Off the beaten path: Hiking trails in Cape Town

It’s that time of year. We’ve set up our ‘Out of Office’ notifications, our fridges are stocked and we’re ready to kick back and soak in the summer vibes. It’s time to blow off some serious steam after a long, hard 2021. Though for many of us holidaying overseas is off the table, it doesn’t mean a staycation has to be anything but boring. And, in Cape Town, there are so many hidden gems that are just a hike away that you are spoiled for choice. South Africa’s go-to eco-bottled water Aquasky is here to bring you the best hiking trails in and around Cape Town to discover this summer season.

Cecilia Contour Path
There are two starting points for this trail – the cheap option has you beginning your trek at the Cecilia Forest parking lot or you can pay the R200 entrance fee and start at the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens. But once you’ve gotten the hard part out of the way, the rest of the hike is a breeze. This two-hour hike is great for novices and the path itself is relatively straightforward, just remember to stay left when the path splits! And the 7km trail is also almost entirely in the shade, a bonus in the December heat.


Little Lion’s Head
You’ve heard of Lion’s Head, well this is its cute sister. Also known as Klein Leeukoppie, this 2.4km hike may sound easy, but there is a bit of a scramble needed to reach the top. However, it’ll be worth it! Once you summit the peak, take in the 360-degree views of Hout Bay and Llandudno. You’ll start at the top of Valley View Drive, Mount Rhodes where you can park your car and buzz in through the pedestrian gate. The path is for the most part clear, but if you get stuck, keep on heading towards the top and look out for the little cairns (piles of rocks hikers leave to mark the trail).

Antoniesgat Trail
Escape the crowds of Clifton and instead spend the day at Cape Town’s hidden gem Buffels Bay Beach at Cape Point. And, while you are there you might as well explore the Antoniesgat Trail that departs nearby. Experience beautiful views, tidal pools, and adventure! And, at the end of it all, you can enjoy a braai at the well-maintained facilities. Entrance to the Cape of Good Hope reserve is free for WildCard holders, R85/40 for South Africans, R340/170 for foreigners (adults/children).

Dutoitskop Trail
Though many come to Franschhoek for the wine, a great selling point is that it is home to the Mont Rochelle Nature Reserve. The entire area spans 30km and has several well-kept hiking trails on offer: from full-day hikes to quick two-hour walks. The Dutoitskop trail takes two to five hours to complete and starts at the main gate and peaks at the Dutoitskop mountain. Day permits to the reserve are just R50 per person. Children under 12 years enter for free when accompanied by a paying adult.

Crystal Pools
You aren’t a real Capetonian unless you’ve visited the Crystal Pools. A short drive from Gordon’s Bay, this hiking trail is perfect for someone looking for a bit of a challenge. And, the rockpools along the way provide you with the opportunity to cool down during your walk. It’s a half-day hike, but at the top, you’ll find a gorgeous waterfall. You’ll enter at Steenbras Nature Reserve and a permit costs just R75, but make sure you have booked before. Bookings must be done via email, at least two working days before your visit via steenbras.naturereserve@capetown.gov.za.

What are you waiting for? Strap on your hiking boots, put on your sunblock, pack some snacks and don’t forget your Aquasky water. Like these paths less travelled, Aquasky is about honouring the land while not depleting any of its natural resources. We mean, they cultivate their water directly from the clear blue sky! And their range of eco-friendly bottle solutions are available in 100% compostable plant-based bottles made from sugar cane or their recycled, refillable upscale glass range.


To find out more about Aquasky and how you can stock their range in your home, bar, restaurant and hotel, visit https://aquasky.co.za.