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Furry friends make the best outdoor companions. Thankfully, there’s no shortage of pet-friendly hikes in South Africa. So get out those walking shoes and grab a handful of dog biscuits.

Also read: do this pet-friendly slackpacking route in Limpopo

 

1. Kranskloof, Magaliesberg

Level Easy to moderate
Price R20 per dog and R60 per person.
Contact 0145350014 or 0789766723, footprint.co.za

Saamrus is another pet-friendly address in Magaliesberg – and it’s romantic. Read our review of Saamrus by clicking here.

If you want to flex your athleticism with your puppies, the pet-friendly Kranskloof Hiking Trail is perfect. It offers challenging hikes for dog-owners and moderate hiking and walking trails to suit your four-legged companions. Pet-friendly accommodation is also offered, along with pool facilities. The area has streams sandwiched by pristine mountains for your viewing pleasure. Note that dogs must be on a leash at all times, and bookings for accommodation are to be done three weeks in advance.

 

2. Buffalo Gorge, Middleburg

Level Moderate to strenuous
Price Entrance is free for dogs, but only a maximum of two dogs per person is allowed. R50 per person.
Contact 0835289586, buffalogorge.co.za

Image by @aliwopwop

Buffalo Gorge is perfect for bike-riding while watching over your pets. They also offer mountain biking, horse riding, abseiling, rock-climbing, and paint-balling as part of their activities. If you plan to stay for a day or two there are various camping options.

 

3. Newlands Forest, Cape Town

Level Easy
Price Daily Permit is R60 and the annual permit is R250 per year.
Contact 0217120527 or 0217127471, sanparks.org

Newlands Forest is a pet-friendly hiking trail with beautiful views of Cape Town’s renowned Table Mountain. If pet-owners are looking for an easy-going trail to get in some exercise before the start of the day, or perhaps a lovely walk to cool off from the hustle and bustle of the office, then the Newlands Forest in Cape Town is a good choice to relieve some stress – don’t forget your furry friend!

 

4. Huddle Park Golf and Recreation, Johannesburg

Level Easy
Price R100 per person, plus additional charge of R50 for August 2017. In September 2017, R150 per person, plus additional charge of R50 for more than two pets.
Contact 0116406693, huddlepark.com

The Huddle Park Golf and Recreation offers pet-owners and their pets easy going walking trails to occupy their time. Trails range from two and a half kilometres to five kilometres in distance. The newly established dog-walking area is open to the public in summer and winter from 6:30 to 18:00 and 7:00 to 17:00, respectively. What’s more, for regulars who travel as a family of two people and two dogs at minimum, unlimited dog-walking memberships are available at a fee.

 

5. Constantia Nek, Cape Town

Level Easy
Price The entrance fee is payable at Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens: R60 for adults and R30 for students (with students cards). R15 for ages six to 17. Free for senior citizens and those below age six on Tuesdays that don’t fall on public holidays senior citizens (must present ID).
Contact 012 428 9111, or see map for Constantia Nek hiking trails.

Constantia Nek Melanie van Zyl

The picturesque resevoirs and dams after the decent climb up the jeep track at Constantia Nek. Photo by Melanie van Zyl.

For a more liberal experience, pet-owners and their companions can take a hike from Constantia Nek to Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens in the Western Cape. The easy-to-cover route is about six kilometres and takes about an hour or two to complete. This is a scenic route with a backdrop of Table Mountain, foregrounded by Constantia’s plethora of greenery. Routes and contours are well maintained and the final destination is no disappointment either. Deemed the most beautiful garden in Africa by UNESCO’s World Heritage Site, the Botanical Gardens in Kirstenbosch is quite the sight to see.

 

6. Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, Cape Town

Level Easy
Price R60 for adults and R30 for students (with students cards). R15 for ages six to 17. Free for senior citizens and those below age six on Tuesdays that don’t fall on public holidays senior citizens (must present ID).
Contact 0217998800, sanbi.org, or click the link for the dog map.

Image by Sally Rundle

If you simply want to enjoy Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens with your pets, make sure to head to gate three for a lovely stroll. Dogs must be leashed at all times and owners are expected to pick up after their pets. The walking trail available for pets is restricted to about 300 kilometres.

 

7. Umhlanga Lighthouse Beach

Level Easy
Price Free
Contact 031 561 4257, umhlangatourism.co.za

Umhlanga lighthouse Teagan Cunniffe

The gorgeous beach below the Umhlanga Lighthouse. Photo by Teagan Cunniffe.

For a view of the sun melting away into the waves of the Indian Ocean, visit Umhlanga Lighthouse Beach. The beach is located right around the corner from the Oyster Box Hotel and is in front of the beach’s main attraction – the lighthouse. Get ready to have the perfect Kodak moment with your dogs. The Umhlanga Information Tourism Centre warns that dogs must be kept on a leash at all times.

Also read: Top 8 stays in Umhlanga for a seaside holiday

 

8. Walk Haven Dog Park, Johannesburg

Level Easy
Price R30 per person
Contact 0712129955, 0823264844 or walkhaven.co.za

Image by Walkhaven

Built for the sole purpose of walking your four-legged friends, Walk Haven offers its visitors a little ‘peace’ of countryside. The site primarily serves dogs with enjoyable facilities and beautiful views overlooking two large dams (where dogs can indulge in some day-time swimming) and wet grassland. Entrance is free for the dogs but there is a fee for owners. Restaurant services are also available with a full breakfast and lunch menu to cater to our human friends too.

 

9. Leadville Dog Park, Cape Town

Level Easy
Price Free
Contact 0215563344 or follow on Facebook.

Coffee and good company at the Leadville Dog Park. Photo by Tyson Jopson.

For a space fully dedicated to your dogs, visit this off-leash park. Different sections accommodate shy and social canines and there is also a play-in fountain! All of your dogs’ needs can be taken care of with the on-site vet shop, rehab centre and dog behaviourist. If you’re in need of caffeine while watching your pups play, visit Reload Espresso Bar for breakfast, light lunch, a bagel or cake. The park is open from 7:00 to 19:00 and the Reload Espresso Bar is open from 7.30am to 6.30pm.

Got any great leads (geddit?) on other amazing places to walk with pets? Please share your favourite spots in the comments below.



  • Barry

    You forgot to mention Emmarentia Dam (the upper part) in Johannesburg. While the areas around the dam and botanical garden are off-limits, the upper area is open to dogs for free. No cost – just take your dog(s) and go for a walk.

    • Barry, on or off leash?

    • Bev Goldman

      Have tried that but don’t know which is the upper area. Where does one go in?

  • Linda

    Delta Park is another popular spot for dog walking, free and open to the public.

    • Linda, on or off leash?

      • Darryn

        Can be both on or off leash depending on dog etiquette

  • Leanne Browning

    Really discouraging that the only Durban walk is along a busy promenade. Can anyone suggest other walks?

  • Debbie Cooper

    And the ‘Game Park’ area of the Eastern Shores of the iSimangalisoWetland Park – dogs on leads are welcome to take their owners to view the zebra, wildebeest, impala, waterbuck etc

  • Beryl

    Just a heads up the Constantia nek hike is free for people. And if you have a dog you need a permit that you can get at kirstenbosch…

  • Antbear Lodge in the Drakensberg http://www.antbear.co.za also offers a great playground for both pet friendly trails as well as pet friendly accommodation

  • Bev Goldman

    The James and Ethel Gray Park in Melville is fabulous for doggies – no leashes required unless doggies aren’t properly socialised. No cost – just sheer joy to see them bounding along.

  • Kristin van Schalkwyk

    There are so many in cape town it will take days to think of them all : die hel walk in constantia off southern cross drive…aswell as alphen walk in constantia alphen walk turns into diep river trail (but i guess that is green beltish area) , rondebosch common, keurboom park in rondebosch, in fish hoek there are amazing sand dunes on opposite side of fish hoek to the beach(sorry i dont have road names ) but its juat beyond sports fields where u are also allowed to walk dogs, glenn cairn beach, gordons bay beach (BUT dogs are only allowed on one side of it) so many mountain walks…that i havnt taken notice to names but i will in futurw so i can post it here for others to enjoy 🙂