From leisurely rambles to invigorating ascents, there’s something for everyone.
Whether you’re after a windswept coastal wander, a mountainous hike with spectacular views, or a leisurely amble through one of the Cape’s lush nature reserves, here’s our pick of the best hiking trails in and around the Mother City. So, lace up your hiking boots and get cracking… And, let us know your favourites in the comments below.
Important note Even if it seems like an easy trail, be prepared – an injury, severe weather or wrong turn could become life-threatening. Take water, snacks and warm clothing. Never hike alone, and pace it according to the slowest person in the group. Reserves may close their trails due to flooding or fire damage, so check before heading out; also always check the weather report. Make sure you have emergency numbers in your phone (these have been given for each hike). We also recommend @safetymountain as a useful resource for hikers. This free safety tracking service allows you to notify local trackers of your contact details, intended route and travel time via WhatsApp. You are then able to provide hourly updates on your progress, and to notify trackers when you are safely off the mountain.
Constantia Nek to Kirstenbosch
A relatively easy 6km walk on a dirt path along the eastern slopes of Table Mountain, it is mostly flat with a few uphills in the beginning and downhill at the end. Along the way you’ll enjoy the greenery of the Cecilia Forest, cross several streams over wooden bridges, pass lush ravines and gorges hiding waterfalls, and have an aerial perspective over the Constantia Winelands and Kirstenbosch and views as far as False Bay. Best of all, you can finish with a picnic or lunch in the beautiful gardens.
Start point Constantia Nek parking area, off Rhodes Drive
End point Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens
Need to know The walk starts on jeep track, then joins the Contour Path around half an hour into the walk (take the path marked ‘Contour Path/Nursery Ravine’). Continue on the Contour Path until you reach the signpost for Skeleton Gorge – don’t head up, but down along Smuts Track, to get to Kirstenbosch.
Duration 2 – 3 hours
Dog-friendly? Yes, on a leash – but dogs are not allowed in Kirstenbosch. You can continue along the Contour Path to Newlands Forest, or even around the front of the mountain to Tafelberg Road.
Guided option? Yes, from R950 per person.
Contact 021 712 7471 (SANParks Tokai Office)
Kirstenbosch: 021 799 8783, email@example.com
TMNP emergency numbers: 086 110 6417, 107 or 021 937 0300