General Information

(Please refer to the Maps section for a better understanding of the information given below)


Towerkop (2189m) is one of the five major peaks in the Klein Swartberg range, the highest being Seweweekspoort Peak (at 2325m the highest peak in the Western Cape).  Towerkop’s famous split divides the summit into two pinnacles, namely the Western (highest) and Eastern Pinnacles.  Just to the south of the main pinnacles is Nel’s Cave Buttress where Nel’s Cave is located at its south face.
Although different approaches can be used, the most popular is by means of the hiking trail from the south.  The mountain area itself is part owned by various parties (amongst others the Mountain Club of South) and currently no access restrictions exist.  
Parking, however, is on the property of Mr La Grange Volschenk and he needs to be informed of your group size, number of vehicles and dates of your trip.  Please call him on 028-5512037 beforehand.  Leaving a message with above details usually is in order as well, please include your contact number then.  Should there be any problems Mr Volschenk will contact you back.


Note: Currently no ablutions or reliable drinking water exists at the parking – please fill water bottles at home or before leaving Ladismith.


Especially from November to February the days can be very hot on the trail, with chilly nights.  During the winter months (April to Aug/Sep) snowfall may occur and proper cold weather gear is essential for such conditions.


From the parking a 3 to 5 hour hike (± 6km) will bring you to an old shelter known as the Hut.  With water nearby, bottles can be filled up for the last stretch to the cave, or the hut can be used as an overnight spot (max 6 people inside but some level areas nearby for tents).


From the hut another 2 to 3 hours’ strenuous hiking (± 2,5km) will bring you to Nel’s Cave under large orange rock faces.  In and around the cave some water drips exist, but during drier months or with large parties this may be insufficient and water needs to be obtained from the water cave, situated between Nel’s Cave Buttress and the Eastern Pinnacle.  Nel’s Cave can accommodate about 10 people and during holidays and Easter Weekends tents are recommended.  A visitors book in the cave contains accounts of climbers and can be signed.


Towerkop’s summit (both pinnacles) can only be reached via rock climbing routes, of which Nefdt’s Route is the best known (see History).  Spectacular views of the surrounding peaks and valleys can be seen from anywhere on the mountain, but the best views of the pinnacles are seen from Toorkop, a small hill to the north of Towerkop.