My favourite hikes and walks in Cape Town

Posted by Fiona Mcintosh on 22 March 2012

Table Mountain National Park, part of the Cape Floral Kingdom World Heritage Site, has a myriad trails to explore and coastal walks aplenty. Add in some strolls in Newlands Forest, Kirstenbosch and through the city and you’re spoilt for choice.

hiking

 

Green Point promenade

This wonderful, four-kilometre stroll is ideal for families and dogwalkers and there are benches all the way along where you can stop to watch the world go by. The prom has a great vibe, particularly early morning and late afternoon when walkers and joggers head out for a little fresh air. Park at Mouille Point Lighthouse and scan the ocean before heading off; you may see Cape fur seals, dolphins and whales, which come close to the shore between June and December.

The paved walkway leads past various playgrounds, a putt-putt course, an outdoor gym and good swimming spots before ending in Bantry Bay.

 

Kasteelspoort

No piece on hiking in the Cape would be complete without a route up Table Mountain. Kasteelspoort is a straightforward, 2,2-kilometre, one-way trail from Theresa Avenue in Camps Bay. It’s unshaded and affords incredible views, but it can get very hot in summer, so it’s best in the early morning or late afternoon when Lion’s Head and Twelve Apostles glow burnt orange in the evening light. The fynbos is magnificent at any time of year, but this trail is particularly spectacular in spring when the lower slopes are a mass of pink watsonia. If you’ve left a car on Tafelberg Road, continue to the Upper Cable Station, then hike down Platteklip Gorge or take the cable car.

 

Muizenberg to St James

The concrete walkway along the False Bay coast is an easy 3,4-kilometre return walk. It starts at Muizenberg Station and winds along the coast, past the colourful beach huts and tidal pool at St James, before ending at a sandy beach just beyond the railway station.

The spray of crashing waves, the dramatic mountain backdrop and rock pools full of mussels, anemones and other marine life are just some of the attractions. Return the same way or walk back along the main road (called the Historical Mile), enjoying the grand old buildings on the way.

 

Blackburn Ravine

This gentle, 4.6-kilometre walk on the mountains overlooking Hout Bay is ideal for dog-walkers. Start at the East Fort car park just before the Chapman’s Peak Drive tollbooth. The fort itself is worth a quick look before you head up the steps, then turn left onto a wide gravel path. This is the only strenuous part of the route; for the rest you follow an old forestry road as it climbs gently, then contours around the mountain. There’s no shade until you reach a riverine forest in the ravine. There’s perennial water in a weir here, so it’s a lovely place to sit and cool off. If you’re feeling strong, you can continue up to the lookout deck at the top of Blackburn Ravine, but it’s a stiff climb. Otherwise enjoy the forest and return the way you came.

 

More hiking information for Cape Town

 

Photograph by Shaen Adey.

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