5 easy hiking trails in Cape Town

Posted on 26 July 2022 By Anita Froneman

Cape Town is known for steep climbs and world-class bouldering, but that might not be for everyone. If you’ve told yourself that this will be the year of fitness and fun, then a low-effort trek through paradise might be just what you need to make good on your promises.

Here are five easy hiking trails to explore in the Mother City:

1. The Pipe Track 

Pipe track

Picture: alistair.pott / Flickr Commons

The well-known Pipe Track boasts the most beautiful views over Camps Bay, Lion’s Head and the Atlantic Ocean. Table Mountain’s unique fynbos is certainly a sight to behold as you navigate through a single rock path that later joins onto a jeep track. Take time to enjoy the views along the way as you pass through stunning ravines of the western slopes. Even though your journey may be rocky in some areas, it isn’t steep, with only a few slight hills which makes it a perfect outing for children.

As one of Table Mountain’s oldest hiking routes, it’s still enjoyed by locals who love a chilled stroll while catching a glimpse of the 12 Apostles mountain range.

Starting point: Tafelberg Road and Kloof Nek intersection (park on Tafelberg Road lower parking lot)

Distance: +/- 6km

Time: 3 hours

Difficulty: Easy

2. Newlands Forest Contour Path

Picture: Newlands Forest Contour Trail @Pickyourtrail / Twitter

The Newlands Forest Contour Path is another goodie for youngsters. Even though this walk is quite long, you’ll be so distracted by the amazing views that the distance won’t even matter

Starting point: Newlands Forest parking lot

Distance: +/- 8km

Time: 3-4 hours

Difficulty: Easy to moderate

3. Elephant’s Eye Cave 

Picture: Matthew Sterne

Even though this may be a slightly challenging hike, it’s not all that difficult. Leave your car in the car park at Silvermine’s reservoir and make your way on the signposted jeep track up the mountain. Located near Noordhoek, it can get quite congested during summer time so ensure that you arrive early if this trail tickles your nature-loving fancy.

Starting point: Silvermine Nature Reserve parking lot

Distance: 6-8km

Time: +/- 3 hours

Difficulty: Easy to moderate

4. Elsies Peak

Elsie's peak

Picture: Derek Keats / Flickr Commons

A Capetonian gem that offers the most incredible views of False Bay, Fish Hoek, Simon’s Town and Glencairn, Elsies Peak is a firm favourite when it comes to adults and children. There are a few areas that are steep, but beginners can still tackle this walk and have a blast while doing so.

Starting point: Parking lot on Kommetjie Road in Fish Hoek

Distance: 2.5-4.5 km

Time: +/- 2 hours

Difficulty: Easy to moderate

5. Cecilia Forest

Cecilia forest

Picture: warrenski / Flickr Commons

Cecilia Waterfall via Cecilia Forest is a heavily trafficked loop trail, home to trickling streams and a waterfall which is the highlight of the experience. Keep an eye out for a few wagging tails along this spectacular journey.

Starting point: Cecilia Forest Parking lot in Constantia

Distance: 4.3 km

Time: +/- 2-3 hours

Difficulty: Moderate

Hiking tips to keep in mind

  • There’s safety in numbers, so make sure to hike in groups.
  • Stay hydrated, check the weather forecast and pack along sunblock, proper hiking shoes and a hat.
  • Be prepared in case of an emergency by keeping emergency contact details on hand.

For emergencies, contact:

  • Table Mountain National Park: 021 957 4700
  • City of Cape Town emergency services: 021 480 7700 or 107
  • Wilderness Search & Rescue:  021 937 0300
  • SA Police: 10111

ALSO READ: Road trippin’ part one: from Cape Town to Botrivier

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