Cape Town: the city of hustle, bustle, and world-class hiking trails just waiting to be explored!
With an abundance of rolling mountains, luscious forests and nature reserves right on the doorstep of almost every suburb, it is no surprise that Cape Town has such a rich outdoor culture with hiking rated as one of the top activities. With an abundance of some of the most spectacular hiking trails in the world, we have narrowed it down for you to make your next adventure decision a bit easier. Listed from most manageable to more challenging, here are Cape Town's top-rated hiking trails:
Suitable for families, casual hikers and beginners is Pipe Track. Following a water pipe that runs along the Camps Bay mountainside, this trail overlooks the Atlantic ocean and Twelve Apostles mountain range. The trail takes approximately 2-3 hours to complete and is fairly flat the whole way, making it more of a scenic walk than a hike for a more relaxed nature experience.
Again suitable for families, casual hikers and beginners is the luscious Cecilia Forest. Located right in the heart of Cape Town, this trail boasts dense forests, a series of waterfalls and streams, and offers the duality of city and ocean views. This trail is relatively easy and will take you about 2-3 hours to complete, the perfect weekend escape!
A Cape Town rite of passage! Lion’s Head is one of the more well-known, and rightfully so, hikes in Cape Town. Offering 360 degree views of the city, Table Mountain and the ocean once you reach the summit, this hike is one not to be missed! With some steep sections and rocky parts that require some scrambling, this hike will take you about 2-3 hours to conquer and is suitable for all fitness levels.
A bit more challenging than the above mentioned trails is Kasteelspoort. Also known as Castle rock, this is a challenging hike that takes you to the top of table Mountain where you are rewarded with panoramic views of both the city and the ocean. With some steep sections to climb, scrambling over rocky paths and a general burn in the glutes, this trail will take you 5-6 hours to complete and is more suited to those who are regular and avid hikers!
Though not as scary at the name suggests, this trail is still one not to be laughed at! The Skeleton Gorge trail takes you through a dense forest, over rocky outcrops and up a few ladders and chains to reach the summit of Table Mountain. After some sweat and potential swearing, experienced hikers will reach the peak in 5-6 hours, where the views will be well worth the journey.
A huge favourite for Instagram pictures and a good challenge is India Venster! Not for the faint of heart, this trail is known for some serious rock scrambling and steep sections up the face of Table Mountain. Combined with narrow paths, steep drops and unbelievable views, this trial is for experienced hikers and will take around 4-5 hours to complete. Though a challenge, the views at the summit are well worth it!
If you find yourself searching for a weekend escape from the city, consider one of these best-voted trails right on your doorstep. With a trail suited to every fitness level, there is an adventure for everyone just waiting to be explored! Scared of going alone? Check out these Cape Town hiking clubs that would be more than happy to help you get comfortable on the trails: