4 easy Cape Town hiking trails for beginners
Cape Town is known for its magnificent hiking. The city is hugged by mountains, ravines, rugged cliffs, forests, waterfalls, and ocean views.
And while some may associate hikes to strenuous workouts, the city offers alternatives to cater to those who are not super fit. Cape Town Tourism's Briony Brookes said there were many easy hikes to try out.
Here are four hikes to try:
The Pipe Track, Table Mountain
Time: Four hours (About 2 hours each way).
Distance: About 6km
Difficulty: At 6km, it’s a fairly long walk, but most of the terrain is flat. It may be a bit tough for younger kids, but is a good introductory hike for novices.
Best time of day: Mornings, when there are other hikers around, and the path is shady.
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The Pipe Track is one of the easiest Table Mountain hikes. It’s a fair distance, but it’s fairly level apart from a few stone steps. The walk starts at the corner of Tafelberg Road and Kloof Nek. Park at Kloof Nek, and then head up the stairs with the fence on your left. After a short climb, you’ll reach the signpost at the base of Kasteelspoort.
Here, you’ll find a map of the trails. Follow the Pipe Track and you’ll be treated to stunning views of Camps Bay, Lion’s Head and the Atlantic Ocean. You’ll also pass through some beautiful ravines. There are plenty of great places to stop for a water break and to admire the views.
Kloof Corner, Table Mountain
Time: Under an hour (about 20 minutes each way)
Difficulty: It’s quite steep but short, and is a good hike for children and beginners alike.
Best time of day: Sunset, when there are more people around.
Kloof Corner is by far the easiest hike on Table Mountain. It’s short, simple, and offers amazing views, especially considering how little climbing you have to do! It’s fantastic for sunsets, overlooking Lion’s Head and the whole of Table Bay.
Drive toward the Table Mountain Aerial Cableway, but park at the bottom of Tafelberg Road. From here, you can take the signposted path to the Kloof Corner. It’s under a kilometre up, so it’s suitable for people of any level and age.
Newlands Forest, Newlands
Time: About 2-3 hours to Breakfast Rock, if you choose that route.
Distance: About 7km to Breakfast Rock.
Difficulty: Go as far or as high as you feel you can. It’s a satisfying walk/hike either way.
Best time of day: Any time is good, but stick to peak times for safety.
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Newlands Forest is a great option for beginners because the trails are shady. There are many trails, and the magical pine forest atmosphere appeals to the younger ones. You’ll find plenty of runners, families, and dog-walkers here throughout the day. The hike up to the Breakfast Rock at the Saddle can be pretty tough but is rewarding for the views.
Alternately, take the contour path, or just walk as far as you feel comfortable going. Choose your own adventure through the shady forest and have fun exploring. Just pay attention to the paths you choose, as forest hikes can get a little disorienting.
Cape of Good Hope Trail, Cape Point Nature Reserve
Time: 2-3 hours.
Distance: About 3.5km
Best time of day: Mornings and late afternoons during cooler temperatures.
The Cape of Good Hope trail at Cape Point Nature Reserve takes you along a well-maintained and marked boardwalk towards the famous Cape of Good Hope sign. The trail is popular for its accessibility and its unsurpassed views over the pristine Diaz Beach and rugged western shoreline.
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Make your way all the way to the very end of the trail, and you’ll have reached the most southern point of the Cape Peninsula – a perfect photo opportunity to prove that you’ve visited the most South Western corner of Africa.