We asked our Capestorm Hikers what their favourite hiking spots were in South Africa and we received some awesome suggestions. From short distance hikes, to medium distance hikes as well as overnight hikes and even multi-day hiking routes, the list is endless.
Check out the suggestions for shorter hiking trails below.
Assegaai Hiking Trails - Eastern Cape
Offering various routes, the Assegaai Trail has 4 various easy to moderate hikes that most people will be able to manage. The trail is rich in birdlife, with over 180 species sighted on the trails. All 4 trails are accessible from the Assegaai Centre and cottages.
Difficulty Level: Easy – Moderate
Route Distances: There are 4 different trails you can do. See options as follows:
- Yellow Trail – 6½ km from the Start to Rock Bottom Camp.
- Red Trail – 7½ km from the Start to Rock Bottom Camp.
- Blue Trail – 5 km loop starting and ending at Rock Bottom Camp.
- Purple Trail – 7½ km from the Start to Rock Bottom Camp – however, this can be shortened to 6½ km by following the Short Purple Route.
- Wooded Kloofs
- Eastern Cape Bushveld
- Spectacular Views
- Open Grasslands
- Riverine Forest
WHERE: The Trails can be found between Grahamstown and Kenton on Sea
COST: Day visits: R50 per person
Lions Head - Cape Town, Western Cape
Forming part of the Table Mountain National Park, Lion’s Head Peak is surrounded mostly by city life as well as spectacular views of the sea. Housing has strictly been limited to lower ground by authorities. This hike is great over weekends and can even be done early Mornings before the work day begins or for Sunrise.
DIFFICULTY: The hiking route is Easy - Moderate (relatively fit)
START: Signal Hill Road, Cape Town
DURATION: 2 hours +
ROUTE DISTANCES: There are 2 different routes up Lion’s Head, one being slightly more challenging than the other. Both routes are about 2km one way). The routes are well marked and there are generally people on the trail so it is easy to find your way up!
WHEN: Any Day Of The Week
COST: Absolutely Free
- There’s usually enough parking to get a spot right at the start
- On busy days you may need to park and walk along the road
- There has been crime reported on Lion’s Head so go in a big group and don’t carry valuables
GOLDEN GATE NATIONAL PARK HIKES- FREE STATE
The Golden Gate National Park offers various types of hikes from short distances to an overnight trail. The area is known for its “golden” outcrops and eroded sandstone cliffs.
DISTANCE: Distance Varies Per Route
COST: See San Parks website
WHEN: Late Summer- Early Autumn
- Indigenous Vegetation
- Different Bird Species
- Ancient Rock art paintings
- Cathedral Cave
- Views of the Eastern Free state Sandstone Formations
HELDEBERG MOUNTAIN HIKE- WESTERN CAPE
The Heldeberg Hiking Route lies within the Heldeberg Nature Reserve, in Somerset West. The mountain has 3 distinct peaks, on which various picturesque trails can be found. It provides a great way to escape the city life and get outdoors. There are hiking routes and distances for everyone.
DISTANCE: Distance Varies Per Route
ROUTES: There are 7 various walking trails in the Nature reserve, each with slightly different distances. See different routes as follows.
- Sugarbird Walk (Yellow): 2.2km
- Caracal Trail (Black): 4.4km
- Protea Trail (Blue): 6.2km
- Leopard Loop (Red): 8.2km
- Woodie’s Walk (Green): 5 hours
- Watsonia Trail (Brown): 4km
- West Peak (Pink): 7 hours
DIFFICULTY: Easy Hiking, with the benefit of adding loops to make the hike more challenging.
DURATION: Depends on the route taken
MAP: Download map
- The nature reserve also makes for a great picnic spot!
- Routes are easy to find
- Incredible Views
COST: If you aren’t a member of the Nature Reserve you are required to pay as follows:
- Vehicle: R10.00
- Bus: R300.00 (prior arrangement only)
- Adult: R20.00
- Child: R10.00 (3 years to 18 years)
- Toddler: Free (child under 3 years old)
- Student: R10.00 (valid student card required)
- Senior citizen / Pensioner: R10.00 (60 years and older: proof of identification required)
ELEPHANTS EYE, SILVERMINE NATURE RESERVE, WESTERN CAPE
Elephants Eye is a great destination for a short hiking trips. The Elephants Eye Trail falls within the Table Mountain National Park. The name “Elephants Eye” comes from the eastern profile of the mountain, which looks like an elephant from the side.
DURATION: 2.25 hours + from start to finish
DIFFICULTY: Easy Hiking- Medium (Semi Climbing and a few steep paths)
DISTANCE: Just under 8km
WHERE: Silver mine Hiking Trail, Cape Town, Western Cape
COST: R45 each for the entrance fee (Unless you are a wild card/green card holder)
START: In the parking Lot of the Silver mine
- Breath-taking scenery
- Abundance of Fynbos
- Get there early over weekends as the hike can get full if the weather is good.
Kloof Corner Ridge Hike/Climb Cape Town, Western Cape
This Hike can be found on the Table Mountain Road towards the cable car. The hike has been called the most extreme hike up Table Mountain, made up of steep ascents requiring climbing and good fitness. The view makes the climbing well worth it!
DIFFICULTY: Extremely difficult (involves scrambling, climbing and tough route finding)
WOW FACTOR: It’s steep and can give you a bit of an adrenalin rush too, epic views
WHERE: Starting from the Kloof Corner Parking Lot
- Actual Climbing (Chains for support)
- Squeezing through small spaces
- Scrambling (The use of all 4’s)
- 3 dimensional views at some parts
- Exposure to heights
DURATION: About 3-4 hours 1 way (Fitness and number of people dependent)
GIANT CASTLE GAME RESERVE, Drakensberg, KWA-ZULU NATAL
Situated in the Ukahlamba Drakensberg Park, a world heritage site, previously inhibited by San People, who left various rock painting on cliffs, the Giant Castle Game Reserve is a hiker’s paradise. Suitable for all hiking levels from short hike’s to longer more strenuous ones.
DISTANCE & ROUTES:
- World's view (7km)
- Berg view: A severe 5 hrs hike (10 km).
- Champagne Pools: (4kms - 1.5 hrs)
- Giant's Castle Pass 4 hrs or 6km hike (from Giants Hut)
- Giant's Hut via Oribi Ridge A severe 4 hrs hike (10.5km)
- Grysbok Bush
- Langalibalele Pass: A severe 3 hrs 30 min hike (6.5km)
- Main Caves:An easy 40min hike
- Meander Hut :A fair hike. (5.5kms - 2hrs)
- River Walk: An easy 1.5kms - 30mins hike
WHERE: Giants Castle, Drakensberg, KZN
COST: Price on Request