Navigate

Archives

Coastal hikes in South Africa

Here is a guide to the South African coastal hikes I have had the privilege of experiencing. Hopefully it is useful to those who are planning to walk our beautiful and diverse coastline. The list starts at the north-eastern-most trail – the Wild Coast Trail from Port St Johns to Coffee Bay – and proceeds around the Cape to the Postberg Trail in the West Coast National Park, which is only open during wildflower season.

Wild Coast hike

A hike like no other down the Pondoland coast. Be humbled by homestays with the local people and the spectacular coastline.
Read about the Wild Coast hike
Duration: 5 days
Distance: 61 km
Difficulty: Easy to moderate
To book: Jimmy Selani, Wild Tours and Hikes


Alexandria Trail, Addo Elephant National Park

A unique, circular hike with a beautifully situated hut on Woody Cape and a crossing of the largest, least degraded, dune field in the southern hemisphere.
Read about the Alexandria Trail.
Duration: 2 days
Distance: 35 km
Difficulty: Quite tough, even in good weather
To book: Camp Matyholweni, Tel: +27 (0)41 4680916/8, SA National Parks


The Otter Trail, Tsitsikamma National Park

Considered by many to be South Africa’s premier hiking trail, it explores a diverse, wild shoreline in a marine protected area, features exciting river crossings and the most spectacularly located huts –  and latrines.
Read about The Otter Trail.
Duration: 5 days
Distance: 44 km
Difficulty: Moderate to tough, largely determined by the weather and tide
To book: SA National Parks, Telephone: +27 (0) 12 426 5111


Robberg Trail, Plettenberg Bay

A circular trail on the Robberg Peninsula in the Robberg Nature Reserve. The hut in the photo below was washed away in a storm.
Read about the Robberg hike.
Duration: 4 hours
Distance: 9.2 km
Difficulty: Easy to Moderate, with some mild exposure as I recall
To book: Cape Nature


Harkerville Trail

Harkerville Coastal Hiking Trail is variously described as “more spectacular than the Otter Trail” and “the best two-day trail in the country”. It will give you a full body workout with its chains, ladders and rock scrambling.
Read about the Harkerville Trail and this very amusing review.
Duration: 2 days
Distance: 26 km
Difficulty: Tough, especially if you’re not conditioned to use your upper body with a full pack.
To Book: SA National Parks, Knysna, Tel: (044) 302 5606


The Whale Trail, De Hoop Nature Reserve

A magnificent, atmospheric trail and in whale season southern rights calve below the cliffs. If the wind’s right you can smell their breaths. The density of whales is phenomenal. The best “huts”.
Read about my three Whale Trail hikes here, here and here.
Duration: 5 days
Distance: 55 km
Difficulty: Easy, especially if you take the slackpacking option
To book: Cape Nature


Kogelberg trails, Kogelberg Nature Reserve

Strictly speaking there are no coastal trails in Kogelberg, but the reserve is the gem of the fynbos biome and the shoreline is seldom out of sight, so I include them here.
Read about various Kogelberg trails here, here and here.
Duration: Full and half-day trails
Distance: From 6 to 25 km
Difficulty: You choose
To book: Cape Nature


Cape Point, Cape Peninsula trails, Table Mountain National Park

Almost every walk on the Cape Peninsula can be classified as a coastal hike. The fairest cape in the whole circumference of the earth …
Read about various trails here, here, here and here.
Duration: A few hours to 5 days
Distance: A few km to 60 km
Difficulty: You choose
To book: SA National Parks


The Postberg Trail, West Coast National Park

The Postberg Trail is pretty exclusive, only opening for the spring months of August and September and accommodating just 12 hikers per day. Breathtaking vistas and flowers. One of my favourite places on the planet.
Read about the Postberg Trail here and here.
Duration: 2 days
Distance: 26 km
Difficulty: Easy
To book: SA National Parks

Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

  

  

  

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.