The Cape’s generous supply of mountain ranges, rivers and waterfalls make it an ideal hiking destination. If you don’t know where to begin because you’re spoilt for choice, we give you three great starting points, which are all bound to make you fall even more in love with the beautiful Western Cape.
Gordon’s Bay, Crystal Pools
Hiking in the summer can be sticky business as the temperatures soar into their thirties. But how would you feel about a hiking trail that allows you to cool off on the way, and even hike in swimming trunks or a bikini? The Crystal Pools Hiking Trail in Steenbras Nature Reserve does exactly that – the easy five hour hiking trail winds its way past four refreshing waterfalls and rock pools. You can spend hours swimming in the deep pools and – if you’re feeling particularly brave – you can indulge in a bit of cliff diving. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can also abseil down the Kamikaze Canyon.
Fish Hoek, Peer’s Cave
Peers Cave near Fish Hoek is a perfect family hike and is especially suited to those with an interest in archaeology. The Peers, a father and son team, discovered the cave in 1927 and found early human remains and a few artefacts, dating back approximately 12,000 years. The cave is reached after a fairly strenuous hike up sand dunes but the views of Fish Hoek, Noordhoek and False Bay make it well worth the effort.
Cape Town, Lion’s Head
Probably one of the most popular hikes around Cape Town, Lion’s Head still doesn’t fail to amaze first-timers. This is one of the best starting points for a tour around Cape Town as it provides ample views of the city’s magnificent oceans and mountains. It is graded as an easy or beginner’s hike and the trail takes approximately three to four hours to complete – however there are plenty of places to rest and enjoy the views along the way. The sense of achievement when you reach the top is also not something to be sniffed at.
Once you’ve completed these introductory hikes, there’s a good chance you’ll be hooked on Cape nature, so make sure you buy yourself a pair of sturdy hiking boots and a water bladder in preparation.