5 top SA hiking trails worth exploring
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Now that South Africa is back on level 4 of lockdown - and we can't be in crowded spaces - enjoying a hike with our families can be good for our mental and physical health during these challenging times.
Hiking is a great way to challenge both the mind and body.
It also helps us maintain our fitness levels and may play an essential role in improving our relational health.
That said, here are a few hiking trails that are worth exploring around South Africa:
Durban: Umhlanga Lagoon Nature Reserve
Located in Umhlanga, the trail is 2km long.
It commences opposite the entrance to the Breakers Resort (Umhlanga) - leading hikers through the reserve and out to the Durban promenade through various routes.
Ideal for runners or hikers with children. For more information about access, you can contact: 031 205 1271
Western Cape: Jonkershoek Waterfalls Day Hiking Trail
Located near Stellenbosch, Jonkershoek Waterfalls Day Hiking Trail is 9.6km long.
The trail is kid-friendly and is ideal for hiking, walking, running and bird watching. It is well-maintained and offers picnic spots and scenic views. Access: All-year-round for R50.
You need to purchase your permit online at least one day before your hike. For permit booking, you can call: 087 087 8250 (Jonkershoek Nature Reserve)
Johannesburg: Sable Ranch Hiking Trail
Sable Ranch is located off the R96 close to Hekpoort, one hour away from Johannesburg.
There are two trail options: an 8km and a 12km route that both return to the starting place safely.
These are easy trails perfect for the entire family. The picnic area is a lovely, shady spot with fresh, running mountain water to refill your bottles.
Access: The trail is open on weekends and public holidays.
R70 per person and R30 for children. General contact: 079 896 7374
Eastern Cape: Black Eagle Hiking Trail
The Black Eagle Hiking Trail is about 2.8km long. It starts and ends at the Mountain Zebra National Park rest camp.
Hikers can peacefully stroll through the riverine bushveld in Bossiekloof and explore a part of the Karoo shrubland.
Access to the Mountain Zebra National Park: South African residents R59 per adult and R29 per child.
International visitors R236 per adult and R118 per child. For more information, contact: 048 801 5700/5701.
Limpopo: Magoebaskloof hiking trail
The Magoebaskloof Hiking Trail is located near Tzaneen in the Magoebaskloof forest.
There are various trail options available - they start at either the De Hoek, Woodbush, or Broederstroom Huts.
Hikers can expect to come across waterfalls, rain and natural pools on their routes.
Bookings are made through SAFCOL: 013 754 2724
When going on a hike, keep in mind that you'll need safe hiking boots, wear comfortable clothing, bring a water bottle and light snacks.