There are many things that Capetonians love to brag about and countless hiking trails with epic views of nature are at the top of the list. While it may provide bragging rights, not every Capetonian is a born hiker, ensuring very little desire to hike up Lion’s Head every weekend.
But if you’re looking to lace up your hiking boots and get your bod ready for summer, or simply looking to challenge yourself while exploring Cape Town’s natural beauty, here are five hiking trails that will ensure you break out in a sweat and leave you feeling accomplished.
Mount Rochelle, Franschhoek
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Approach with caution. Mount Rochelle is a beautiful hiking trail nestled between the Franschhoek Mountains, but it will turn your legs to jelly as it’s a consistent incline, so make sure you’ve stocked up on water and Deep Heat for the next day. The views are worth it, with different trails providing a different view of the valley and mountains. The shortest trail will take about 1 hour, while the longest will take you 7 hours – choose wisely.
Sirkelsvlei circuit, Cape Point
This is a great trail for those looking for something a bit more challenging but that aren’t interested in too many inclines. The Sirkelsvlei is the largest body of water within the area, which is complemented by the rugged landscape and made better by the endless wildlife that you’ll come across when choosing this trail, including the rare red hartebeest. The trail starts at Olifantsbos parking area, with the path eventually splitting in two. The seaside path will provide you with the option to visit Staavia Edge, but both trails will take you back to Olifantsbos. This trail provides the perfect nature-filled outing.
Leopard Loop & Woodies Walk, Helderberg
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Helderberg Nature Reserve has some incredible hiking trails for all levels, but the Leopard Loop and Woodies Walk are two not-so-easy routes that are worth the effort. Majestic mountain ranges and indigenous fynbos characterise this reserve, providing a picture-perfect hike for those looking to break a sweat. Make sure you bring plenty of water and sun protection because both trails have very little shade for those looking to escape the sun.
Tranquillity Cracks, Table Mountain
So many trails to explore and not enough time! Table Mountain has a number of hidden gems that ensure jaw-dropping vistas that will leave you breathless in more ways than one. One of those gems is a series of interlinking deep and narrow slits and fractures called Tranquillity Cracks, a moderate trail that’s hidden by indigenous Yellowwood trees. It’s a bit of a tight squeeze as you meander through seemingly endless corridors, but it’s worth the effort with several passages and viewpoints that are waiting to be found. The easiest and safest route to this natural paradise is via Corridor Ravine or Kasteelpoort.
Picture: Instagram @justvon09