South Africa is a top safari and tourist destination for many reasons: the great weather, beautiful landscapes, plethora of activities and the breath-taking hiking trails for the avid hiker to the less enthusiastic walker who is simply looking for a great backdrop.
Each one of South Africa’s trails beckons travellers with unimaginable vistas; from seaside mountain tops to in-land reserves and magical forest trails. At least one of these picturesque paths will satisfy even the most insatiable nature-enthusiast.
Most safaris let you explore by vehicle or even horseback – but what better way than by foot. Brush up against rugged mountain or unspoiled wilderness on your next trip! We’ve put together our top 10 hiking trails with a little bit of ocean breeze, wildlife sightings and forest thickets for you here:
Lions Head – One of the best places to see the sunrise and sunset.
Hennops Trail – Just 40 minutes from Johannesburg is the beautiful Hennops Trail that has streams along the way. There are two main hikes that takes you along hills with beautiful views. Cool off in the swimming pool after.
Table Mountain’s Three Peaks – For the more avid, hard-core adventurists, this 9-hour hike will have you breaking a sweat. Starting at Devil’s Peak, move along the saddle up to Maclear’s Beacon, then down Kloof Corner to Lion’s Peak. If you aren’t scared of heights, then it’s hard to imagine a more exciting hike.
Addo National Park – there are two hikes, one-day trails and a two-day hike along the coast. Both are beautiful and memorable.
Tsitsikamma Hiking Trail – This coastal trail is a magical secret of the garden route. Cross various ridges and rivers and covers 64 kilometres before reaching Storms River Bridge.
The Otter Trail – The Otter Trail is one of South Africa’s most famous hikes, and takes you through coastal forest, river crossings, and breathtaking viewpoints. Bookings open a year in advance – and sell out quickly.
Hole in the Wall Hiking Trail – The Eastern Cape boasts a 31 kilometre distinctly memorable hiking experience that covers a combination of estuaries, mangrove swamps and seaside cliffs. The Wild Coast’s luxury trail can be completed over three days and is a bucket-list activity for all seaside lovers.
Olifantsbos Shipwrecks hiking Trail – This is one of the Western Cape’s easier routes that cover a 5-kilometre distance. The short and sweet trail costs R110 and takes you through the Cape Point Nature Reserve.
Magiebaskloof Hiking Trail – This moderate trail is a beautiful way of seeing Limpopo’s ravines and sub-tropical forests. The full trail is almost 60 kilometres but shorter routes are optional. Forget the outside world under the canopy of trees and prepare for some light rain.
Dolphin Hiking Trail – This easy 17 kilometre is another wonderful luxury three-night hike based on full board. It’s less daunting than the famous Otter Trail but still takes you to the Storms River Bridge and many other striking landmarks along the route. Perhaps you will even see some dolphins along the way.
If you’ve undertaken one of these trails, or dream of trying one soon – we hope this helps you with your hiking bucket list.