Let’s face it, many of us are guilty of overindulging during the winter season and morphing into hibernating hermits at home. But being healthy and active during the cold winter months is not impossible – Cape Town’s scenic hiking trails actually make it a treat to get out of the house and into the winter sun.
Discover the hidden gems that the Mother City has to offer and soak in the good vibes with five scenic adventures:
Cecilia Contour Path
There are two starting points for this trail – you can start your trek at the Cecilia Forest Forest parking lot or pay the R210 entrance fee and start at the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens. Once the first hurdle is out of the way, the rest of the hike will be a breeze.
The two-hour adventure is great for novices and the path itself is relatively straightforward, but remember to stay left when the path splits.
Little Lion’s Head
Introducing Lion’s Head’s cute sister, known as Klein Leeukoppie. This 2.4km hike may sound easy, but there is a bit of a scramble needed to reach the top. The views will be worth the journey though!
Once you summit the peak, take in the 360-degree views of Hout Bay and Llandudno. You’ll start at the top of Valley View Drive, Mount Rhodes where you can park your car and buzz in through the pedestrian gate. The path is mostly clear, but if you get stuck, keep on heading towards the top and look out for the little cairns (piles of rocks hikers leave to mark the trail).
Escape the bustling Clifton atmosphere and spend the day at Buffels Bay Beach in Cape Point instead. While you are there, you might as well explore the Antoniesgat Trail that departs nearby.
Experience beautiful views, tidal pools, and adventure! And, at the end of it all, you can enjoy a braai at the well-maintained facilities. Entrance to the Cape of Good Hope reserve is free for WildCard holders, R90 and R45 for South African adults and children, and R360 and R180 for foreigner adults and children.
Franschhoek might be renowned for its exquisite wine, but it’s also home to the Mont Rochelle Nature Reserve. The entire area spans 30km and has several well-kept hiking trails on offer: from full-day hikes to quick two-hour walks.
The Dutoitskop trail takes between two to five hours to complete and starts at the main gate and peaks at the Dutiotskop mountain. Day permits to the reserve are just R70 per person. Children under 12 years enter for free when accompanied by a paying adult.
Crystal Pools is a short drive from Gordon’s Bay, and this hiking trail is perfect for someone looking for a bit of a challenge. The rockpools along the way provide you with the opportunity to cool down in the summer time during your walk.
It’s a half-day hike, but at the top, you’ll find a gorgeous waterfall. You’ll enter at Steenbras Nature Reserve and a permit costs just R80, but make sure you have booked before. Bookings must be done via email, at least two working days before your visit via [email protected].
5 Of Cape Town’s best hiking trails to burn off those Christmas calories
Picture: @darrynvdwalt / Twitter