Vertiginous mountains, a vast expanse of South Atlantic Ocean and sweeping valleys make Cape Town a walker’s paradise. Whether you’re after a gentle, scenic stroll or an invigorating ramble, Cape Town presents near-limitless hiking opportunities.
A relatively easy-to-reach summit with beautiful panoramic views across Cape Town, including the most romantic of sunsets, Lion’s Head is situated in the Table Mountain National Park. A ten-minute drive north along the coast from the 12 Apostles, it’s a short climb winding your way up to the peak, steep in parts but you’ll find hand-holds to help along the way.
Ramble Rating 2/4
Boesmanskloof Hiking Trail
The 14km Boesmanskloof Hiking Trail requires stamina but is very rewarding. A two-hour drive from Cape Town, the trail snakes its way from the town of Greyton through the Riviersonderend Mountains via waterfalls and dip-worthy pools. It offers great wildlife spotting opportunities, so expect to see baboons, common duikers, booted eagles and jackal buzzards along the way to your destination of the town of McGregor.
Ramble Rating 4/4
Cape Point Shipwreck Trail
Pull up at Olifantsbos car park at Cape Point – you’ll find it signposted from the road. Yellow markers will guide you along the weather-beaten rocks on the beach to the ghostly wreck of the SS Thomas T Tucker at Cape Point. A later way farther and you’ll encounter the Nolloth, a wrecked cargo ship that was once loaded with liquor. Be sure to check rock pools for fresh marine life and meander slowly, taking in the stunning vistas. A round-trip will take an hour and a half.
Ramble Rating 1/4
The lush, verdant Cecilia Forest presents a couple of attractive hiking routes, all of which are well signposted. Route 1 (1.5hrs) is more tranquil and meanders through exotic greenery, and up gentle slopes. Route 2 is longer at 2.5 hours, but rewards you with Cecilia Forest’s show-stopping waterfall.
Ramble Rating 2/4 and 3/4
The largest of South Africa’s National Botanical Gardens, and recognised as one of the world’s greatest, Kirstenbosch’s blooms will give your hike a beautiful botanical twist. Amble slowly through the historic gardens, taking in the aromas of the Fragrance Garden. No hike would be complete without a picnic amid the horticultural highlights.
Ramble Rating 1/4