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Monday, 17 March 2014
South African Hiking Trails

The Baviaanskloof Hartland Hike

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The famous Baviaanskloof Hartland Hike is nestled between the Baviaanskloof and Kouga mountain ranges, and showcases some of the best vistas and landscapes of both. This part of the Eastern Cape Province is unique for its natural beauty, fauna, flora and people. The Hartland Hike allows visitors to experience the pristine splendour of the region over the course of six days, as they ascend rock faces, and descend into lush valleys.

You will cover an average of 12 kilometres per day. Some of this is on the main road, while other parts take hikers through rugged countryside that is either privately owned or part of the Parks Board. Many of the places that you will see are completely secluded, even isolated, showcasing only the untouched natural landscapes of a country that is famed for its splendour and abundance. Continued

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Article by: Amelia Gibson
Wednesday, 18 December 2013
South African Hiking Trails

Hiking up Table Mountain – The Platteklip Gorge Hike

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Table Mountain Hike

Table Mountain Hike

In my twenty nine years, never once had I attempted to climb up Table Mountain. I figured that the cable car was in perfect working condition so the need was not there. But after road tripping around South Africa and hiking Sentinel Peak in the Drakensberg, I imagined hiking up Table Mountain to be rather easy.

After researching trails and inquiring about the easy routes, many people suggested Platteklip Gorge as the safest route, but also not as challenging as Skeleton GorgeContinued

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Article by: Lauren Manuel
Tuesday, 19 November 2013
South African Hiking Trails

Sentinel Peak Hike – Drakensberg

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Driving into the Drakensberg just the day before and seeing Southern Africa’s highest escarpment rise up in sheer cliff’s before us was jaw-droppingly beautiful and filled us with a sense of wonder mixed with a tinge of anxiety for we knew that one of the things we came here to achieve was summiting at least one of these impossibly tall peaks… Continued

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Article by: Vaughan McShane
Friday, 8 November 2013
South African Hiking Trails

Coastal Hike in Coffee Bay

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With the wind at full force and the rain relentless, the roads that lead to the start of the Hole in the Wall hiking trail in Coffee Bay were in too poor condition for the Coffee Shack tour vehicles to navigate. Slightly dejected at not getting the opportunity to see one of Coffee Bay’s famed marvels, but still very keen, we headed out wrapped thick in layers with local guide and barman, Lazarus, to the Umtata river mouth which is just north of Coffee Bay. Continued

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Article by: Vaughan McShane
Thursday, 7 November 2013
South African Hiking Trails

Hike to Kettlespout Falls in Hogsback

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Visiting Hogsback for the first time (see our post here), after living in South Africa all my life, was honestly like stepping into another country- A greener, lushious region where forests and mountains took up nearly all of the space and left tiny areas for houses and roads.  Even without names around town such as Lothlorien, Middle Earth and Striders, this green oasis immediately took me back to the Lord of the Rings and the Shire. Continued

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Article by: Lauren Manuel
Wednesday, 9 October 2013
South African Hiking Trails

Day Hikes of the Drakensberg

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The Drakensberg Mountain Range is one of South Africa’s most spectacular natural wonders, showcasing a selection of the most breath-taking vistas imaginable. It is the highest mountain range in the country, reaching an impressive 3 482 metres above sea level. Incredibly, its extensive nature means that the range spans the provinces of the Eastern Cape, Limpopo, Mpumalanga and KwaZulu-Natal as well as Lesotho and Swaziland.

The Drakensberg is a hiker’s dream destination as it offers so much in the way of trails – ranging from relatively short, easy walks to far more challenging, even technical, hikes reserved for the experienced. Continued

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Article by: Amelia Gibson
Tuesday, 20 August 2013
South African Hiking Trails

5 best family hikes in South Africa

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5 best family hikes in South Africa: Children from around the age of eight are generally more than capable enough, and certainly fit enough, to manage a good day hike. Some of them will even handle more taxing multi-day hikes, particularly if they are of the slackpack variety (the hikes, not the kids).

We’ve put together a handful of hikes that are perfect for families – some of them more taxing than others – to give parents a varied choice for kids across the fitness and endurance spectrum. Continued

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Article by: Wanda Coustas
Thursday, 6 June 2013
South African Hiking Trails

Top 5 winter hiking trails in South Africa

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Winter hiking at its best

Winter hiking at its best

Winter is the country’s secret season for hiking!

In most of the country it is colder than in summer – particularly early morning and evening. Which means you can hike during the heat of the day (and sleep in a little later).

What’s more, there are heavenly blue sky days in winter – even in the Western Cape (although you’ll note that none of the recommended hikes are from there; we don’t want you complaining about rain now, do we?).

Here are our Top 5 winter hiking trails in South AfricaContinued

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Article by: Wanda Coustas
Monday, 15 April 2013
South African Hiking Trails

Hiking Jonkershoek Tweede Waterval – a wonderful easy ramble, perfect for families

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Which direction will you go?

Which direction will you go?

As we approach the outskirts of Stellenbosch, one of our hiking party reads aloud from a brochure about Jonkershoek Nature Reserve‘s claims to beauty. I scoff, and am heard to mutter that every nature reserve claims ‘beauty’ as their major charm (and most of them are). Cynical me.

I was to eat my words.

Jonkershoek is one of four nature reserves that form part of the greater Cape Winelands Biosphere Reserve – a World Heritage Site registered by UNESCO in late 2007. The reserve is gorgeous – ‘beautiful’ is the understatement of the year.

It lies just outside of Stellenbosch, surrounded by the imposing Jonkershoek mountains that in turn form part of the larger Boland mountain range (part of the Hottentots Holland Nature Reserve). Jonkershoek also includes the smaller Assegaaibosch Nature Reserve. Continued

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Article by: Wanda Coustas
Friday, 12 April 2013
South African Hiking Trails

Hiking Mossel Bay

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Oyster Catcher Trail

Oyster Catcher Trail

Mossel Bay is a growing town along the renowned Garden Route, which stretches between the Eastern Cape and the Western Cape provinces of South Africa. It is an area of natural beauty, and it boasts an enormous variety of faunal and floral species. The hiking trails in and around Mossel Bay flaunt this beauty and allow visitors to experience it in a very personal, intimate way. Hiking Mossel Bay – Here are some of the best hiking trails and facilities in the area:

The Hunter Gatherer Trail

This is a four-day trail that extends along the untouched beaches and shoreline from Mossel Bay to the Gourits River. It is a guided trail that takes hikers back in time, as they rely on the land and its natural resources to prepare food, get shelter and find their way. Along the way, dolphins (all year long) and whales (July to December) can be spotted from the trail. The hike includes fishing, kayaking and camping. Continued

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Article by: Amelia Gibson
Friday, 5 April 2013
South African Hiking Trails

Hiking In and Around Pretoria

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Take a hike!

Take a hike!

Hiking through a destination is, undoubtedly, one of the best ways to experience it in a personal, intimate way. Hiking allows you to slow your pace, feel the vegetation, hear the calls of wild birds and smell the sweet air of nature. Hiking may range from easy walking trails to far more challenging marked trails that require skill and a fair amount of fitness.

Regardless of where you choose to hike in South Africa, it is essential to protect yourself and your family against the harmful rays of the sun. This is applicable even in overcast or cool conditions. Apply a high-factor sunscreen regularly, and wear loose cotton clothing that covers the head, neck, arms and legs. Opt for good quality sunglasses. A broad-brimmed hat is also recommended

Here are some of the finest and most popular trails for Hiking In and Around Pretoria… Continued

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Article by: Amelia Gibson
Thursday, 28 March 2013
South African Hiking Trails

Popular Walks and Hikes in Cape Town, South Africa

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Table Mountain Hikes

Table Mountain Hikes

Cape Town, in the Western Cape of South Africa, is beautiful for so many reasons. Dramatic landscapes, azure waters, history, heritage, culture, arts, crafts and music are all part of one of the world’s most loved cities for locals and tourists alike. Hiking and walking throughout the Cape Town area and its surrounds showcase the splendour of the Mother City, inviting those of different fitness levels and preferences to explore the magnificent views, fauna and flora of the cultural epicentre of South Africa.

Here are 5 of the best hiking trails and scenic walks in and around Cape Town: Continued

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Article by: Amelia Gibson
Tuesday, 5 March 2013
South African Hiking Trails

Hiking Trails in the Tsitsikamma

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Get ready to hike!

Get ready to hike!

Tsitsikamma is renowned for its natural beauty, being endowed with magnificent forests, deep ravines, towering mountain ranges and the turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean. In fact, the word “Tsitsikamma” is a San word that means “place of abundant waters”, testifying to the lush abundance of this very special part of the Garden Route.

There are a number of ways to enjoy the natural splendour of the Tsitsikamma including walking trails, cycling routes, horse rides, tubing along the river and more. Hiking through the forests and mountains is one more way to get the most out of your time in Storms River. Of course, the specific trail you choose depends on your fitness levels, the time you have available and the abilities of any children or elderly folk that may be accompanying you.

Here are some of the best known trails for hiking in the Tsitsikamma region: Continued

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Article by: Amelia Gibson
Tuesday, 26 February 2013
South African Hiking Trails

A Morning Hike Up Lions Head

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Hiking up Lions Head

Hiking up Lions Head

My alarm went off at 06h00, completely unusual for a Saturday morning. But this morning there would be no lie in, I was off to meet friends for a morning hike up Lions Head. We’d been worried about the weather because for the past few days Cape Town had been blustering and windy and quite unpleasant. This morning we were in luck, not a breath of wind and such a gorgeous day – it is days such as these that really make me appreciate living in the Mother City.

I’m not an experienced hiker by any means and am definitely not at my desired fitness level, but I had the spirit and determination to get myself up to the top. We all had plenty of water and Sean was the experienced man who brought along a bag of jelly sweets, which were a welcome sugar relief halfway up. Continued

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Article by: Tania Stephenson
Monday, 18 February 2013
South African Hiking Trails

Scaling Vlakkenberg – a hike in the heart of Cape Town’s suburbs

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Start of the hike

Start of the hike

Vlakkenberg peak, within the Table Mountain National Park, is right in the heart of Constantia, linking Price Drive to Constantia Nek. It’s regarded as the seldom visited half of Constantia Nek (access it across the road from the parking at Constantia Nek via a pedestrian gate, partway down the road towards Hout Bay, or conversely from the top of Price Drive). The hike, whilst pretty steep, takes you up Vlakkenberg peak to the summit with views out over False Bay, Hout Bay and Constantia.

‘Ideal weather tomorrow,’ I inform Rob, who organises our hikes, ‘perfect for a walk, as it’s due to rain!’. Whilst this isn’t the standard during summer in Cape Town, when it’s as hot as it has been, days without sun – whilst pretty dire in terms of good photographs – are welcome, and make hiking a pleasure.

We access Vlakkenberg via Price Drive in Constantia, having already left one of our cars back at Constantia Nek. It’s hard to believe that you can escape into wilderness so close to residential areas. But in the cul de sac is the typical National Parks sign announcing the reserve. Continued

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Article by: Wanda Coustas