Cape Town boasts some of the most spectacular hiking routes in the world, but a recent spate of violent crime on the mountains has made it too dangerous to hit the trails alone – or even in small groups.

However, criminals will not keep Capetonians from enjoying the world-famous mountains at their doorstep. Groups of outdoors enthusiasts have opened their arms and Facebook pages to anyone wanting to get out on the trails in the relative safety of a big group with an experienced leader. These organised hikes are helping to make the mountain safer for everyone, and accessible for first-timers who want some decent exercise with good company and a great view. Some are free, and some charge a small membership fee.
So join a crew, lace up and head out!
Celtics Thursday Trail Runs
Get your pulse pumping with a free running group that caters to a range of paces and fitness levels. The group sets off at 6pm every Thursday, and covers routes around Constantia Nek, Cecilia Forest, Kirstenbosch, Newlands Forest, Devil’s Peak, Table Mountain, Lion’s Head and Signal Hill. Join their Facebook group here and you’ll get updated on each week’s trail route.
Take Back Our Mountains
This group aims to make mountain missions safe again by organising large groups to go walking together. They don’t do the same walk regularly, so you’ll need to keep an eye on their Facebook page to find out about upcoming adventures they’re planning. The picture below is from a group walk along Noordhoek beach to the Kakapo wreck, where a series of violent muggings have recently taken place.

 Peninsula Ramblers
This club was established in 1947 and is still going strong today. It’s open to anybody with a love for the mountains, and is run by volunteers. Membership costs R80 for the year, but you can also join the Facebook page and join hikes on an ad hoc basis. More info is available on their website here.
Outdoor Cape Town
This large group of outdoor enthusiasts organises regular hikes and other outdoor activities like trail running, kloofing, river rafting, picnicking and sand boarding. They charge an admin fee of R20 for organising the events, but there is no membership fee. You can keep updated on their upcoming events on their Meetup page.
Hiking Cape Town
This is an active group of walkers and runners who organise group mountain missions through their Facebook page.

Cape Union Mart Hiking Club
The experienced leaders at CUM Hiking Club offer hikes on weekdays and weekends, catering for a range of fitness levels. It costs R130 to sign up for a year, and you’ll get regular info about the planned upcoming hikes. Check out the upcoming adventures they have planned here.
Meridian Hiking Club
This is a well-established social hiking club that offers a busy schedule of planned hikes and social events hosted by their community members. It costs R200 to join for a year, or usually about R20 to join a single hike as a non-member. This group also organises longer hiking getaways, such as five day slack packing adventures. Check out their calendar for upcoming hikes.
Picture: Pexels

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