South Africa Outdoor ActivitiesWestern Cape Hiking Trails
The Western Cape is renowned for being one of South Africa’s most beautiful natural kingdoms, boasting lush indigenous forests and majestic mountain ranges. There is an abundance of hiking trails in the Western Cape.
Without a doubt, Cape Town’s best known mountain is Table Mountain. There is a network of over 550 walks on Table Mountain alone. In a few hours, one can walk up the Platteklip Gorge, which has well-maintained stone steps to the top of the mountain. Once you have reached the top, sip on a well deserved - albeit pricey - drink whilst admiring the magnificent view of the sandy beaches, lush forests and the beautiful city stretched out before you. For a longer stay, go on the luxurious three-day Hoerikwaggo Table Mountain Trail. This hiking trail is guided, portered and catered for, and links the cultural history of Cape Town city with the natural heritage of Table Mountain.
Originally a service path for maintaining pipes leading from the high reservoirs, the Pipe track is a beautiful hike linking the paths leading to the Twelve Apostles ridge. This gorgeous hike offers amazing views over Camps Bay and thick bush. There is also the one hour climb to Lion’s Head, which provides the absolute best scenery for a little effort. Take a walk through the lush and exquisite Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens. Shaded by indigenous forest and provided with tree identification tags, Skeleton Gorge ascends from the 310 metre contour path above the Kirstenbosch Gardens and takes approximately 3.5 hours to complete. Panorama, Banhoek and Swartboskloof are all fantastic day hikes leading through the flourishing Cape Winelands in the Stellenbosch region.
Every year, The Southern Right Whale migrates its way to the Western Cape to mate, calve and feed. Acclaimed to be the whale-watching capital of the world, Hermanus hiking trails provide one the opportunity to witness these magnificent creatures in all their glory. De Hoop Whale Hiking Trail is also a must. Near Bredasdorp, this trail traverses one of the Western Cape's most exceptional and diverse nature reserves, whilst offering unique and comfortable overnight accommodation situated at spectacular locations. De Hoop is world-renowned as one of the best whale-watching spots.
The Cedarberg Wilderness region is acclaimed for its unique rock formations, bushman paintings, game and mystic mountain ranges. There is an extensive network of unmarked, well maintained footpaths that are laid out to discover these wonders better. The Wolfberg Cracks and Arch, the Maltese Cross and Sneeuberg are all popular day hikes. The Sevilla Rock Art Trail is a four kilometre hiking trail visiting nine extraordinary sites of rock art left behind by the San people who inhabited the area for thousands of years.
The Garden Route is famous for its natural beauty, indigenous forests and shimmering lakes. The Garden Route Trail is a five-day coastal trail passing through three nature reserves between Wilderness and Knysna. Hike through rain forests and along secluded beaches, and spot the magnificent birds. Your luggage is transported and your overnight accommodation is a combination of B&B's, cabanas and chalets. Bring along friends and family and experience the Garden Route in a unique way. Knysna has an abundance of forests, lakes and estuaries. The Harkerville and Elephant hiking trails will guide you along these magnificent forests. Observe the fantastic bird life and massive trees that are at home in this beautiful town.
These are just a few of the abundant fantastic hikes in the Western Cape, an astonishingly beautiful province, promising an unforgettable hiking experience.
Popular Hiking Trails in Western Cape
Arangieskop Hiking Trail
The highlights of the Arangieskop hike, sometimes referred to as the Kilimanjaro of the Cape by those who have gone before, is the overnight stay in the cabin just 200 metres below the summit, and the views from the top – well worth the effort...
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Cecilia Contour Path
This is a perfect 7km route for both hikers and joggers alike as its almost all in the shade (very important during the summer!). An early arrival at Constantia Nek start is advisable as finding a parking spot can be difficult once it gets...
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Cederberg Wilderness Trail
The Cederberg Wilderness, a World Heritage Site, is 71000 hectares of rugged and mountainous terrain with breathtaking landscapes and renowned sandstone rock formations, 250 km from Cape Town. Roughly 300 km of hiking trails on well...
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Duiwelsgat Hiking Trail
This wonderful hike from Gansbaai to De Kelders takes one along some of the most incredible coastline in the Western Cape. Tidal pools, coves, beaches safe for swimming, milkwood trees and ancient figs, and limestone cliffs infused with fynbos...
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Tranquility Cracks Hike
Where? Camps Bay
Tranquility Cracks refers directly to deep fissures in the rocks above Camps Bay through which one passes, about halfway along the Twelve Apostles. Beyond the cracks is a labyrinth of rocky corridors. There are a number of passages to choose...
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