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Overnight Cape Hiking Trails for Weekend Adventures

Jared Ruttenberg

Want to spend a night under the Western Cape stars? These overnight hiking trails will give you your nature fix.

After a long, cold winter, summer is *finally* here! One great way to warm up is with an adventure-filled overnight hike, and it allows you to take advantage of one of SA's wildly beautiful spaces. Here are four of my favourites, catering to the hesitant beginner to mountain junkie.

 

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1. Cape of Good Hope Trail

The Cape of Good Hope Trail is a great way to enjoy Cape Point up close and personal. It’s a decent walk at 33 kilometres and requires relatively good fitness. Day One starts at the Cape Point entrance and from there you wind your way along the Eastern flank of the park. The Rooikrans cottages provide your overnight accommodation – you just need to bring bedding.

 

On Day Two, you wind your way back via the Western flank through fragrant plant life and private beaches. Don’t forget that you’re in a UNESCO World Heritage site thanks to the prolific fynbos! Take a moment to breathe it in and cheers to the natural beauty of the Mother City. 

 

Learn more at sanparks.org

 

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2. West Coast Crayfish Trail

With its wide-open spaces and rugged coastline, skip the crowds in Cape Town and travel north to the West Coast. The Crayfish Trail offers either a three- or six-day option to explore the landscapes, culture, and food of the region. Need more enticement? It’s a 'slackpacking' experience, so the bulk of your gear is carried for you and dropped off at your accommodation. I’ll drink to that! 

 

There’s a strong focus on responsible and sustainable tourism and, with the presence of a local guide, it’s also a valuable learning experience. At 23-26kms in total, it’s an easily manageable daily walk with plenty of leisure time to brave a dip in the refreshing Atlantic Ocean and sample some bokkoms.

 

Learn more at crayfishtrail.co.za

 

3. Cederberg Algeria Trails

For the die-hard mountain lovers, the Cederberg lies two to three hours north of Cape Town and is the ultimate playground for walkers, hikers and climbers. For first time visitors, Cape Nature’s Algeria is a great starting point. The Cederberg Heritage Route offers four overnight guided walking trails ranging from three to five nights, and start at Algeria. There are several overnight huts but they simply provide shelter, so bring your gear with you.

 

Not keen on roughing it? Algeria has eight comfortable chalets with several short hikes to be enjoyed from your doorstep. My favourite is the three-hour walk to the spectacular Middelberg Waterfall. Take lunch and a few cold ones to enjoy at the waterfall before returning.  

 

Learn more at capenature.co.za 

 

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4. Greyton to McGregor Hike

If the thought of climbing over a mountain range between two scenic towns has you hooked, look no further than the famous McGregor to Greyton walk. The hike – also known as the Boesmanskloof Trail – is a 14km walk over the Riviersonderend mountains, taking in steep gorges, large rock pools and waterfalls. All the while you’ll be taking in the majestic Overberg landscapes. 

 

In McGregor, Lords Winery offers enticing country meals, along with Temenos in the town itself with beautiful gardens worth exploring. In Greyton, the iconic Post House Hotel is on the main street and happy to fill the tummies of hungry hikers. Only 50 hikers are permitted to use the trail a day so book your place in advance. 

 

Learn more at greytontourism.com

 

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