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Cape Town Hiking Guide

Experience the beauty of the outdoors

Immerse yourself in Cape Town's outdoors and embark on one of the many hikes that there are on offer. We have a list of some of the best routes.

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Have some fun in the cave!
WOODSTOCK CAVE

Grade: Moderate. 

Duration: 3 - 4 Hours. 

This moderate hike starts at the Rhodes Memorial above the University of Cape Town.  This heritage site is of huge historical importance and the perfect vantage point for beautiful city views. There is also a restaurant and tea garden to enjoy at the site, so stop for a light snack and plenty of photo opportunities. 

The hike kicks off with an ascent to the King Block House, which provides a watchman’s view of the glimmering water of Table Bay below. It continues with an easy contour path that hugs the slopes of Devil’s Peak towering above. The final stretch is an easy climb up to a sheltered stretch of cave where you can rest, refuel and take in the panoramic views of Cape Town from beneath the shady rocks of the cave.

Fancy doing this hike with a guide? Stewart Coffey is on hand. Click here for more information on this guided experience.

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Walk into the fairy-like forest.
SPES BONA VALLEY

Grade: Easy-Moderate 


Duration: 4 - 5 Hours. 


Enjoy breathtaking coastal views and the magical diversity of the local Fynbos from the slopes above the famous Kalk Bay on an easy to moderate hike that’ll take you on an old mule path to a fairy-like forest where numerous rocks and crevasses can be explored. Along the route, there is even the perfect picnic spot in a natural amphitheater that leads to even more forest and rock features. 

If you are not from the Cape Town area, this hike can be lead by an experienced guide. Find out more here.

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How's that for a view?
CHAPMAN'S PEAK

Grade: Moderate


Duration: 4 Hours


This hike will take you through an enchanting nature reserve and give you the opportunity to experience one of the world’s most beautiful coastal views. Starting halfway up the famous Chapmans Peak Drive, the hike takes you on an ascent to the summit, which offers a unique 360-degree view of the Cape Peninsula. After a hard climb, spend some time at the top refueling whilst taking in the beauty that surrounds you. 


To view more information about this guided hike with Stewart Coffey, click here

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How brave are you?
TABLE MOUNTAIN HIKE

Grade: Medium to advanced


Duration: ± 5 hours


The path for this hike starts by heading up what is known as the Jeep track from either Camps Bay or the Atlantic side of Table Mountain. This path connects to the historical Pipe Track, which heads up to Kasteelpoort. Halfway up you’ll discover ‘breakfast rock’ - a great photo hotspot with views of both Lions Head and the ocean. Once you reach the top of Kasteelpoort you can make your way to see the remnants of the Old Cableway. Here is where your bravery is tested with an opportunity to snap a picture on a ‘diving board rock’, an amazing picture to show your friends and family back home. From the Old Cableway, you head up part of the Valley of the Red Gods and into the Valley of Isolation, where there is a particularly interesting rock formation that creates a bowl-like valley. Once at the top it is your chance to take in the beauty of the Mother City and all she has to offer. If the weather is good, you can make your way back down on the cable carts and enjoy a completely new experience on your descent.


This is a lengthy and challenging hike and is more suitable for an experienced hiker. A guide can also be arranged to assist in navigating this diverse route up Cape Town’s famous mountain. To book a guide, click here

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Just one of the reservoirs.
CONSTANTIA NEK TO THE RESEVOIRS

Duration: 2 or more hours

Grade: Easy walk depending on the route you take


This hike picturesque and enjoyable for anyone. The Constantia Nek hike up to the reservoirs has views from up high are breathtaking. You can choose to either walk up the winding dirt road, which is the easier option, which will take a little longer, but the road is less steep and perfectly manageable for any amateur hiker. If you’re up for something a little more challenging, skip the winding road and take the steeper wooden stairs that will deliver you to the start of the Jeep track in no time. Depending on your fitness level, the stairs can tire you out, so choose wisely! From here on it’s an easy route with only a few uphill climbs.

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Have a look through the Elephant's Eye.
SILVERMINE ELEPHANT'S EYE

Duration: 2 or more hours, depending if you stop and have a picnic


Grade: Easy – an unfit person can do this hike and enjoy it


This easy, but beautiful hike starts off at the Silvermine Nature Reserve car park where signposts will direct you to the starting point. The walk through the nature reserve offers beautifully refreshing pools along the way, so don’t miss the opportunity to jump in and cool off. Once you get to the famous Elephants Eye cave, the view is spectacular - perfect for a little picnic or shady rest before heading back.


FUN FACT: This hike gets its name from the shape of the mountain and placement of the cave. From afar, the mountain looks like an elephant’s head and the cave is in the exact spot where an eye should be.

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You would never believe that this trail is in the city.
ALPHEN TRAIL

Duration: 40 minutes – 1 hour


Grade: Easy

Whilst the Alphen Trail isn’t a traditional uphill climb with mountain views, it still offers the scenic beauty of the great outdoors, whilst being safe and convenient for any experience level. Situated just off of Constantia, the flat trail provides easy access to nature for an outdoor stroll or jog. The path is dog-friendly, so feel free to bring the dogs along.The trail isn’t very long, but provides alternative paths which branch off of the main walk, giving you the option to extend your stroll, if you so wish. It’s a busy trail that plays host to regular local walkers, why not pop in and see what all the fuss is about? 

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This view doesn't get old.
MYBURGH'S WATERFALL RAVINE

Duration: 5 hours or more


Grade: Difficult


This may be one of the Cape’s most strenuous hikes. Think boulder hopping and ravine scaling – the perfect challenge for the outdoor adrenalin seeker. In the winter rainy season, it does get slippery so you need to be careful with your footing. Again – the hike is intended for seasoned professionals.


Once at the top, you’ll have views of the Twelve Apostles, Clifton, Camps Bay, Ouderkraal and Llandudno beach. If you go between January and March, you will even be able to see the beautiful Disa uniflora. 


You can start this hike at either Farriers Way or the Suikerbossie Restaurant.

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Just one of the many paths you'll find along your way through this enchanting forest.
NEWLANDS FOREST

Duration: Depends on where you walk, you determine the length of your hike


Grade: There are easier trails with only slight inclines or you can push yourself 


One of the best features about going for a hike or a walk in Newlands Forest is that you get to decide where you want to go and how you want to get there with multiple interconnecting trails. There are marked paths in the forest for you to follow, or you can tap into your inner explorer and find your way through the forest.


The trails are shaded by overhanging trees so you are always sheltered from the sun, and to some degree, the rain. A picturesque river runs through the forest and the gentle babble of a stream can be heard as you explore the forest trails. If you want to make a day of your trip to Newlands Forest, there is a section where you can braai and have a picnic.

SOME SAFETY TIPS


  • Always walk or hike with enough water to avoid dehydration.

  • Never hike or walk alone

  • Always wear sensible walking or hiking shoes, no matter the distance of your hike

  • Bring some snacks along with you, it is always better to be prepared
  • Sunblock and a hat are essential, regardless of the season. The South African sun is harsh – don’t risk sunburn
  • Please walk with at least one phone. In case you get lost, or experience an emergency here are some numbers you should store in your phone before leaving for your hike:

  • Emergency SAPS:  10111 

  • Wilderness Search and Rescue:  021 937 0300

  • Emergency Services, Cape Town: 021 480 7700 

  • Table Mountain National Park Security: 0861 106 417

  • General emergency services number: 10177



If you are interested in other hikes, take a look at our guided hikes collection here.

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Author Kirsty Barnes
Date 12 April 2016

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