If your soul craves the sound of trickling water and the sight of lush forests and rugged mountains, then feast your eyes on five picturesque gems in Cape Town featuring the most spectacular waterfalls.
Skeleton Gorge Waterfall
Whether you’re a friend of the forest, or slowly easing your way into hiking, the Skeleton Gorge Waterfall hike is perfect for you. Located above the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, this lush green mossy area boasts spectacular scenery and the serene waterfall is the main event, making it a really special place to visit.
- Location: Table Mountain (Nature Reserve), Cape Town
This slice of paradise is also known as the Great Waterfall and captivates locals and tourists with its unique beauty. Meiringspoort Waterfall is 60 meters high, while the pool underneath the waterfall is 9 meters deep and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site found near the residential community of De Rus. This attraction has one of the best waterfalls in cape town and is worth a visit!
- Location: Swartberg Mountain Complex, Western Cape
Cecilia Forest Waterfall
Cecilia Waterfall via Cecilia Forest is a 4.3 kilometre heavily trafficked loop trail that features a gorgeous waterfall. The trail, which is primarily used for hiking, walking, and running, is rated as moderate, but the journey to the star of the event will be worth it!
- Location: Cecilia Forest Hiking Trail, Wynberg NU (2)
Krom River Trail
Limietberg is a pristine nature reserve tucked away in the Du Toitskloof Mountains near Paarl, home to a majestic waterfall along Krom River. Parking is available in the area near the Worcester exit of the Huguenot tunnel, to the left of the road. The path to the Krom River waterfall is about 2.5km and a permit is needed to access the trails.
For hiking permits please contact the CapeNature call centre on 087 087 8250 or email [email protected]. R50 (adults); R30 (children). Tariffs are subject to change without notice.
- Location: 267 Main St, Esterville, Paarl
Crystal Pools – Steenbras River Gorge
This hiking trail might be a bit challenging if this is your first rodeo, but the rockpools along the way make it worth the trek till the summit where you are met with an amazing waterfall and pool. The trail takes you through rocky, but generally flat, terrain, where you’ll be able to gaze upon absolute beauty at the top. It can be said that this is one of the best hiking trails with waterfalls in Cape Town.
The entry fee for the Steenbras River Gorge is R75 per person and the entry fee for the Steenbras hiking trails is R25 per person.
The trail is only open from 1 November to 30 April. Make sure to book here. Tariffs are subject to change without notice.
- Location: Faure Marine Drive (R44), about 9 km from Gordon’s Bay
Silvermine Reservoir is accessible via a number of walks, the most well-liked of which are Elephant’s Eye Cave, Silvermine Ridge, and Sentinel View, and is only a short drive from the city centre. The enormous, shimmering reservoir is the starting point for many other walks and is incredibly popular for leisurely swims and picnics.
- Location: Silvermine Reservoir in Table Mountain National Park (via M3)
Jonkershoek Nature Reserve
This green reserve, located 15 minutes from Stellenbosch’s old town, offers four strenuous hiking trails. The energizing Swartboskloof Trail climbs to the peak of Kurktrekkernek before winding its way back down via a waterfall where you may cool off. As an alternative, you could hike from Swartboskloof to Sosyskloof, which is easier.
- Location: Jonkershoek Nature Reserve, Jonkershoek Road, Stellenbosch
This small conservation area, which is only 120 kilometres north of Cape Town, is well-known for its untamed environment and diverse history. You can find prehistoric rock drawings created by the San and Khoi people among the intriguing rock formations, magnificent fynbos, and clear-water rockpools. There are several locations to pause for a cool swim.
- Location: Groot Winterhoek Wilderness Area (via R44, R365 and Dasklip/Cardouw turn-off)