HikingLandscapesNature

Top 5 nature experiences in and around Cape Town

There is not shortage of outdoor adventure experiences around the City of Cape Town. But if you are like me and you like to keep your feet on the ground, the following hiking trails will peak your interest.

1.Table Mountain

There is a number of hiking trails that will get you to the summit of Table Mountain, however the Platteklip Gorge, Kasteelspoort and India Venster is probably the most popular hiking routes to the top. Platteklip Gorge is by far the most direct and easiest way to hike to the top. The route is a series of large “steps” and start roughly 1km from the lower Cable Station.

2. Kirstenbosch

This is South Africa’s oldest botanical garden, bordered by the Eastern slopes of Table Mountain National Park. The gardens are vast and you can easily spend a day walking around the premises and still not have seen everything on offer. The gardens have close to 8000 species of plants and it is also a great location to view the variety of fynbos birds. The best way to enjoy the gardens is the pack a picnic and start traversing the vast garden, stopping for lunch wherever you find the best view. Kirstenbosch is also the starting point for the Skeleton Gorge hiking trail that will take you to the back of Table Mountain where you can wander around the dams on top of the mountain before making your way back down to Kirstenbosch via Nursery Ravine.

3. Boulders

This is one of only 2 land based African Penguin colonies in South Africa. The Boulders beach colony must be one of the most picturesque places to view penguins anywhere in the world. The beach is stunning and very popular with visitors in the summertime. There are various boardwalks surrounding the beach to explore and interact with these creatures. However be careful as they do tend to try and bite if visitors get too close. You will also spot Dassie’s on your excursion around the boardwalks and once again, be careful, they bite.

4. Cape Point

The Cape of Good Hope Section of Table Mountain National Park is located in the South Peninsula and offers 40km of undeveloped coastline, roughly 1500 plant species and the only place to view large mammals like Eland, Bontebok and Red Hartbeest in the Cape Peninsula. Cape Point has various day hikes to do that offer a variety of scenery. It also has a magnificent overnight hike that will take you on a round trip via the best scenery that the Cape of Good Hope has to offer.

5. Orange kloof

Although the greater Table Mountain National Park has mostly mountain fynbos hikes and ocean views on offer, the Orange Kloof hiking trail is somewhat unique. It is the largest section of Afromontane Forest within this National Park and is also classified as a remote wilderness. Access to the Forest is only via a permit system, but well worth the effort and planning it takes to be able to experience this hiking trail.

Visit the SANBI website to get more information on Kirstenbosch (https://www.sanbi.org/gardens/kirstenbosch/) or the SANParks Website (https://www.sanparks.org/parks/table_mountain/) to find out more about the other highlights of Cape Town.

If you want to book a guided tour of any of these places, please visit our contact page.

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