Cape Town is a stunning and varied destination that has a lot to offer, including safaris, museums and hiking opportunities. Since Cape Town is quite small, you can cover a lot of ground on foot, and the hiking trails will let you see a large portion of what the area has to offer. Here’s a quick look at seven of the best hiking trails in Cape Town.
1 – Table Mountain
This is one of the most famous landmarks in Cape Town. There are several different trails up the mountain, covering all difficulty levels, and with several different lengths to choose from you can enjoy a day trip or a much longer stay. The trail that most people take is Platteklip George, which is a short route that covers the centre of the table, and up to the summit. You can then relax on the cable car back down.
2 – Lion’s Head
This is another well-known landmark, located close to Table Mountain. It’s a great day walk and there are two options to follow. Start at Signal Hill Road for an easy track to just below the summit, and then climb to the top using ladders and chains. Alternatively, take the longer, but easier, path to the top. The choice is yours.
3 – Cape Point
Cape Point Nature Reserve is a part of the Table Mountain National Park and offers numerous hiking trails that each take about a day to complete. Visit deserted beaches or explore shipwrecks, enjoy the view from the cliffs and take in the sight of local wildlife. There’s so much to do, and you could spend your whole holiday on the trails.
4 – Kalk Bay Mountains
Kalk Bay is a lovely seaside hamlet, and the mountains offer numerous hiking trails and caves to enjoy, with dense vegetation and stunning forests, this is a hiker’s paradise. The trails range in difficulty from very challenging to more moderate, so there is something for everyone. There are guided tours once a month run by the Cape Peninsula Speleological Society. If you’re not a confident hiker, try the Old Mule Path for a gentle walk and some whale watching.
5 – Jonkershoek Nature Reserve
This is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The reserve covers almost 10,000 acres and is home to more than 1,00 different types of plant species. Enjoy amazing nature walks along the four main hiking trails, and explore rivers, forests, and waterfalls. This truly is an incredible reserve.
6 – Platteklip Gorge
This is perhaps one of the most well-known hiking trails in the area, second only to Lion’s Head. It’s a much more challenging walk than Lion’s Head, though, so best for experienced hikers only. There’s not a lot of actual climbing required, but it’s a very challenging walk. If you want to get to the summit of Table Mountain the “hard way” then this walk will surely get you plenty of bragging rights. It takes around three hours on average, although it is possible for the super-fit to jog it faster. There isn’t a lot of shade on the route, so try to do your walk on a cooler day.
7 – The Pipe Track
This is a beautiful trail that was built to service an old water pipeline. It’s an easy route, for the most part, although it becomes challenging in the area just past the Slangolie Ravine. The track takes you to Camps Bay. If you have a guide with you, try taking a detour to Tranquility Cracks to see the labyrinthine tunnels. This walk is suitable for most adults and for older kids too.