Hiking Trails in the Cape

Autumn is a great time for hiking. If you have a little bit of stamina and a sense of adventure, then Cape Town has so much to offer. From mountain views and waterfalls to botanical gardens and river trails. Lace-up those boots and lets head out for some exploring.

Lion’s Head

Lion’s Head is by far the most popular hike Cape Town has to offer. The path is clearly-marked and starts at Signal Hill Road, encircling Lion’s Head. It offers amazing city and sea views en route to the summit. There are a few steep areas near the top, which are managed by a series of ladders and chains. This hike is particularly popular on the evening of a full moon when the views are surreal.
Hike time: Approx 3-4hrs

The Pipe Track

The Pipe Track follows the pipes along the Camps Bay side of Table Mountain underneath the mountain range known as the Twelve Apostles. These pipes till today deliver water down from the dams to the pump station. It’s a fairly easy, level walk from Kloof Nek to Slangolie Ravine. It’s a ‘there and back’ hike, meaning you can turn around go back at any point. It’s an easy hike perfect for children and the not-so-fit.
Hike time: Approx 3hrs

Platteklip Gorge

The route that takes you the most directly up to the Cableway on Table Mountain. It starts at Tafelberg road and is fairly steep up a series of stepped rocks with the odd flat section here and there. You may want to take the cable car back from the top.
Hike time: Approx 2hrs one way

Jonkershoek Nature Reserve

Located on the edge of Stellenbosch this nature reserve has two main access points, one at Assegaaibosch and the other near the MTO access gate. If you’re looking for a short walk, then the 3km and 6km trails at Assegaaibosch are for you. For something a bit more challenging, or if you’re keen to visit waterfalls and mountain peaks, try any of the four routes past the MTO gate.

Leopard’s Kloof Trail at Harold Porter Botanical Garden

About an hour out of Cape Town in Betty’s Bay, you’ll find the The Harold Porter Botanical Garden. It has lovely grassy areas perfect for picnics and functions. There are also four hiking trails. The Leopard’s Kloof Trail requires a permit and gate key that can be obtained at the garden entrance. This trail winds up through the forest before dropping down to a river crossing. Two more river crossings take you to the first waterfall after which a series of ladders lead to the second, and then the third waterfall. The base of this last waterfall is your final destination where a dip in the cool water is the ultimate reward.
Visit their website for access times and entrance fees here.

Image credit: www.alltrails.com

Tygerberg Nature Reserve

A lesser known destination for hiking, Tygerberg nature reserve in the northern suburbs offers several hiking trails, most relatively easy. At the top of the hill you’ll find a picnic area under the tall trees with wooden tables and chairs. The view from here over almost the entire Cape Peninsula is outstanding. You can see Table Mountain in its entirety and even the water of Bloubergstrand on a clear day. The Welgemoed entrance is well managed where there is small fee to pay. The trails are as short as 400m up to 3,6km.
Visit their website for access times and entrance fees here.


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