Everybody has their own favourite hiking trails. However, some hikes are universally beloved. These are what we believe to be the top 5 hiking trails in South Africa.
1. The Otter Trail
One of the most popular trails in South Africa, The Otter Trail which runs through the Tsitsikamma National Park. It starts at the Storms River Mouth rest camp and heads west towards the Groot River estuary at Nature’s Valley. The 43km long trail can be hiked in 5 days and accommodation is in huts with bunk beds.
2. The Hoerikwaggo Trail
The Hoerikwaggo Trail stretches from Table Mountain to Cape Point. It passes through Hout Bay, Silvermine, Kommetjie and Simon’s Town. With a total distance of 88km, and surrounded by beautiful flora and scenic views, the hike takes 5 days to complete. Accommodation is in beautiful tented camps, and options for shorter 2 or 3 day hikes are also available.
3. The Outeniqua Hiking Trail
The Outeniqua Trail is fairly challenging and is geared towards experienced hikers. The 108km long trail can is completed in 7 days. It may only be done in one direction, from west to east, starting at Beervlei and ending at Hakerville. Shorter two or three day hikes are also possible. A high level of fitness is required to tackle the whole of this gruelling trail. The trail passes along the coast where you can stop to take spectacular photos and wonder at the natural rock formations.
4. The Whale Trail
The Whale Trail is an amazing hiking route that runs through the De Hoop Nature Reserve in the Southern Overberg. The trail has beautiful views along the coast. Whales can be spotted during the spring months. The trail is 55km long and includes 5 overnight stops. There must be either six or 12 people in a group. Unfortunately children under eight aren't allowed on the trail.
5. The Amphitheatre Heritage Hike
The Amphitheatre Heritage Hike is a guided hike in the Ukhahlamba Drakensberg Park. The route takes you to the top of the Tugela Falls, Africa’s highest waterfall, giving you some breath-taking views. Another bonus is ascending the “Roof of Africa” at the edge of Lesotho. The 25-30km long trail takes 3 days to complete and offers you the chance to spot some of the wildlife the Drakensberg has to offer.