Bainskloof Waterfall Hike

Cape Town Hikes15 Comments on Bainskloof Waterfall Hike

Bainskloof Waterfall Hike

Bainskloof Waterfall Hike

Everything you need to know about the gorgeous Bainskloof Waterfall Hike. This hiking trail takes you past three waterfalls in the Bainskloof mountains. The start of this trail is the Tweede Tol campsite in Bainskloof. This hike can thus be done as a part of a camping weekend at Tweede Tol – check out their rates and availability here. Alternatively, Bainskloof is only an hour and a half drive from Cape Town making it tangible to do this as a day trip hike.

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Bainskloof Waterfall Hike


Start Location: Tweede Tol Campsite, Bainskloof

Distance: +/-5km

Duration: 2 hours including a stop and a swim – this can definitely be spread out over a whole day by spending more time at each pool and waterfall

Difficulty: Easy. Path is mostly flat with no strenuous sections. The trail is very manageable for hikers of all levels of fitness and experience. The path can be a little tricky to follow at times, if in doubt follow the river.

Conservation fee: R50 per adult for day visitors, free with a wild card, free for Tweede Tol campers. Fees can be paid at the entrance office on the day of the hike.

What to pack: hiking shoes, costume, towel, mask & snorkel, snacks, hat, suncream.

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Bainskloof Waterfall Hike

The Route:

You can park at the Tweede Tol campsite parking and visit the entrance office to buy your permits.

*Please note Tweede Tol now allows only overnight campers plus 12 day hikers to use its entrance. So make sure to get here early to guarantee entry. There are a few other hikes in the area though which you can do if they are full.

The trail then begins up a dirt path. After a short while you’ll cross the river to walk along the right hand side of the river. Follow the yellow foot prints for the rest of the trail.

You will soon arrive at the first pool. This has a short, thin waterfall that you can jump from. There is a lovely deep pool with a cute side pool (this natural jacuzzi!) with a mini waterfall that you can also wallow in. Swimming here and rock jumping here is divine! This was my favourite waterfall of the Bainskloof Waterfall Hike.

Bainskloof Waterfall Hike

Bainskloof Waterfall Hike

Continue up and around the top of the first waterfall to find the path again. You’ll just continue along this path until you reach the second waterfall. The second waterfall has a much wider, shallower pool. The rocks at the top of the waterfall make a great seating area. The brave can jump from the top of the waterfall, otherwise enjoy a swim around the big mountain pool and take a shower under the cascading waterfall.


Bainskloof Waterfall Hike

Bainskloof Waterfall Hike

You can continue up to the third waterfall from here. We ran out of time and so headed back down after the first waterfall.


The Bainskloof Waterfall Hike is a perfect escape into nature. Whether you just head up for the day or make a whole weekend of it by camping at Tweede Tol, you’re bound to have a wonderful time. The waterfalls are magnificent, the flora beautiful and there’s nothing quite like a swim in fresh mountain water. For the free divers out there why not pack in a mask and snorkel? The mountain pools are beautifully clear and it makes for a pleasant change to freedive in fresh water!

Bainskloof Waterfall Hike

For more exciting and adventurous hikes in and around Cape Town why not check out my recent posts on the Bailey’s Kloof, Red Disa Hike, Suther PeakTranquility Cracks,  Cecilia WaterfallKloof CornerDevil’s PeakJudas Peak, or my post on the Top 10 Hikes in Cape Town. Or if you’re looking for something a little further a field why not check out the Panorama Hike in Jonkershoek or Crystal Pools Hike.


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15 thoughts on “Bainskloof Waterfall Hike

  1. Thanks for the post and info! What time of year did you go? We are planning a Feb/Mar trip and just want to know if there will be water after the long summer.

  2. Hello

    I am keen to do this hike. What is the actual name of the trail and can I access it without accessing the campsite?

    I see there are a few starting at Bain’s Kloof corner including Bobbejaanskloof, Elandsrivier and Happy Valley.

    1. Hi Robyn. You can only access it from the Tweede Tol campsite entrance. However, you do not need to be staying at the campsite to do the hike. You will just need to pay the permit fee upoon arrival. This cost was R50 a few years ago.
      The hikes you have mentioned are all different ones. This is purely a trail from the Tweede Tol campsite upriver. I don’t know that there is another name for it other than the Tweede Tol waterfall hike. Here is a link to the Limitberg area hiking map:

  3. Love the descriptions of all these hikes. In the case of this one, an update: tweede tol now allows only overnight campers plus 12 day hikers to use its entrance. We made the drive up from Cape Town and were turned away as they had filled the 12 day hiker quota from prior reservations. We ended up going to McBain’s entrance which is 8km back south and did a different hike, quite a bit longer (9.6km out and back) but also beautiful though the pools were quite far below trail, and it was a rocky scramble to descend to them. Perhaps you will wish to update the article in case future readers don’t make it down to the comments.

    1. Good morning, thank you for this info- it is very useful. What time did you arrive at the site and were turned away?

      I am just thinking it might be helpful then if we arrive at 8 am in the morning.

  4. The information is no longer validated. Cape Nature no longer allows you to buy prints on the day at the entrance of any of there camps or hikes. You need to make an online reservation. Also Tweede tol waterfall hike is now permanently closed. You can go camp there but there is no longer an official trail. So you can’t book a permit. We read this blog and came there with the family only to discover this. At the end we did the Happy Valley hike which was ok. Please update your post so that others aren’t disappointed.

    1. Hi Hannes, not sure what happened on the day you guys tried going but we hiked this exact trail, starting at twede toll, on the 6 of Jan 2024. I booked our passes through Cape Nature and everything. There were a few hikers on the day, they defnitely still allow the twede toll waterfall hike. So sorry you could not go in on that day, it really is such a beautiful hike. Maybe try going again and book through Cape Nature before hand.

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