Happy hiking ideas to excite you this spring
PLACES WE’VE BEEN, ADVENTURES, NATURE | OCTOBER 2, 2019
Keen to try out a few new hiking routes?
That’s why, every available weekend, we head into the mountains and landscapes in the Western Cape of South Africa. To test the routes for you (well – that’s not the only reason we hike).
Here are some of the recent adventures we experienced – hikes that we really recommend if you’re keen to get the blood pumping this spring.
1. Tranquility Cracks
We didn’t know about this wonderful hike. And we weren’t convinced of the tranquility of the cracks – until we arrived.
The hike starts above Camps Bay (on the Pipe Track). It’s a continuous uphill walk for most of the hike (it’s best not to be too unfit). But the views from the top make the effort worthwhile (you’ll look out over the Atlantic Ocean, and across to Lion’s Head).
At the base of the rocks, you’re able to experience the Tranquility Cracks. These are small corridors between the rocks. And there truly is something extremely tranquil about walking here. The sound from above is somehow filtered out. It makes for a peaceful atmosphere (but be careful not to lose your hiking party – it’s easy to do in the cracks).
Our Garmin suggested the hike was just short of 11km – and it took us a bit more than 5 hours (although we did enjoy the views and cracks for a long time).
2. The Southern Tip of Africa
The Agulhas National Park hosted a trail run and hike in May. But even if you’re not part of an official run, it’s still worth it to simply enjoying walking here on your own.
The route starts at the Cape Agulhas Lighthouse, and takes you along the dunes, looking out over the ocean (both the Atlantic and Indian Oceans) on your left. We hiked for about 5km, then took a narrow pathway to the shoreline. And then hiked back, past the most southerly tip of Africa (and the Iconic Map of Africa Monument, which was unveiled in 2019).
Our Garmin told us we had hiked just more than 9km, which we took at a leisurely pace (it took us around 2 hours).
3. The Elephant’s Eye Cave Hike (and beyond)
This hike started in the Silvermine Nature Reserve. And the start was well marked, and easy to find. We headed through the Fynbos and (Pine) forests, on a fairly easy climb to the Elephant’s Eye Cave. The views of False Bay from here are wonderful. And in the cave itself, you’ll find a magical green fern world.
We weren’t quite tired enough once we reached the cave, and headed over the mountain towards the Hout Bay view point. We walked up to the Mast in the Silvermine reserve, and then over towards the Noordhoek Peak bench.
It was a fairly easy, level hike back to the Silvermine reservoir, to join the Sunday afternoon crowds of people.
Our Garmin said the hike was around 15km (this was measured on steps, as opposed to GPS). The hike took around 4 hours.
4. Skeleton Gorge and Nursery Ravine
This hike was actually a search for Disas on Table Mountain. (We went late February, and were just a few days too late to see the Red Disa (Disa uniflora)).
Skeleton Gorge is not an easy climb, and you shouldn’t be too unfit when tackling this hike. But the beautiful trees, the streams, the rock formations, the ferns (and finally, the Blue Disa sighting – Disa graminifolia) made the effort worthwhile.
We took Nursery Ravine back down into Newlands Forest, and were rewarded with wonderful views, and proud King Proteas (Protea cynaroides).
(Our Garmin was out of action that day, so we don’t have the distance. But the hike took around 4 hours).
Heather is our content writer. She enjoys helping our clients formulate their message and loves to run her way across beautiful mountains, to explore new places and is always ready for an adventure.
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