If you are a serious hiker and nature lover then welcome to Cape Town, the capital of the Littlest Plant Kingdom. Before embarking on any Cape Town hiking trails we would recommend that you find a reliable guide or experienced local who can accompany you. There are numerous hiking groups you can contact when visiting Cape Town but if you are interested in the conservation, cultivation and study of the indigenous flora of southern Africa then we would highly recommend the Botanical Society of South Africa. The Kirstenbosch Branch of BotSoc organises monthly walks which you are welcomed to join.
Cape Town hiking trails with BotSoc
These walks are a great opportunity to meet like-minded BotSoc members and share knowledge of the fascinating flora on our doorstep. All their hikes are convened by experienced leaders. Don’t forget to bring along sufficient drinking water, snacks, sunhat and sunblock as well as a warm top as weather on the Peninsula can change quickly. We look forward to welcoming you along.
Schedule for 2019
Wednesday 20 February: Newlands Forest. A cool morning walk under the shade of the superb indigenous forest. Meet at 08h00 at the Newlands Forest main entrance (Forest Station) on the M3. Contact Margaret Kahle 021 7623170; Liz Barnett 021 5318605 or Margaret Herron 021 6855579.
Saturday 23 February: an enjoyable ramble amongst the fynbos. For details of the route and meeting venue, please contact one of the leaders: Hanneke Hawkes 021 7121665; Cheryl Leith 021 7971618 or Liz Barnett 021 5318605.
Sunday 17 March: Steenberg Plateau. Meet at the Steenberg Plateau parking area on the summit of Ou Kaapse Weg. Morning walk. Reasonably strenuous. Leaders: Margaret Herron 021 6855579; Lucille Krige 0849592157; Teresa Raposo 0836756884; Heidi Timm 021 6710726.
Wednesday 20 March: Kalk Bay – Echo Valley/Spes Bona Kloof. A superb display of Haemanthus can be expected. Mildly strenuous. Meet at the Lakeside turn-off to Boyes Drive at 08h00. Contact Margaret Kahle 021 7623170; Liz Barnett 021 5318605 or Margaret Herron 021 6855579.
Saturday 26 March: a delightful ramble of 4 to 5 hours. For details of the route and meeting venue, please contact one of the leaders: Hanneke Hawkes 021 7121665; Cheryl Leith 021 7971618 or Liz Barnett 021 5318605.
Saturday 13 April: Kalk Bay Mountains. Meet at 08h30 at the intersection of Boyes Drive and Main Road in Lakeside. Hike from the yellow wood tree in Boyes Drive up Spes Bona Kloof and down Echo Valley. Duration approximately 3 hours. Reasonably strenuous. Leaders: Ivor Jardine 021 6899031; Jill Blignaut 021 7944836; Catherine Burnett 021 7881778; Moiragh Girdwood 021 6716890; Teresa Raposo 0836756884.
Wednesday 17 April: Silvermine East – Gate 2. A lovely morning walk via the waterfall and Klein Tuin to Bertie’s Balcony, returning down Crassula Path. Meet at the parking area at 08h30. Rain will cancel. Contact: Hanneke Hawkes 021 7121665 or Margaret Herron 021 6855579.
Saturday 27 April: The ever-popular fynbos ramble will be led by Liz Barnett 021 5318605; Hanneke Hawkes 021 7121665; Cheryl and Bill Leith 021 7971618. Please contact the leaders for details.
Sunday 12 May. Cape Point. Meet at the entrance gate at 09h00. The route to be followed will be discussed on the day depending on the conditions. Duration 6 to 7 hours. Reasonably strenuous. Leaders: Dirk Muller 0827795855; Pat & Tony Rebelo 021 7127816; Margaret Kahle 021 7623170; Lucille Krige 021 6719555; Zoe Poulson; Heidi Timm 021 6710726. Bring along your Wild Card.
Wednesday 15 May: Constantiaberg – Silvermine West – Main Entrance. A reasonably strenuous but very beautiful walk to the top of Constantiaberg. Meet at 08h30 at the parking area next to the dam. Required: Wild/Green Card or Entrance fee payable. Rain will cancel. Contact: Margaret Kahle 021 7623170; Liz Barnett 021 5318605 or Margaret Herron 021 6855579.
Saturday 25 May: A lovely morning’s ramble on the Peninsula. Contact the walk leaders for full details: Liz Barnett 021 5318605; Hanneke Hawkes 021 7121665; Cheryl and Bill Leith 021 7971618.
Sunday 9 June. Meet at the Silvermine Dam car park at 09h00. Route to be decided on the day. Duration 3 hours. Reasonably strenuous. Leaders: Margie Herron 021 6855579; Liz Barnett 021 5318605; Ann MacGregor 021 7857276; Adre Marshall 021 7621943; Jean Stephenson 021 5317468.
Wednesday 19 June: Table Mountain front contour path. A classic and much loved route from Kloof Corner passing under the cable car all along the face of the mountain and back along a path below Tafelberg Road. Meet at 09h00 at the Kloof Nek car park, corner Kloof Nek Road and Tafelberg Road. Rain will cancel. Contact: Margaret Kahle 021 7623170; Liz Barnett 021 5318605 or Margaret Herron 021 6855579.
Saturday 29 June: Enjoy a morning botanical ramble on the Peninsula. For full details, contact the leaders: Liz Barnett 021 5318605; Hanneke Hawkes 021 7121665; Cheryl and Bill Leith 021 7971618.
Hiking trails in Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens
IN THE GARDEN – Guided Walks in Kirstenbosch
Kirstenbosch Gardens is indeed extremely fortunate to have an enthusiastic and hugely knowledgeable team of volunteer garden guides drawn from the Botanical Society. Each guide presents a unique tour taking in the highlights of the season. All tours are free.
Monday to Friday:
Leaving from Gate 1 (Visitors’ Centre): 90 minute walks at 10h00, 11h00 and 14h00
Leaving from Gate 2 (Garden Centre): 90 minute walks at 10h45
Leaving from Gate 1 (Visitors’ Centre): 90 minute walks at 10h00
Leaving from Gate 2 (Garden Centre): 90 minute walks at 10h45
No walks on Sundays.
Bird Walks in Kirstenbosch Gardens
These fascinating few hours getting to recognise some of Kirstenbosch’s feathered visitors are led by volunteers from the Cape and Tygerberg Bird clubs. All walks leave from the Information Desk at the main Visitors’ Centre Gate 1. The walks are free.
Wednesday 20 February starting at 08h00 led by Otto Schmidt
Tuesday 19 March starting at 08h30 led by Simon Fogarty
Tuesday 16 April starting at 09h00 led by Graham Pringle
Tuesday 14 May starting at 08h00 led by Brian Vanderwald
Tuesday 11 June starting at 08h00 led by Kevin Drummond-Hay
Photo credit: instagram @callumswildphotography
Kirstenbosch Branch Website: http://botsoc-kirstenbosch.org.za/
There are of course numerous other Cape Town hiking trails to suite your level of fitness and interest, we will be covering these in further blogs.
Ten hiking tips from Mike Lundy’s Best Walks in the Cape Peninsula
1. Never climb alone
2. Choose your route according to ability, fitness and experience of the group
3. Use a guidebook, or, alternatively go with somebody who genuinely knows the way
4. Ensure that you have a fully charged cellphone
5. Always go prepared for bad weather.
6. Tell somewhere where you are going and stick to that plan.
7. Travel at the pace of the slowest member of the group.
8. Never split up and go in different directions.
9. Do not push into the unknown. If you get lost retrace your steps.
10. If you are unsure of what to do, find shelter especially from the wind and stay put.
Our advice to travellers is respect the mountain. Stay safe and please feel free to leave any comments or questions below.