“LIFE’S A CLIMB BUT THE VIEW IS GREAT!”
Whether you prefer to run or walk, there is no shortage of trails in Cape Town. Be sure to add these scenic adventures to your itinerary!
It can get hot very quickly in Cape Town (particularly in the summer time), so I definitely encourage setting out no later than 8:30AM for the journey up Lion’s Head. It can get really busy so allow extra time when climbing up and down as there can be lines waiting to climb ladders and rocks. The trail is fairly straightforward and adventurers can park their cars on the side of Signal Hill Road where the track starts (take ALL your belongings with you. Cars do get broken into). You can easily have a taxi drop you off and pick you up as well.
It’s not a long trail in terms of distance – you can be up and back down in as little as 45 minutes (depending on your fitness level and whether you’d prefer to run or walk). Bring plenty of water and even a snack or two. It’s worth taking a break at the top to look out over Cape Town. Don’t forget your camera for this one! The views are incredible.
If you decide to make the journey to Lion’s Head, it’s worth checking out Wally’s Cave whilst you’re there! To get to Wally’s you start as you normally would if you’re heading to Lion’s Head. Once you pass the paragliding launch point and the few stairs you’ll come to the first ladder.
Rather than climbing up the ladder, go around to the left along the fence line and you’ll pass an old bench on the right. The trail does split into two. The trail you’re on leads to the top of the cave (which you don’t want), so keep your eyes peeled for a lower path. Keep right until you reach rocks. Around the corner and after a small climb, you’ll be at the entrance to Wally’s Cave.
KIRSTENBOSCH NATIONAL BOTANICAL GARDEN
There are many different trails and routes on offer in Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden ranging from easy to very difficult. Some of the more popular routes include Silvertree Trail, an 8KM loop that crosses the estate via the contour path. The views are spectacular! Skeleton Gorge or Nursery Ravine are more of a challenge with steep ascents, stairs and some rock scrambling up Table Mountain.
For those wanting to hike Table Mountain as opposed to getting the cable car, Platteklip Gorge is the most direct route to the top (though has been regarded as the most challenging). The route starts to the right of the lower cable-way station as you face the mountain from the car park. The great thing is the entire trail is clearly signposted.
There’s cafes and refreshments at the upper cable station if you need to refuel and you are able to purchase cable car tickets back down the mountain if you don’t wish you climb back down. Keep in mind the cable car does not operate in inclement weather, so best not to rely on the cable car to take you back down as there is never a guarantee it will be operating – be prepared to climb back down!
A great route if you’re after something moderate and not overly strenuous. There are three starting points that can take you to Elsie’s Peak but the one I am sharing starts from the Parks’ entrance sign on Golconda Street, near Glen Ridge.
Simply follow the path which leads directly to the summit. The walk is steep in places but offers amazing views of Fish Hoek. The view across False Bay gets better as you reach the summit and can enjoy Simon’s Town and Glencairn uninterrupted.