Saturday, January 28, 2023
HomeTravel WritingFinest Western Cape Day Hikes to Take pleasure in

Finest Western Cape Day Hikes to Take pleasure in

Anybody who is aware of me effectively can let you know that, if I’m going on an journey, likelihood is it should contain a hike or nature stroll. And, over the previous few years, I’ve been lucky sufficient to deal with among the greatest Western Cape day hikes.

Rising up, I beloved exploring the fynbos-covered hills and rocky, barren terrain exterior Montagu. It’s most likely the place my love for mountaineering started. 🙂

Upon transferring to Cape City as an grownup, I made it my mission to test off as many stunning day hikes across the Cape as attainable.

On this put up, I share my prime ten day hikes within the Western Cape… to date!

Please observe: This put up might comprise affiliate hyperlinks.

Prime Ideas for My Finest Western Cape Day Hikes


Whereas all of the hikes included on this put up are moderately protected – it goes with out saying that mountaineering in nature at all times has its dangers.

There may be additionally sadly crime – even in essentially the most stunning, pure areas of the world. So I ask that you just please don’t hike alone.

Additionally, please don’t assume that each one mountaineering trails are created equal… Some are simple, some reasonable and others are positively troublesome! And bear in mind, not all mountaineering trails are pet- and even child-friendly.


Listed here are some sensible suggestions and guidelines I observe earlier than embarking on any hike:

1) At all times hike in teams of a minimum of 2-4 individuals.

A much bigger group is even higher. Please simply by no means hike alone. For those who get harm or attacked, it’s significantly better to be with others. Bear in mind, there’s security in numbers.

2) Pack in loads of water and energy-replenishing snacks, like well being bars, blended nuts or sandwiches.

3) At all times inform somebody (staying house) the place you’re mountaineering and roughly how lengthy the hike ought to take.

For those who get misplaced or trapped on the mountain, a minimum of somebody is aware of the place you went and may name for assist if you happen to haven’t allow them to know you’re protected by the tip of the day.

4) Plan your hike prematurely.

Do you want a allow? Is it a preferred, frequented path or extra remoted (which means you should be extra cautious)?

Do your analysis too. What do current on-line opinions/different hikers say in regards to the route and normal security? Has the path deteriorated indirectly or grow to be unsafe?

Lastly, test the forecast and discover out what the climate/temperature shall be on the day of your deliberate hike. It’s very totally different mountaineering most trails in sunny climate versus gale-force winds or rain.

5) Put on comfy clothes that may be each cool or heat as wanted.


Train/health gear is at all times greatest – however no matter you put on, guarantee you’ll be able to transfer freely in it. Don’t put on tight becoming clothes that makes motion and respiration attempting.

I usually hike in stretchy, but insulated health gear and I at all times pack a thick fleece hoodie in. This ensures I could be cool sufficient when it’s scorching – and cosy when it isn’t…

6) Test your sneakers are in good condition earlier than your hike.


Put on closed-in sneakers, like mountaineering boots or takkies (trainers), with socks and pay attention to their grip/soles.

In case your sneakers are less than the duty throughout a hike, fairly flip again (worst case situation – however higher than slipping) or attempt discover a better path.

7) Take it slowly.

There isn’t a want to interrupt world information if you hike. Moderately be protected, conscious of your environment and don’t push your self too arduous.

If you should go slowly, cease typically or stroll rigorously, do it.

8) At all times pay attention to attainable hazard.

This consists of from wild animals, like baboons, and criminals/muggers.

If you’re mountaineering with valuables, maintain them effectively hidden. I usually take a backpack or drawstring bag alongside because of this. Bonus: It additionally protects your digicam/telephones from falls when you should hike hands-free.

9) Scan the bottom for snakes if you stroll.


There are many harmful snakes, together with Cape cobras, tree snakes and puffadders, within the Western Cape.

Our snakes are most lively throughout summer time and spring. However I’ve even seen snakes out on our farm throughout autumn or early/late winter.

Normally although, tread rigorously if you stroll. Please keep away from stepping on small crops, flowers, bugs and even creatures in your path.

10) Don’t try a hike that’s too far above your mountaineering health stage.

If you’re unfit or just new to mountaineering, it’s unwise to hike a “troublesome” route and hope for the most effective.

Hike problem rankings are there for a motive – stick with what you’ll be able to safely deal with.

11) Be courteous to different hikers on the path.

Stand apart to let others cross on the path, when wanted. Don’t push previous individuals. Supply a whats up, nod or smile as you cross.

You don’t must greet each single individual you cross – however be well mannered and thoughtful of others.

The identical applies if you should go slowly however are inadvertently inflicting others to attend. Moderately ask them in the event that they want to cross you and step apart.

12) Pay attention to the climate.

The Western Cape is understood for its climate extremes – from scorching temperatures to gusty gales and freezing, driving rain or dense fog. Particularly up within the mountains.

If the climate is taking a flip for the more serious, fairly name it a day and switch round.

13) At all times pack in sunscreen and a heat prime.


It is likely to be 30 levels Celsius exterior – however on prime of a mountain, it may be like one other world.

Mountains are nearly at all times windier and cooler than down on floor stage. They will also be liable to swirling mists and dense fogs. So ensure you have sufficient heat clothes with you. Even a light-weight scarf if you happen to’re somebody who feels the chilly like me.

Additionally, the South African solar is fierce so apply sunscreen typically and generously, even in seemingly overcast climate. An SPF 50 is an efficient place to begin – and if you happen to do burn throughout your hike, AfterSun lotion is a lifesaver at house.

14) Cost up your cellphone – however know that cellphone sign could also be restricted.

I by no means set off for a hike and not using a full battery however most instances, sign is both non-existent or intermittent.

Don’t depend on cellphone reception however nonetheless guarantee you’ve got airtime/information and a full battery all the identical.

15) Don’t try a hike if you end up sick.

I don’t care in case you have a light headache or slight chilly. Mountain climbing is strenuous and it’s best to positively not do it if you end up unwell.

Your physique just isn’t working at its full capability – and even a standard, simple hike, can take lots out of you. For those who get a fever or really cross out, it might find yourself being very dangerous.

Previously, I beforehand – and foolishly – made the error of mountaineering after I had a chilly. It was one in all my worst calls ever… Don’t do it!

Additionally, if you happen to endure from any severe medical circumstances, please attempt test along with your physician if mountaineering is advisable and protected earlier than you set off on any wilderness hike. 

16) Depart mountaineering trails higher than you discovered them.


When mountaineering, please don’t litter or injury the paths, nature or anything you encounter in your hike. The Cape is stuffed with indigenous, typically uncommon or protected wildlife – please don’t hurt it.

Don’t decide crops, flowers and even take away stones if you go on hikes. Mountain climbing just isn’t a free-for-all.

Depart solely footprints, take solely recollections…

My Finest, Most Scenic Western Cape Day Hikes… So Far

Right here, ranked so as of private desire, are my prime ten Western Cape day hikes to this point:

1) Tranquility Cracks Hike (Camps Bay)


Some of the gorgeous and rewarding hikes I’ve ever undertaken within the Western Cape is actually Tranquility Cracks. It hyperlinks up with a extra fashionable, well-known hike, the Pipe Observe however, to me, evaluating these two hikes is like evaluating chalk and cheese.

Whereas Pipe Observe is actually a simple, enjoyable hike, with nice views, that runs alongside the Twelve Apostles mountain vary  – Tranquility Cracks is certain to blow your thoughts with its breathtaking magnificence, otherworldly rock formations and cracks and all-encompassing views throughout Camps Bay, the again of Desk Mountain, the Atlantic Ocean, Constantia and even Muizenberg within the far, far distance.




The hike begins on the Pipe Observe earlier than selecting up a little bit of legwork from Woody Ravine and much more so, from Hall Ravine.

Observe: Don’t try to go by way of Slangolie Ravine; it’s treacherous and unsafe.


Sights to Savour Alongside the Method

There are some fascinating sights alongside the best way. These embody the pipes that used to offer mountain spring water for the town, a secret cave that when was inhabited by a Royal Navy deserter and a fairly milkwood forest.

The views of the ocean, lay of the land and naturally, surrounding mountains is completely stunning from begin to end.



Hall Ravine is the steepest a part of the hike and it’s a great level to cease for a break, if you happen to tire.

It’s additionally fairly uncovered to the weather, particularly on a scorching day, so don’t count on shade or shelter from this level on.



When you attain the highest of the ravine, flip left on the cairn after which proceed onto the rocky construction in your proper.

As you crest that part, it’s best to spot a largely hid path to the left. Observe this by the vegetation to the Cracks themselves.



The World Stretched Out Earlier than You

There’s something really humbling and awe-inspiring about standing atop these Cracks, with the world stretched out beneath you.

Within the Cracks, there are additionally mini forests and cave-like areas, that are thrilling to discover.



From there, you’ll be able to both return by way of Woody Ravine or head again down Hall Ravine. Each had been viable after I hiked a number of years in the past – so hopefully the identical remains to be true.


Woody Ravine is a bit hair-raising and slippery in locations, with loads of free shale, so it’s most likely greatest left to extra skilled hikers or avid out of doors fans acquainted with rougher terrain. Even then, go rigorously and slowly.


As soon as you’re down, head again by way of the scenic Pipe Observe and absorb extra beautiful views in your return journey.


The place It Begins:

At Theresa Avenue, by way of the Pipe Observe, Camps Bay.

Allow Required:

No, no allow is required and it’s free to hike.

Approximate Mountain climbing Time:

+/- 5-6 hours

Hike Problem:

Reasonable to arduous. (A reasonable to good health stage is crucial for this hike.)


Camps Bay, Cape City, Western Cape, South Africa.


2) Maltese Cross Hike (Cederberg Wilderness Space)


This reasonable, seven kilometre hike is arguably one of the crucial fulfilling and superior I’ve executed lately. If ever a spot is made for mountaineering and nature lovers, it’s the Cederberg Wilderness Space.

There are a variety of attention-grabbing hikes and pure points of interest within the space – together with Stadsaal Caves and Wolfberg Arch – however if you’re on the lookout for a comparatively doable and equally stunning hike, the Maltese Cross is an ideal mountaineering selection.

Nonetheless, it may be very chilly on the prime, so I might positively pack in heat clothes earlier than you set off!


Getting There

For those who drive from Dwarsrivier Farm – the place additionally, you will have the ability to get hold of your mountaineering allow – the car parking zone the place the hike commences from is straightforward to seek out.

Merely drive previous the Cederberg Astronomical Observatory and proceed alongside the winding dust street till you attain the car parking zone.

The mountaineering path just isn’t actually marked (until you rely stones?) – nevertheless it’s a simple sufficient path to hint, because it principally climbs uphill from the car parking zone.


The Maltese Cross hike affords beautiful, sweeping views throughout the valley of the rugged, numerous Cederberg mountains and pure terrain.

Alongside the best way, you may even see fields of flowers, gushing crystal streams and rocks aplenty.




Whereas it’s just about uphill for a lot of the hike, there are just a few sections that actually get your blood pumping and your legs feeling barely shaky.

However, as one fellow hiker advised us on the best way, “If you get to the purpose the place you are feeling such as you need to hand over and switch again – don’t. It’s all price it if you get to the highest.” Certainly it’s.


Put together to Really feel Small

The hike is very worthwhile when you attain the principle attraction: the Maltese Cross itself. It’s the most outstanding stone construction you will see wherever.

This formidable, five-storey, cross-like rock formation is a sight to behold – and even the tallest man will really feel dwarfed beneath its shadow.

You’ll be able to spend a while exploring the realm across the Cross or get pleasure from a barely much less tiring, however no much less rewarding, hike again right down to the car parking zone.

For extra info on the Maltese Cross hike, please go to Cape Nature’s web site.


The place It Begins:

Cederberg Wilderness Space, close to Dwarsrivier Farm/Sanddrif Resort.

Allow Required:

Sure, a allow is required. These could be bought at Dwarsrivier Farm/Sanddrif Resort.

Approximate Mountain climbing Time:

3-4 hours.

Hike Problem:



Cederberg Wilderness Space, Western Cape, South Africa.


3) Paarl Rock Hike (Paarl)


Paarl Rock hike is likely one of the most stunning, family-friendly hikes round. It’s protected, scenic and particular multi function memorable mountaineering outing.

General, the hike is about 2.7 km a method, if you happen to begin at Meulwater. (For these with particularly younger youngsters, you’ll be able to really drive straight to Paarl Rock and minimize the hike out fully, if wanted. 🙂 )


Ranging from Meulwater Botanical Backyard

We began the hike from Meulwater Botanical Backyard, itself a beautiful native attraction with stunning flora and beautiful, open-air picnic- and braai-spots.

From there, you stroll up the street, previous the Meulwater Water Therapy Plant and a few farmhouses, until you cross the second of two booms. (The primary is at Meulwater parking.)


After that, it’s a fairly easygoing upward hike alongside a well-maintained, broad dust street. (One which is ideal for strolling, using or driving.)

Views for Days

The views on this hike are superb from the get-go – however they positively go up a notch or two as you snake up this street.


Photograph credit score: Alicia Chamaillé

Alongside the street, you’ll cross stunning flowers, fynbos and even proteas so have your digicam or cellphone useful for some bloomin’ beautiful photographs.



After a couple of kilometre, you attain the favored Paarl Rock Heritage Website/View Level, the place you’ll be able to park or sit and absorb the encircling magnificence, breathtaking views and naturally, Paarl Rock.


A Native Icon

For many who don’t know, Paarl Rock is likely one of the most well-known points of interest in Paarl. It’s a huge granite outcrop that rises from the mountaintop and overlooks the patchwork farmlands and valleys of Paarl and the encircling winelands areas.

Paarl Rock is of essentially the most superb pure points of interest I’ve encountered – particularly if you happen to climb up onto it! 🙂



There’s a picket staircase a part of the best way in the direction of the principle rocky outcrop however after that, you merely have to make use of blind religion and stroll rigorously on the sleek rock’s floor.

Please observe: It may be insanely windy atop Paarl Rock so a heat prime and cautious treading are suggested.

If you’re unsure of your self, simply go slowly and step on the rougher components for added grip. However it’s price swallowing your fears to face upon this unimaginable mammoth boulder.


Additional on, you’ll be able to hike up the street to different two outcrops, Bretagne and Gordon’s Rocks. There’s a viewing spot right here and a stunning little forest beneath (accessed by way of a picket platform and staircase).




Photograph credit score: Alicia Chamaillé

However truthfully, climbing up this subsequent part just isn’t for the faint-hearted. We didn’t hike additional than the viewing level – however loads of others did.

For those who do climb additional up, correct mountaineering sneakers are important as a result of there is no such thing as a pure grip right here to talk of. 


Nonetheless far you go, Paarl Rock hike is likely one of the most rewarding, memorable hikes round and ideal for the entire household to get pleasure from collectively.

The place It Begins:

Close to Meulwater Botanical Backyard car parking zone, Paarl Mountain Nature Reserve, Paarl.

Allow Required:

No, no allow is required. Nonetheless, a entry price could also be charged. It wasn’t on the day I hiked (a Sunday) so I’m not sure of whether or not you solely pay throughout sure instances/days.

It might be greatest to test this with the native Paarl tourism authorities.

Approximate Mountain climbing Time:

2-2.5 hours

Hike Problem:



Paarl, Western Cape, South Africa.


4) Harold Porter Nationwide Botanical Gardens: Varied Hikes (Betty’s Bay, Cape Overberg Area)


The Harold Porter Nationwide Botanical Gardens are my favorite botanical gardens within the Cape… Sure, much more so than the world-famous Kirstenbosch!

Why? As a result of the wealth and variety of the pure surroundings, wildlife is unparalled. Right here, ocean views, river walks, lush backyard areas, indigenous flowers, crops and wildlife can all be marvelled at and loved by guests.

Disa Kloof Path


This family-friendly backyard can also be house to a number of beautiful mountaineering trails. One which I completely loved was the Disa Kloof Path, so named after the beautiful crimson disa flower.

The Disa Kloof Path is appropriate for all, as it’s even wheel-chair and pram-friendly. It affords a beautiful style of the Overberg’s particular nature and fierce magnificence.

This gorgeous, shaded river stroll, which hugs the Disa River’s banks, is ideal on even the most popular or windiest day within the Cape.


Taking the Scenic Path

It might be quick (just a few 950 metres from the doorway to the gorgeous waterfall) nevertheless it options some memorable highlights. These embody the Olive Could Porter Bridge, a stunning waterfall, crystal streams, a wooded space and even a lovely, peaceable dam.

By way of mountaineering time, you’ll be able to most likely stroll there and again in beneath an hour however there’s no have to rush, particularly if you’re mountaineering it with household.

No allow is required for Disa Kloof – however you do pay a per individual entry price to get into the gardens.

Zigzag and Fynbos Trails


Two different trails we loved had been the Zigzag and Fynbos Trails. After finishing Disa Kloof, our actual mountaineering started.

These trails, one lengthy, one quick, traverse the southern slopes of Bobbejaanskop and The Plateau, guaranteeing hikers get pleasure from breathtaking views out throughout the backyard in the direction of Betty’s Bay and the ocean.


However for me, the Zigzag Path, which requires some cautious footing in locations as you make your ascent, is the actual gem with its gorgeous views and unimaginable vegetation.


On the prime of the mountain, you’ll be able to even discover benches that supply essentially the most stunning vistas.

These benches are good for absorbing the encircling magnificence or catching your breath.


The mountaineering trails could be steep in locations and do require reasonable health however there’s nothing too attempting about them.

You simply must maintain pushing your self up the subsequent hill as a result of the view on the finish of it’s price it hundredfold.


For extra avid hikers, there’s additionally Leopard’s Kloof Path – however you will have a allow for that hike.

Allow Required:

No, a mountaineering allow is solely required for the Leopard’s Kloof PathFor the Zigzag, Fynbos and Disa Kloof hikes, you solely have to pay the backyard’s entry price. 

Mountain climbing permits for Leopard’s Kloof could be obtained from the principle workplace close to the doorway. (Moreover, you additionally have to pay the conventional backyard entry price.)

Approximate Mountain climbing Time:

In all probability about an hour for Disa Kloof (if even that) – and one other hour or two for Zigzag and Fynbos trails.

Hike Problem:

Reasonable for a lot of the Harold Porter hikes – however Disa Kloof Path is straightforward.


Betty’s Bay, Cape Overberg Area, Western Cape, South Africa.


5) Palmiet River Path (Kogelberg Nature Reserve, Cape Overberg Area)


One other beautiful, pretty simple Overberg hike for nature lovers to get pleasure from is the Palmiet River Path.

Discovered inside the stunning, peaceable Kogelberg Nature Reserve, the Palmiet River Path has all of it: pristine Cape nature, fairly flora, wildlife and birdlife, crystal streams and even its personal secret seaside!


Household-friendly River Stroll

This leisurely, light hike, which is appropriate for households to get pleasure from, takes hikers alongside the beautiful Palmiet River.

Some 10 km in size, the hike takes a little bit of time to finish – nevertheless it’s really price going a bit slower to actually take within the magnificence round you.


Each twist and switch within the path appears to vow its personal hidden gem: with proteas, river crossings, wildlife and a few panoramic vistas all making their look.




There are deliciously cool swimming spots alongside the best way and even a surprising, secluded seaside to actually whet your nature enthusiasm and funky you down after a while within the solar.



Because the path is sort of uncovered to the solar baring down upon you, even in autumn, sunscreen (and perhaps a hat) is a should!


This is likely one of the most naturally gorgeous mountaineering trails I’ve loved thus far. There isn’t a bit that isn’t stunning and awash with Overberg appeal

If you’re on the lookout for a particular, family-friendly hike within the Overberg, it is a good selection.


The truth that Kogelberg Nature Reserve affords beautiful, eco-friendly lodging makes it much more interesting for an prolonged day journey, weekend getaway or vacation within the countryside.

Along with Palmiet River Path, Kogelberg has a variety of different wonderful day hikes to select from. With the shortest some six kilometres and the longest 24 kilometres.


The place It Begins:

A brief stroll up from the Kogelberg Nature Reserve predominant workplace.

Allow Required:

Sure, a allow is required. These could be bought from the Kogelberg Nature Reserve predominant workplace. It is a cash-only reserve so maintain that in thoughts when planning a go to. 

Approximate Mountain climbing Time:

3-4 hours. It is suggested that hikers begin this path no later than 14:00 pm.

Hike Problem:



Kogelberg Nature Reserve, Cape Overberg Area, Western Cape, South Africa.


6) Welvanpas Hike (Wellington)


Wellington, by default, is a lovely city to go to and affords some fashionable mountaineering trails across the valley however if you happen to do a little bit of digging, yow will discover some hidden gems like Welvanpas.


Positioned on the Welvanpas working farm – which produces citrus- and other-fruits, greens and proteas, whereas additionally having its personal vine nursery – this picturesque mountaineering path is an actual deal with.


Welvanpas Mountain climbing Path is likely one of the lesser recognized mountaineering trails within the Western Cape – however after attempting it, it’s really one in all my favorite for a number of causes.

The place Mountain and Farm Life Meet


Apparently appropriate for each youngsters and adults to undertake (there are separate allow charges for each), this 7.5 kilometre-long path affords hikers a style of Wellington’s greatest farm-meets-mountain life.


You’ll be able to count on to see loads of fairly spots alongside this scenic path.

Particularly because it which by forest walks, shaded pine forests and beside flowing streams earlier than rewarding you with some fairly unimaginable Groenberg mountain- and vineyard-views.


There are indicators alongside the path, like ‘Decrease Forest Stroll’ or ‘Fern Forest’ to maintain you heading in the right direction – nevertheless it’s a fairly simple path to observe.



Components of the path had been barely overgrown (plunging into dense shrubbery within the top of summer time takes some guts – particularly when the considered serpents is firmly in your thoughts…) – however in any other case the path is fairly well-maintained and marked.

Simply stroll rigorously and maintain a watch out for snakes when it’s scorching out.



Nonetheless, this path is usually a scorching one to hike, particularly in summertime – so once more, sunscreen (and a hat) are suggested!


One of many predominant highlights of this beautiful, at instances light, at instances barely steeper path, is the attractive Kromme river and waterfall that you just discover some two kilometres or so into the path.



Right here, a brief, 200-metre-long detour of the principle path rewards you with the gorgeous, refreshing sights and sounds of the flowing falls.


If you’re on the lookout for a reasonably simple, stunning hike within the coronary heart of Wellington, Welvanpas is an ideal hike to get pleasure from.

Earlier than or after your hike, you should buy some refreshments, snacks or different farm goodies from Die Ou Meul, a quaint, fairly rustic espresso store in the beginning of your path. It’s also possible to buy your MTB or mountaineering permits right here.


The place It Begins:

Ou Meul espresso store, Welvanpas Household Farm, Bovlei Street.

Allow Required:

Sure, a allow is required. These could be bought from Die Ou Meul espresso store at Welvanpas. (It’s also possible to buy MTB permits from right here.)

Approximate Mountain climbing Time:

2.5 – 3 hours.

Hike Problem:

Straightforward to reasonable. (It will get a bit steep in locations so it may be tiring – however nothing too hectic general.)


Welvanpas Household Farm, Wellington, Western Cape, South Africa.


7) Tygerberg Nature Reserve: Varied Mountain climbing Path Choices (Welgemoed, Northern Suburbs)


Tygerberg Nature Reserve is one in all my favorite locations within the Northern Suburbs.

This tranquil nature haven is superb for households, {couples} and associates to get pleasure from collectively – particularly because it even has wheel-chair-friendly sections.



The reserve affords gorgeous vistas (even overlooking Desk Mountain within the distance), a wealth of wildlife and birdlife, a vibrant burst of crops and flowers and a few beautiful, shaded picnic spots and benches for all to get pleasure from.

It makes for the right outing or day journey within the Mom Metropolis, whereas nonetheless permitting you to stay in inexperienced suburbia.



It additionally has some wonderful hikes and nature walks, that are typically high-quality for the entire household to get pleasure from.

Since transferring to the Northern Suburbs in late 2017, I’ve executed all however two of Tygerberg Nature Reserve’s hikes and beloved each one in all them for various causes.


The hikes, every superbly named, fluctuate in size however they’re all comparatively doable with a reasonable to good health stage. (To take a look at the mountaineering trails or obtain a map, click on right here.)


Here’s a checklist of the obtainable Tygerberg hikes:

  • Caracal (800 metres)
  • Duiker (1 600 metres)
  • Golden Mole (3 600 metres)
  • Gray Rhebok (1 360 metres)
  • Honey Badger (450 metres)
  • Induli (990 metres)
  • Peregrine (610 metres)
  • Striped Weasels (720 metres)
  • Tortoise (1 280 metres)
  • Ukhetshe (3 160 metres)
  • Watsonia (2 660 metres)
  • Wheelchair (480 metres)
  • and at last, Wild Olive (210 metres)





Among the highlights inside Tygerberg embody: wild creatures, corresponding to chameleons, tortoises, snakes (yikes!) and blue-headed guinea fowl; fairly picnic spots going through Desk Mountain; all kinds of flowers (particularly throughout springtime); an outdated cannon from the 1700s and the Kristo Pienaar Environmental Schooling Centre.



Tygerberg Nature Reserve is good for these gently build up or sustaining their health ranges – or who want to escape the stresses of every day life, whereas additionally having fun with some high quality time within the recent air with these they love. 🙂


Allow Required:

No, you don’t require a allow for any of the Tygerberg hikes. Nonetheless, there’s a per individual entry price to get into the character reserve. That is payable on the predominant gate.

Approximate Mountain climbing Time:

Mountain climbing time varies, because the hikes are totally different lengths in period. You are able to do among the shorter hikes in about an hour or much less although.

Hike Problem:

Straightforward to reasonable (relying on which path you undertake and/or your health stage).


Western Cape, South Africa.


8) Platteklip Gorge Hike (Cape City)


Platteklip Gorge hike was one in all my favourites. It’s, in any case, essentially the most reasonably priced approach to stand up Desk Mountain.

But sadly, this route has claimed a number of lives in current time. Now, it feels prefer it is likely one of the riskier native hikes to undertake.


That isn’t to say, nonetheless, that you just can’t safely get pleasure from this superb hike as a result of you’ll be able to!

You simply must watch out and go slowly, particularly up the steps… particularly within the warmth.


My Private Experiences of Platteklip Gorge

I’ve hiked up Platteklip Gorge twice. On the primary event, I did the return hike, whereas the second time I hiked up by way of Platteklip Gorge after which caught the cable automotive down.

Each experiences had been enjoyable – so nonetheless you select to do it, this hike is one that’s rewarding and scenic.


Better of all, this hike grants you entry to one of the crucial particular issues in our metropolis: the wondrous Desk Mountain.

You do, nonetheless, want a fairly good health stage to hike up Platteklip Gorge as a result of it’s steep and has a number of tough steps carved into the mountainside.


Sluggish, Secure and Regular Wins the Path

There are some appreciable drops and fairly huge heights alongside the best way however, even with my concern of heights, I felt protected and at peace for a lot of the hike.

Once more, endurance is your good friend right here – don’t rush or it’s possible you’ll journey and fall… and you do not need to fall right here.



As you climb, the town stretches out beneath you, whilst Desk Mountain and its stunning valleys and cliff faces stand up earlier than you. So, visually, this hike is a stunner.


Alongside the best way, additionally, you will catch a glimpse of the cable automotive (which works above the principle route), some wildlife and birdlife and sure, you guessed it, loads of beautiful Cape flora too.

Take Precautions


Throughout the day, the route will get a number of solar so it may be much more tiring to hike however by the afternoon, there’s typically sufficient shade to get pleasure from good resting in.

Nonetheless, sunscreen and ample water are two necessities for this hike!


The hike is about three kilometres up from the decrease cable automotive station – however it is vitally steep in locations so don’t let the space idiot you. Additionally, whereas the hike is taken into account protected for older youngsters – I don’t agree with this view.

Personally, I wouldn’t take into account mountaineering it even with an older little one – a youngster, perhaps however positively not a baby. It’s a demanding and fairly harmful hike in locations so it’s fairly ill-advised.

Having fun with Desk Mountain Collectively Safely

For those who want to hike it however need to meet your loved ones or children on the mountain, why not allow them to trip up within the cable automotive and spend a while safely exploring Desk Mountain when you hike up?

Then, you’ll be able to all get pleasure from a enjoyable trip again down within the cable automotive to finish off your journey. 🙂


General, Platteklip Gorge is likely one of the extra demanding hikes in and across the Mom Metropolis (and I hiked it at my fittest).

And although it has had its tragedies, if you’re cautious and affected person, there is no such thing as a motive why you can’t safely get pleasure from this particular Cape City hike.


Savour the Views on the Prime of the Desk

If you attain the highest of the mountain and full your hike, spend a while looking the curio outlets, seize a chew to eat on the café or just absorb the views from up on excessive.

It’s a sight price savouring, that a lot is for certain.


The place It Begins:

Decrease Cable Automotive station, Tafelberg Street, Cape City.

Allow Required:

No, you don’t require a allow and it’s free to hike. You’ll solely must pay if you happen to want to catch the cable automotive up or down.

Approximate Mountain climbing Time:

2-3.5 hours (one-way).

Hike Problem:

Reasonable to robust ( stage of health is crucial).


Desk Mountain, Western Cape, South Africa.


9) Elephant’s Eye Cave Hike (Silvermine Nature Reserve)


One other scenic and pretty simple hike close to the Mom Metropolis is the hike to Elephant’s Eye Cave. Located inside the stunning, fashionable Silvermine Nature Reserve, Elephant’s Eye is an attention-grabbing pure attraction to discover.

After paying and getting into, you’ll be able to park and set off in your hike from the Silvermine automotive park.

The mountaineering path primarily runs on a gravel street, so the going is respectable. General, it is a fairly light, easygoing hike so it’s protected to get pleasure from as a household too.

Photograph credit score: Non Cease Vacation spot

Alongside the best way, the hike to the cave additionally rewards you with some gorgeous surroundings of the character reserve, the Silvermine dam and naturally, the beautiful native flora, corresponding to proteas and different fascinating crops.



What’s extra, the upper you climb, the higher the views of Cape City, and certainly False Bay, grow to be.


After a short time, you attain the pine forest, earlier than crossing the Prinzkasteel stream. Not lengthy after that, you attain the lovable stone cottage (hearth lookout).


Photograph credit score: Non Cease Vacation spot


From right here, you’re close by of the cave. Extra to the purpose, the surroundings from the facet of the cottage is breathtaking, as you look down throughout the verdant valleys beneath.


Photograph credit score: Non Cease Vacation spot

Lastly, after following the dust path by the bushes, you’ll attain Elephant’s Eye Cave. You’ll be able to stroll inside and marvel on the mysterious crops and shrubbery rising inside however for me, the cave is greatest loved from the skin as a result of you’ll be able to see the whole lot higher.

For those who like, you’ll be able to pack in a picnic to get pleasure from close to the cave or by the dam, which can also be a preferred swimming place throughout summertime.

The place It Begins:

Silvermine car parking zone, Silvermine Nature Reserve, Ou Kaapse Weg, Cape City.

Allow Required:

No, a allow just isn’t required however there’s a per individual entry price for the character reserve. That is payable on the predominant gate.

Approximate Mountain climbing Time:

2.5-3 hours (relying in your health stage and how briskly you want to hike).

Hike Problem:

Straightforward (Though there are a number of steep components).


Silvermine Nature Reserve, Cape City, Western Cape, South Africa.


10) Lion’s Head Hike (Cape City)

Photograph credit score: Non Cease Vacation spot

Lion’s Head is arguably the most well-liked (learn: overdone) hike in Cape City. Nonetheless, for these visiting or new to the Mom Metropolis, it’s an amazing hike to get pleasure from.

Personally although, it ranks fairly low on my checklist as a result of it’s grow to be extra of a pattern than a hike individuals get pleasure from as a result of they need to get misplaced in nature. (A fast search on Instagram will reveal what I imply…)

A Night to Bear in mind

Photograph credit score: Non Cease Vacation spot

However Lion’s Head holds a particular reminiscence for me. Primarily as a result of the primary time I hiked it (I’ve been up twice since over time) was with my brother and his companion, Lies, on their final night time in Cape City approach again in 2014.

It was a very becoming approach to finish our month-long travels throughout the province collectively and truthfully, I believe we had been rewarded with one of the crucial gorgeous sunsets ever. 🙂

And as we walked again down the mountainside, within the fast-fading twilight, a full moon and even a falling star blessed us with their presence. So evidently, it was a fairly memorable night!

Chains and Ladders

Photograph credit score: Non Cease Vacation spot

For these unfamiliar with Lion’s Head, the path is comprised of a mud path that snakes up and across the mountain. (There are primarily two routes up the mountain however I typically mix them after I hike it.)

Photograph credit score: Non Cease Vacation spot

At one level, you attain steel chains and ladders, there to help you as you scramble over rocks. This bit is the trickiest – however general, the hike is fairly reasonable and never too taxing, even for essentially the most unfit amongst us.

The Lion’s Head hike affords some beautiful views of Desk Mountain, the town bowl and naturally, the seemingly serene Atlantic Ocean, which stretches out impressively earlier than you.

A Baby-friendly Hike? To not Me.

Whereas Lion’s Head is taken into account to be a reasonably child-friendly hike – once more, I might most likely solely hike this path with a a lot older tween and even a youngster.

Name me cautious – however it could nonetheless be difficult in locations. Particularly within the steeper components or when tackling the chains and ladders.

Good Views Solely

Photograph credit score: Non Cease Vacation spot

The hike is, nonetheless, fairly uncovered so typically you get fierce solar baring down upon you. Different instances, the highest of the mountain will get misplaced in cloud and it’s like mountaineering in the course of dense fog.

Photograph credit score: Non Cease Vacation spot

Regardless of the climate, Lion’s Head by no means disappoints with its panoramic views and enjoyable mountaineering expertise general.

The place It Begins:

From the Lion’s Head car parking zone, Lion’s Head/Sign Hill turn-off, simply off Kloof Nek Street, Cape City.

Allow Required:

No, no allow is required and it’s free to hike.

Approximate Mountain climbing Time:

2 to 4 hours (relying in your general health and mountaineering tempo).

Hike Problem:

Straightforward to reasonable (Relying in your health stage).


Cape City, Western Cape, South Africa.


11) Knorhoek Forest Path (Stellenbosch)


Knorhoek is an excellent family-and pet-friendly Stellenbosch property that affords luxurious lodging, eateries, marriage ceremony venues and above all, an escape into stunning nature.

The farm additionally has some unimaginable mountaineering, path working and MTB trails. Whereas the MTB trails will not be designed to focus on professionals, they’re nice for households with children.



The paths at Knorhoek vary from two to seven kilometres so there’s nothing too intense or hectic about them.

Better of all, the paths are sporadically marked by indicators and you’ll seize a map from reception earlier than setting off.


Into the Woods I Go


After I stayed at Knorhoek, I used to be in a position to benefit from the two-kilometre forest path and I beloved it. The views from begin to end are unimaginable, with the mountains and vineyards seen at alternating instances. The remainder of the time, you’re surrounded by stunning timber, birdsong and stillness; this can be very peaceable.


Knorhoek’s trails are quiet, even on weekends and as they’re open to all members of the general public, they are perfect for households, teams of associates and pet lovers too.

As a result of the paths are appropriate for MTB, path working and mountaineering, they’re fairly numerous. You will note that the forest path particularly has a number of picket bridges and crossings to make it extra accessible and protected for all.

If you enter the forest correct, it’s simply you and the birds. I wasn’t lucky sufficient to see any wildlife (it’s fairly uncommon based on workers) however the farm remains to be house to the whole lot from spiders to snakes and porcupines so maintain a watch out when strolling and scan the timber and floor as you stroll. 

Straightforward Does It


It is a very easy, leisurely hike that’s good for households as it’s by no means bodily demanding. You may additionally wish to go a bit slower so you’ll be able to snap photographs as you hike like I did. 🙂


If you’re fortunate, you will note a variety of untamed flora – together with some forest blooms. What’s extra, the stroll again from the farm’s predominant entrance, close to the dam, is very fairly. General, Knorhoek’s forest path is gorgeous and strongly beneficial.


With extra time on my arms, I might like to revisit and take a look at their different trails in time too.

The place It Begins:

The paths all begin simply previous the guesthouse in the direction of the timber. If you’re not sure, simply test with administration.

Allow Required:

No, no allow is required and it’s free to hike and open to the general public. The paths are sporadically marked by indicators so seize a map from reception earlier than setting off.

Additionally, if mountaineering with pets, please notify administration prematurely and guarantee your animals don’t disturb or scare any birds or wildlife. Please maintain them on a leash or in a pet backpack.

Approximate Mountain climbing Time:

The shortest two-kilometre path could be executed in about 45 minutes to an hour. For the opposite trails, it should rely upon the size of the path and the way shortly you wish to full it.

Hike Problem:

Straightforward to reasonable (Relying in your health stage).


Stellenbosch, Western Cape, South Africa.


12) Hidden Valley Wines Nature Path (Stellenbosch)


Hidden Valley Wines is an oasis of nature within the Stellenbosch Winelands. Right here, beautiful surroundings, imposing mountain views and pristine nature come collectively seamlessly.


Add to that, a wonderful tasting room (strongly suggest pre-booking their chocolate and wine pairing), Overture Restaurant and The Deck at Hidden Valley Wines, artwork sculptures and a secluded Bush Lodge – and you’ve got a high quality property expertise from begin to end.


Escape into Nature within the Valley

The farm additionally has stunning gardens and timber for shade, making it superb for having fun with an off-the-cuff meal on the water-fronting Deck at Hidden Valley Wines or one in all their enjoyable property picnics.


Better of all, Hidden Valley Wines additionally has a beautiful, scenic nature path for friends to get pleasure from.

The path is sort of quick however very tranquil. It affords spectacular estate- and mountain-views. As you stroll, you get to admire the property from a number of well-positioned benches.


The place the Wild Issues Are


Flanked by olive timber, ferns and vineyards, it affords a tranquil escape into nature.


Close to the tip, there’s even a enjoyable little picket bridge and picket steps within the hill. There may be additionally typically loads of shade as you stroll.


It is a very simple, enjoyable little path to do. Better of all, you’ll be able to get pleasure from it instantly earlier than or after your wine tasting or meal.

Please observe: No pets are allowed as a result of property wildlife.



Annually, often in summer time, Hidden Valley Wines additionally hosts a enjoyable, three kilometre-long wine stroll. Regulate their social pages for the date and particulars.

The place It Begins:

You can begin at the start beneath the principle automotive park or simply above the kiosk at The Deck.

Allow Required:

No, the hike is free to get pleasure from throughout property opening hours.

Approximate Mountain climbing Time:

As a result of I began above The Deck and missed a brief a part of the path, it felt very fast.

This path can simply be executed in 20-25 minutes.

Hike Problem:

Straightforward. I even walked it in sandals for context.

This hike is good for all health ranges and even for households with children (simply not appropriate for prams).


Stellenbosch, Western Cape, South Africa.


14) Plaisir de Merle Path (Franschhoek)


Located on the beautiful Plaisir de Merle – an property that champions conservation and wildlife safety – close to Franschhoek, this path is primarily an MTB monitor. Nonetheless, in current months, the path has been prolonged to path runners and hikers too.

This implies everybody will get to get pleasure from wealthy nature, scenic stream walks. Plus, among the greatest surroundings you’ll encounter within the Cape Winelands.

In complete, this loop path spans 14 km and commences behind the Path Centre. (There may be additionally a separate downhill circulate path halfway up – however that’s for MTB riders.)


There may be additionally close by path centre parking or you’ll be able to park close to the tasting room only a few metres additional on.

Throughout the hike, if you happen to get drained, you’ll be able to flip again at any level. However, if you happen to can end the total 14 km – it’s positively price it.


Cape Winelands Views for Days

Whereas some individuals say it isn’t essentially the most scenic hike for the primary few kilometres, I disagree. The path is likely one of the most stunning I’ve hiked. Particularly in autumn, the route from the Path Centre is already gorgeous, with vibrant autumn colors within the timber and vineyards and wild flowers blooming.


As you climb increased, the views grow to be expansive. You get pleasure from a beautiful unfold of the neighbouring farmlands and distant valley. Earlier than you, mountains and vineyards loom, promising extra magnificence.


And all through the hike, you cross over streams, previous murmuring waters, and beneath little groves.

Proteas, Vineyards, Pines and Riders Aplenty


So far as hikes go, the Plaisir de Merle path(s) provide a variety of surroundings and pure flora. There may be the whole lot from lush forest sections close to the stream to proteas and pines nearer the highest.

There may be loads of birdsong and also you do see the occasional lizard or discipline mouse. Past that although, the wild animals keep effectively hidden.


Whereas mountaineering, please take heed to the MTB riders. The place you’ll be able to, step apart and allow them to cross as they go a lot sooner than hikers. Please additionally watch out on the descent as they will come flying previous out of nowhere.

Because of this, I hiked the principle path up till the pine forest. Then, shortly thereafter, you’ve got the choice to decide on between the Path Runners’ path or proceed on the MTB path.

Two Roads Diverged…


I branched left onto the Path Runners’ path. Whereas this descent was scenic and beautiful as earlier than – it does really feel much less well-signed.

The truth is, at one level, I believed I used to be misplaced. Due to this, I caught to the stream to collect my bearings.

Finally, I discovered the vineyards and stored going downward till I lastly reached extra Plaisir de Merle path indicators. It’s attainable I did one thing incorrect however I don’t suppose I did.

So simply watch out as you finish the hike – and once more, stick with the stream and stick with it downward. Finally, you get into extra forestland and cross a fairly farm dam. From right here, it’s a brief stroll again to the path centre and finish of the hike.

Solar on Your Again

This hike is sort of uncovered. You solely actually get pleasure from shade within the stream sections and close to the highest, as you get among the many proteas and pines.


So, throughout summer time, snakes and the solar may very well be a priority. Personally, I might not hike this path in summer time. It will get scorching, even in milder autumn climate.

Nonetheless, this path is elegant in autumn and ought to be the identical in delicate winter and spring climate too.

A Lengthy however Rewarding Mountain climbing Expertise


Whereas the hike is well-marked a lot of the approach up – I do really feel it wants higher signage on the return descent.

Additionally, a extra exact map may assist. I took a photograph of the path centre map nevertheless it was fairly imprecise so you’ll be able to’t actually go by landmarks like with some maps.


General, it is a really stunning, rewarding hike. It’s not overly demanding by way of basic mountaineering circumstances.

Nonetheless, you will have water, loads of sunscreen and comfy sneakers. Your legs positively really feel it on the finish.


However, other than a number of steep hill climbs and a few rocky areas with barely free sand, there’s nothing too hectic to deal with.

The place It Begins:

Simply behind the Path Centre at Plaisir de Merle. (You finish your hike right here too.)

Allow Required:

Sure, there’s a allow price of R60 per individual.

I didn’t obtain a bodily allow – however I nonetheless needed to pay on the Path Centre to benefit from the path.

Approximate Mountain climbing Time:

+/- 3-4 hours (It took me three and I went fairly shortly – however some will hike it sooner/slower than I did.)

Hike Problem:

Reasonable to arduous. (A reasonable to good health stage is crucial for this hike, particularly if you happen to do the total 14 km. Primarily as a result of it’s a prolonged hike.)


Plaisir de Merle, R45, Simondium, Franschhoek, Western Cape, South Africa.


In Closing


These are simply ten of the unimaginable Western Cape day hikes I’ve loved lately. I hope that they carry you as a lot pure magnificence, drained legs and completely happy contentment as they’ve me. 🙂

Bear in mind, please be protected and accountable always when mountaineering wherever – irrespective of the route and problem stage.

Which hike(s) do you suggest I attempt subsequent? Do you’ve got a Western Cape hike you wish to see added to this checklist?

Remark beneath and let me know; I’m at all times on the lookout for new hikes to write down about and luxuriate in! 🙂 

Content material author by day and blogger by night time, Tamlyn Ryan passionately runs her journey weblog, referred to as Tamlyn Amber Wanderlust – Journey Writing and Images, from her house base of Cape City, South Africa. Regardless of having a nationwide diploma in Journalism and dealing as a content material author by day, Tamlyn’s most well-liked area of interest stays journey writing.

Tamlyn is a hopeless wanderer, outfitted with an limitless ardour for street journeys, rigorously deliberate, vacation itineraries and, above all else, an innate love for the nice outdoor.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Most Popular

Recent Comments