A Beginner’s Guide To The Five Best Cape Town Hiking Trails
Cape Town is one of the most beautiful cities on earth and high-quality hiking sites are plentiful in this South African area. The hike can be completed either independently, with a group or using the services of a qualified guide – many times the latter being the recommended course of action. The reason people choose to hike with a guide is because he or she will provide you with information about the area and you can learn more about the South African agriculture. The Cape Floral Region is a UNESCO World heritage site and the plants are home to approximately 20% of the African continent’s flora.
One of the most tranquil areas in Cape Town with the closest proximity to premium hiking trails (mentioned below) is Afton Grove. While the information below is brief, this article will provide data on the top five hiking sites available for avid hikers looking to explore the beauty of the Cape.
1. The Silvermine Nature Reserve
Located only ten minutes drive away from Afton Grove is the Silvermine Nature Reserve hiking trail. This is a highly enjoyable trail for individuals who are interested in hiking through a leafy forest and over grassy plains. An all-season hiking trail, the Silvermine Nature Reserve takes you through the rare indigenous forest overlooking the Cape Peninsula – a unique and breath-taking sight.
Hiking in Cape Town
A stream runs through the forest and heads towards the mountain reservoir providing a sense of tranquillity for hikers. It should also be mentioned that by following the stream, you can reach the mountain pass at Constantiaberg where the entrance to the Elephant’s Eye cave is situated.
2. The Kalk Bay Caves
The Kalk Bay Caves hiking trail is arguably one of the most well-known trails along the Cape peninsula and is located fifteen minutes drive from Afton Grove. It is a short trail measuring on 4km, but the alterations in walking can make the hike seem much longer.
The Kalk Bay Caves hiking trail begins directly above the Kalk Bay harbour along Boyes Drive and will lead you through all six of the caves. Do not fear, all the caves are well-ventilated and safe to explore; however, it is recommended that you take a torch and string along as they are sandstone caves with sandy floors. It is also advised that you wear old clothing as the sand can damage any garments worn.
This hike site is unique in that there is an unusual diversion when heading through the Boomslang Cave. It is a short distance, approximately 100 metres, but will head through the mountain completely with the majority of adults having to crawl.
3. The Peers Cave, Fish Hoek Trail
The Peers Cave, Fish Hoek hiking trail is located only ten minutes drive from Afton Grove and is one of the shortest sites in Cape Town. It is a simple trail taking approximately 20 minutes to complete and stretches across the dunes in Fish Hoek from Fish Hoek to Peers Cave. The cave is a significant site because it is a national monument housing the human remains of the ‘Fish Hoek Man’ – an archaeological find discovered in 1927 by Victor and Bertram Peers.
4. The Cape Of Good Hope
One of the most popular hiking sites in Cape Town is the Cape of Good Hope. It is located on the south-westernmost point of Africa in the Table Mountain National Park making it a well-known tourist attraction. The trail itself is barely a trail and hikers walk less than 1km; however, the trail is quite steep and can be difficult to manage without the correct equipment. The bonus of arriving at the top of the mountain is viewing the original Cape of Good Hope lighthouse.
5. The Cape Point Nature Reserve
For hikers with more stamina, the Cape Point Nature Reserve may be the best option as a hiking trail. Unlike the aforementioned shorter trails, this hike involves at least six hours of rambling through untouched fauna and flora. Over 1,000 different types of vegetation can be viewed including the rare Cape Sugarbird.