Cape Town has not won numerous ‘Best City’ awards for nothing: Its endless selection of beaches that are perfect for sundowners; the iconic Table Mountain and the plethora of world renown restaurants and hotels make it one of the best places to come to for a timeless vacation. But there are a wide variety of hiking trails that you can explore, linger at and never forget!
1. Table Mountain
This beautiful masterpiece of creation towers over the city and is enjoyed from a distance or up close. There are numerous hikes you can take that are suitable for young or old, or you can hop on the cableway for a nominal fee, compared to the beauty you will see once on top. You can enquire from Cape Town Tourism about the various hikes such as Constantia Nek, Nursery Ravine or Skeleton Gorge. These routes are well signposted but be sure to take a map and remember to tell others where you are going, and always dress warmly for the chilly winds that pick up after the sun goes down. Enjoy it – it’s a free and fun way to see the Cape.
2. Crystal Pools
This hike will take you up to a section of the Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve, with the Steenbras River nearby. Crystal-clear, cool waters await you located beneath a steep kloof just waiting for you to jump into them! More stunning vistas of Cape Town stretch out before you, and with every step you take you will come across stunning flora. Pack your swimming cozi and take the plunge…
3. Newlands Forest
This is a very popular hike or walk amongst the locals. Nestled beneath the mountains is a dark green forest that smells freshly of pine leaves. It is located within the southern suburbs of Newlands, and has easy access from the freeways. There are a variety of routes you can take, all giving you a different experience of this invigorating forest.
4. Olifants Shipwreck Trail
Situated near the southernmost tip of Cape Town is Cape Point where you will find this intriguing trail. Old ruins and beautiful, but haunting shipwrecks dot the coastline. Stories from long ago are hidden in these wrecks and one can make up tales as to how they were washed ashore. There is a plethora of wildlife from ostriches, snakes, seagulls, baboons and the rare African black oystercatcher (bird species). Choose from one of the three trails at Olifantsbos, depending on your energy levels, or time.
5. Lion’s Head
As if Table Mountain is not enough, there is Lion’s Head, which is well, shaped like a lion’s head! Once the outline has been described to you, you will see that the lion appears to be resting on top of the mountain! Your view extends from Table Bay right across to the glistening Atlantic Ocean. One can even see Robben Island, the former prison camp where Nelson Mandela was held. If you enjoy adrenalin you can paraglide from here and land somewhere amongst the sun-bathers on Glen Beach or Seapoint!