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Top 5 hiking trails in Cape Town

Lauren, founder of Mother City Hikers, shares her top 5 hiking trails in Cape Town:

1. Tierbos Waterfall:

This easy, out and back route starts in the neighborhood above Hout Bay Manor in Hout Bay. It’s amazing how quickly you feel you’re in nature when starting in the houses. Loads of indigenous trees the closer you get to the waterfall. In winter you’ll hear the waterfall long before you see it which is a great encouragement for kids and adults alike, Dogs also love this one.

Time spent hiking: +/-1 hour (remember to add time for relaxing & exploring)

2. Kalk Bay:

Up Spes Bona through an indigenous forest to an amphitheatre and down Echo Valley. This is a circular route which is moderate for beginner hikers and kids alike. There is a possible extra you can do to Boomslang Cave too which is just off the Echo Valley path.

Time spent hiking: +/-3 hours (+/-4 hours for extra caving)

3. Cecelia Forest Waterfall:

This circular route offers much in the way of feeling ‘the magical forest’ on Table Mountain.

Time spent hiking: +/-3 hours

4. Tranquility Cracks:

This is a wonderful loop on Table Mountain which offers a great adventure for those up for it. Winter can be wet on Table Mountain and the cracks offer some refuge if caught in rain. The vibrant mosses in the cracks really come alive in June/July/ August. Make sure to pack for all weather conditions as this hike can feel long if you get caught in serious rain.

Time spent hiking: 5-6 hours + time for exploring

5. Uitkyk in Mont Rochelle Nature Reserve:

A gentle walk up the valley in this out and back route feeling so comforted by the rock walls that surround you spaciously on both sides. About halfway up there is a stream crossing which is a good resting & exploration point. The endpoint is a magical view out into the Wemmershoek Valley and dam. A perfect spot for breakfast or lunch. Return the same way.

Time spent hiking: +/-3 hours roundtrip + time for enjoyment along the way and at the lookout.

Expert tip: “I find winter hiking to be even better than summer. Less people on the trails, cooler temps, but beautiful, sunny days. Loads of chances to see and enjoy rainbows and waterfalls! The mountain is green and vibrant. The waters are flowing and all seems in balance again.

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