5 of Cape Town’s best hiking trails to burn Christmas calories


If you find yourself heading back to the table for a second helping, or if you ate one too many dessert this Christmas, we’re here to tell you you’re not alone.

It seems that most Capetonians found themselves in what is commonly referred to as a “food coma”, while others had to loosen the button of their jeans.

And if you are feeling lazy this morning, or maybe a little guilty that you overdo it, then a nature walk might be the best medicine to recharge, rejuvenate, and burn those extra calories.

So take your squad, because we are going on an adventure! Here are five popular hiking trails to explore this Boxing Day:

The pipe track

Even though Kloof Nek’s Pipe Track can get crowded, we can certainly see why! This popular trail is commonly used on weekends for hiking, walking, and running, and has the best views of Camps Bay, Lion’s Head, and the Atlantic Ocean.

Table Mountain’s unique fynbos is definitely a sight to see as you navigate a single rocky path that later joins a jeep track. Take the time to enjoy the views along the way as you cross stunning ravines on the western slopes. Even though your trip can be rocky in some areas, it is definitely not steep with just a few slight hills, making it a perfect outing for kids.

As one of Table Mountain’s oldest hiking routes, it’s still enjoyed by locals who enjoy a cool stroll while catching a glimpse of the magnificent glimpse of the 12 Apostles Mountain Range.

Distance: +/- 6km

Duration: 3 hours

Difficulty: Easy

The Pipe Track from @drizzleanddip / Twitter

Newlands Forest Contour Path

The lush and tranquil aura that Newlands Forest brings is like music to our soul. Take a walk or go for a trail run (you’ll be feeling sweaty and energized in no time) – it’s a perfect way for your kids to release their energy after all those sweet desserts too. Even though this walk is quite long, you’ll be so distracted by the incredible views that the distance won’t even matter!

The walk starts and ends at the Rhodes Memorial, via Kirstenbosch, Skeleton Gorge or Nursery Ravine, and although some areas are relatively steep, the journey is overall flat as it takes you along a wooden boardwalk. The natural environment and the fynbos are one of the many highlights, so prepare for a trip like no other.

Distance: +/- 8km

Duration: 3-4 hours

Difficulty: Easy to moderate

Newlands Forest Contour Trail from @Pickyoutrail / Twitter

Elephant Eye Cave Trail

Although it can be a slightly difficult hike, it is not that difficult. Leave your car at the Silvermine Reservoir parking lot and follow the chirping of birds and chirping of insects as you drive along the marked jeep track and up the mountain.

The name Elephant’s Eye was given based on the shape of the mountain side which looks like the side of an elephant’s head and this trail is located near Noordhoek. It can get quite crowded at times, so make sure you get there early if this trail tickles your urge to love nature.

Distance: 6-8km

Duration: +/- 3 hours

Difficulty: Easy to moderate

Elephant’s Eye from Flickr

Pic d’Elsies

As a Capetonian gem that offers the most incredible views of False Bay, Fish Hoek, Simon’s Town and Glencairn, Elsies Peak is a must-see for adults and children alike. Even though there are a few steep areas beginners can still tackle this walk and have fun doing it.

Distance: 2.5-4.5 km

Duration: +/- 2 hours

Difficulty: Easy to moderate

Elsies Peak from Flickr

Cecilia Forest

Cecilia Waterfall Via Cecilia Forest is a 4.3 kilometer heavily trafficked loop trail, home to streams, lush trees, and a waterfall that is the scenic highlight of the experience. Travel this route primarily used for running and walking. But keep an eye out for a few choppy tails throughout this spectacular trip.

Distance: 4.3 km

Difficulty: Moderate

Read also :

Dog friendly hiking trails for your next Cape Town adventure

Image: Unsplash




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