tar road. The path on the other side is easy to see. This path will eventually meet with the path from Bordjiesrif (which you will return on) at 1.2 km. This marks the start of the gentle climb up until the summit of the hike.
The sandy path continues towards Kanonkop with Paulsberg, the highest peak in the area (368 m) in sight. After roughly 100 m there is another bridge where the path crosses another little stream. At about 2.4 km the path takes a bend to the right where the climb to the top becomes a little more rocky and steep. Just a little further on, at about 3.2 km you will find the old cannon which was once used to signal Simonstown the arrival of ships into False Bay.
A few hundred meters away is a perfect lunch spot overlooking the bay. The descent continues to provide spectacular views of the bay below with plenty of spots to stop and take in the view. At 3.4 km there’s a fork in the path. The path to the left leads to a detour with a worthwhile view point. The remaining descent is a little more technical and steep than the climb until the path ends at the tar road at 4.8 km, across from the Booi se Skerm parking area.
Here, take a turn to the right and follow the tar road. Along this road, the lime kiln can be found which was once used to burn calcrete and shells for lime. At about 5.2 km a short but unwelcome ascent begins which eventually leads you to the start on the off road trail. At 5.5 km turn right at clearly marked Kanonkop trail that continues to ascend for another 200 m. At this point, at 5.7 km the trail meets back up with the trail on the way to Kanonkop. Continue to follow this path back to where the hike ends at the Buffelsfontein Visitors Centre.