Hiking in Cape Town

Cape Town in South Africa is also fondly known as the Mother City, and is known throughout the world for its spectacular scenery and beauty.

Cape Town has many excellent hiking trails, for both beginners and more adventurous hikers.

Table Mountain

When someone mentions Cape Town, Table Mountain is often the first landmark that comes to mind.  Table Mountain is usually the most popular option for hikers.  At the top of Table Mountain is the Woodhead Dam and this dam is one of the suppliers of water to the city.

For hikers who prefer a more peaceful hike it is best to use the back routes.  Table Mountain has numerous trails that go both up and down the mountain.  Hikers can try the hike up Constantia Nek, Nursery Ravine and Skeleton Gorge.

Crystal Pools

Crystal Pools is a wonderful hiking trail and is part of the Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve.  Situated close by is the Steenbras River.  This is not an onerous trail and has always been popular with hikers.

The scenery is breath taking and includes many features.  The trail offers mountain pools that are located in a kloof.  Hikers wanting to take this hike will need to book before and must contact the Helderberg Nature Reserve to do so.

Newlands Forest

Newlands Forest is a lush forest situated in the suburb of Newlands.  The forest is owned by the Table Mountain National Parks Board and the City of Cape Town.  Newlands Forest is a popular area for walking, hiking and jogging and is easily accessible.

Hiking through this area offers clean air and dense forest and the views from here are incredible.  There are multiple trails to follow.

The forest is great for picnics and dogs are allowed, and if you want to, you can always take a break, drink in the scenery and enjoy a bit of Australian sports betting along the way, as there is mobile phone reception in this area.


A great hike is the Shipwreck Trail that is located in the Cape Point Nature Reserve.  Hikers can explore the old shipwrecks that are still to be found.  The trail takes its name from the three wrecks that can be found on the beach.

Hikers can also hope to spot ostriches, snakes, seagulls, baboons (do not interact with them), bontebok and oystercatchers to name only a few.

This trail offers three different trails which all start at Olifantsbos and end there as well ranging between one and four hours. There is also beautiful fynbos, indigenous to Cape Town.

Suicide Gorge

Suicide Gorge sounds ominous, but offers excellent hiking.  This is a day trip of about 17 kilometres through the Boland Mountains, which is a beautiful part of the Cape.

Situated in the Hottentots Holland Nature Reserve it is especially good to hike here in summer and has water features, beautiful canyon vistas and waterfalls.

The top of the gorge has rock pools where hikers can try their hand at a combination of walking, swimming and jumping which is known as “kloofing”.

For very adventurous hikers there is cliff jumping into pools of fresh water and is not for the faint hearted.  This is a hike for more experienced hikers and should not be done alone and should not be attempted in bad weather conditions.