Where to go in Cape Town for a hike this weekend
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IF YOU are ever in Cape Town, you might want to add hiking to your itinerary. Cape Town, with its Instagram worthy landscapes, is dubbed a “hiker's paradise”. The area is home to many hiking trails. Cape Town Tourism shares a few:
The peak of Lion’s Head sits 669m above sea level and looms over the city. Once up, you will enjoy views of the Atlantic Ocean, the City Bowl and other incredible Cape Town landscapes.
The hike takes two to three hours to complete, depending on your fitness level. There is clear signage along the way. While some parts can leave you a bit out of breath and look somewhat intimidating, it’s a relatively hassle-free hike. There’s a chain section that requires you to climb. However, if you don't feel that adventurous, you can use the footpath. If you don’t want to hike to the top, there's a 5.26km loop that circles the base of Lion’s Head.
The Pipe Track
The family-friendly hike is more of a walk on the mountain than a hike up it. The route gives hikers a chance to take a closer look at the fynbos and offers stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean, Camps Bay and Clifton.
Access to the route is also easy. Travellers park at the very first parking lot on Tafelberg Road. Walk up the concrete stairs to the Pipe Track leading toward the Twelve Apostles. The route is about 6km and will take anywhere between one-and-a-half to three hours to complete, depending on your pace and fitness levels.
The hike takes you up the Twelve Apostles side of Table Mountain that boast views of the Atlantic Ocean and Camps Bay. The hike up can take anywhere between two to four hours, depending on your pace.
The route starts at the Pipe Track entrance in Camps Bay. Once you reach the top, there are various ways to get back down. You can use the same way you got up or opt to cross the Valley of the Red Gods and Echo Valley to get to the Table Mountain Aerial Cableway, which could take between one-and-a-half and three hours. You could take the hiking route down the mountain from the Cableway or take a cable car.
Helderberg Nature Reserve
If you want to hike outside the main routes of Table Mountain, then give Helderberg Nature Reserve in Somerset West a try. The beautiful reserve sits on the slopes of Helderberg Mountain.
There are spectacular views of False Bay and a few trails to choose from. For those wanting a brisk and short walk, try the 2.2km Sugarbird trail. The 7-hour West Peak trail is for experienced hikers. There are other walks and hikes, too, ranging from 400m to 8.2km.
Durbanville Nature Reserve
Durbanville Nature Reserve boasts various hiking and walking trails, some perfect for picnics and birdwatching. If you’re doing this route, look out for the rare Aristea lugens and Serruria bronii plants in the area, as well as animals such as the Angulate Tortoise, Small Grey Mongoose and Cape Rain Frog.
Lookout points in this reserve give you a gorgeous view of Cape Town and Table Mountain in the distance. The walks are not overly strenuous and there are also wheelchair-friendly paths.