Recommended Hiking Trails
Glencairn Vlei Hiking Trails
(30 Minutes – Easy)
Glencairn Wetland is located between the Glencairn Expressway (M6), Simon’s Town Road (M4), Glen Road and Gordon’s Camp, and is easily reached from Glencairn Station. The Else River runs through the site, and transforms into a wetland as it approaches the sea. Footpaths in the shape of the number 8 take hikers around the site, and the hour-and-abit-long hike leads to Glencairn Beach and the ascent of Elsie’s Peak.
Elsies Peak Hiking Trails
(1½ – 2 hours – Moderate)
From the Parks entrance sign on Golconda Road,Glencairn Heights, follow the path which leads directly to the summit. The walk is steep in places but well defined with great views of Fish Hoek. The view over False Bay gets better as you reach the summit with panoramic vistas of Simon’s Town and Glencairn. On a clear day you can see past Simon’s Town in the one direction, and past Kalk Bay on to Muizenberg in the other direction.
Redhill Hiking Trails
(2 hours – Easy)
The easiest way to get to Kleinplaas Dam is to take the right-hand turnoff just after Pine Haven coming from the direction of Simon’s Town. The easy climb up to the reservoir is an old jeep track.
In spring the sandy slopes are covered with pretty proteas, pelargoniums, watsonias, Cape snow, butterfly lilies, lobelias and crassulas. The sweeping views are amazing, you can see all the way to Table Mountain. Take warm clothing, as it can get windy around the dam.
Just Nuisance Grave Hiking Trails
(1-1½ hour – Moderate)
The grave of our famous dog is at the top of the hill above Simon’s Town and while it is a tough climb up the steps to the top, the view is well worth it. The mountain steps begin on Barnard Street and lead up to the Navy Signals area where the grave is located.
The Lighthouse Keeper’s Hiking Trail
(1 hour – Easy)
The Lighthouse Keeper’s Trail is often overlooked by visitors eager to pay a visit to the iconic old lighthouse atop Cape Point, but this short trail that runs below the well-known landmark should not be missed. The trail begins just behind the upper funicular station, and a narrow but well-established path will lead you along a sheer cliff-face towards the lesser-known new lighthouse. It offers a fascinating perspective of the old Cape Point lighthouse which towers many metres above, and it walks you through historical bunkers and beautiful fynbos until the path runs out, at what certainly feels like the very tip of Africa.
Departs: Behind upper funicular station. Park at the Cape Point main parking area and walk to the station or save energy and take the funicular.
Peers Cave Hiking Trails
(20 min – Easy)
You can approach this shorter walk from both Fish Hoek and Oue Kaapse Weg, the latter being preferred for ease of access. Additionalliy the walk up the dunes from Fish Hoek is very overgrown.
This walk takes you to Peers Cave which is renowned discovery site for early man in the area.
Elephants Eye Hiking Trails
(2½ hours – Easy to Moderate)
Combined with an additional loop to Elephant’s Eye Cave, this easy walk takes in three stunning viewpoints that jointly offer a 360-degree panoramic of the Peninsula.
Start at Silvermine Dam car park and follow the jeep track beyond the reservoir wall. Look out for the gorgeous King Proteas blooming in autumn. At other times there are blue Disas, Painted Ladies and numerous Erica species along the trail.
Lions Head Hiking Trails
(1-2 hours – Moderate)
Like Signal Hill, the walk to the top of Lions Head is popular with both tourists and locals alike. Generally the walk takes about 90 minutes and is fairly manageable although there are a few chains and ladders that one might need to negotiate along the way, especially as one nears the steeper sections of the climb.
The views of the city of Cape Town, Table Mountain and the beaches of Camps Bay and Clifton. are spectacular, and well worth the walk.
Table Mountain Via Skeleton Gorge Hiking Trails
(4-5 hours – Difficult)
Hike the route of the original explorers to the top of the Front Table.
The trail offers spectacular views all the way to the top with Devil’s Peak and Lion’s Head flanking the mountain on either side. Take time to marvel at the views over Table Bay, Robben Island, Signal Hill and the City of Cape Town while also admiring the fynbos (the indigenous vegetation) and the awesome rock face of the gorge. At the top of the gorge a short 10 minute walk takes one to the cableway where plenty of time is allowed to take in the unrivalled panorama in all directions – look down on the beaches of Clifton and Camps Bay and south over the Cape Peninsula and the majestic Twelve Apostles.
There are normally a few friendly dassies (rock hyrax) to photograph before we take a ride down in the revolving cable car back to our start point.
This walk may be extended to include a 1 ½ hour walk to Maclear’s Beacon, the highest point on Table Mountain. This is a circular route which takes in the whole of the Central Table – well worth the extra effort.