The most scenic hike in each SA province

Posted on 29 May 2020

South Africa is home to some of the best hiking trails in the world over such a vast and varying landscape. From multi-day hikes staying in incredible bungalows with no one around to invigorating day hikes to get you active, here are some of the most scenic hikes in the country.

Otter Trail, Western Cape 


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The Otter Trail is one of the most well-known overnight hiking trips in the country and not one to be taken lightly. The 42km trail winds its way through the Garden Route from the Storms River rest camp to Nature’s Valley along the magnificent coastline.

This 5-day hike is not for the faint-hearted as hikers have to carry their gear with them, including food and clothing. Hikers stay in huts along the route and prepare all their own meals.

Spots book up fast, as hikers prepare for this incredible trek well in advance because of its outstanding beauty.

Amphitheatre Hike, KwaZulu-Natal


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The Drakensberg Mountains are the hallmark of this province and are full of hiking trails but the Ampitheatre has the most impressive cliff faces. It is also the only hike in the mountains where an escarpment can be reached.

This 5km route is one of the easiest in this high mountain range, but like all hikes depends on your fitness.

From the top the views are incredible and worth the steep climb. On top of that, depending on the time of year, hikers will be able to stand in awe at the Tugela Falls, the second highest waterfall in the world.

The Ribbok Trail, Free State 


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This two-day 31km hike in the Golden Gate Highlands National Park is all about peaks and ravines. Hikers make their way to the top of the highest point of the park to see sweeping views across the park. Along the way there are rock pools to take a dip and views into our neighbour Lesotho.

Amatola Trail, Eastern Cape 


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The Amatola is beautiful but not for the skittish. This 100km, 6-day hiking trail is among the most revered in the country.

Making its way along the Amatola mountains, this hike takes you through a remote, pristine wilderness. The area has been renowned by novelists for the thick, forests and endless number for waterfalls and the trail ends in Hogsback, the village that claims to have inspired JRR Tolkien’s depiction of Rivendale in Lord of the Rings.

Hikers stay overnight in cabins along the way and can expect all kinds of weather as the area is known for being temperamental.

Hennops Trail, Gauteng


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A way outside Johannesburg, this trail takes you right out of the city. This trail is actually made up of four, with hikers picking the one they prefer. All of the trails pass fascinating historical sites and are known for their suspension bridge and cable car river crossings.

The 5km Zebra trail goes through a fenced game camp where hikers can spot a variety of game. The 10km Krokodilberg Trail goes along the mountainous area and past sites such as the dolomite mines.

The two smaller trails are the River and Dassie trail which are better suited for those with children.

Summit Route, North West


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Found in the Kgaswane Mountain Reserve, this 25km hike that takes you through the incredible sites of the highveld. Over the two days, hikers will make their way through the Magaliesberg Mountain range and go by the Tierkloof Waterfall.

Various buck can be spotted, with the possibility of spotting the Sable Antelope, which is in the reserve and the southern-most population in the world.

The hike takes in the magnificence of the area, with views stretching out as far as the eye can see.

Magoebaskloof Hiking Trail, Limpopo


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Set among waterfalls, natural pools and beautiful forests, the Magoebaskloof Hiking Trail promises hikers an immersive experience into some of the nest natural surroundings South Africa has to offer.

The 50km circular route takes you through lush indigenous forests, with Samango Monkeys, Bushbuck, bush pigs who will curiously look on as you make your way.

A special treat includes the unique ‘huilklip’, or crying rock which sounds like a gong when struck.

Blyderivierspoort Hiking Trail, Mpumalanga


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What better way to see the Blyde River Canyon than walking along this trail. This 30km 3-day trail starts near God’s Window and walks you through some of the most fascinating natural wonders.

With rock pools and waterfalls, hikers make their way through the best the Lowveld has to offer.

Oorlogskloof Rock Pigeon Hiking Trail, Northern Cape 


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One of the lesser known hikes, this trail takes you through the mountainous terrain and along the Oorlogs river. Camp in dome tents set up along the trail over the 5-day, 55km hike. Make your way through natural rock arches and through a tunnel behind a waterfall, as part of this unique trail.

Read about our experience on the trail.

Image: Instagram/Südafrika erleben


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