Cape Town has a very good network of trails to suit every level of fitness.
Many of these trace the contours of the mountain and wander through the protea bushes and fynbos, often with breathtaking views. Many require no permit, although most of Cape Town's reserves have entrance fees.
Hiking in a group is strongly recommended. The outdoor store Cape Union Mart has a hiking club with organized group hikes most weekends. Pick up a programme at one of their stores. You must phone the hike-leader first and pay R10.
There are many hiking trails in and around the city, from short walks to multi day hikes.
Here are a few travel tips for you:
- The Cape of Good Hope Trail, Cape Town, Tel: +27 (0)21 780-9204. Cape of Good Hope in the Table Mountain National Park, 34 km, 2 Days. R88.
- Hoerikwaggo Table Mountain Trail, Cape Town, Tel: +27 (0)21 465-8515 (email@example.com). 3 Day, non-strenuous, luxury trail through the city, botanical gardens and Table Mountain National Park. R635 per day. www.sanparks.org/parks/table_mountain
- The Orangekloof Hiking Trail, Cape Town, Tel: +27 (0)21 465-8515 (firstname.lastname@example.org). 6 Days, Cape Point to Table Mountain. R420. www.sanparks.org/parks/table_mountain
- Table Mountain, (Starting point is 1.5 km past the Lower Cable Station on Tafelberg Road). Always open, but you might want to start early enough to catch the last cable car down. 3 km (all uphill), 1 to 3 hours, Platteklip Gorge to the Upper Cable Station. No fees are charged.
- Chapman's Peak. 2-3 hours, non-strenuous with breathtaking views of Hout Bay and Noordhoek and rich flora, especially proteas. The trail begins on the Hout Bay side of the peak about 750 m from the main view-point on scenic Chapman's Peak Drive. Park by the trail head and follow the path out of the picnic area. It soon forks but both routes take you to the same place. Turn right at the next junction, from where the path is clear. Return same route. No permit required.
- The Amphitheatre in the Kalk Bay mountains. 3 hours. Start at the sign on scenic Boyes Drive and climb up towards the rocks above which are peppered with scores of caves, many of which are not recommended for novice cavers so be careful. Take a torch. Follow the right forks in the trail and you'll be rewarded with increasingly spectacular views of False Bay. Head straight up through Echo Valley and through an ancient milkwood grove. Come back the same way if you don't have detailed directions. No permit required.
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Based on a work at Wikitravel.org & Traveldudes.org.