South Africa is a hiker’s paradise with many wildly beautiful and remote places only accessible by donning a pair of hiking boots. Scenic mountain ranges, dramatic coastlines, canyons and bushveld make for some superb hiking vacations.
There are many fascinating hikes throughout South Africa, of varying difficulty and duration.

The Otter Trail along the Tsitsikamma coast is probably the most popular hike in the country. It is therefore advisable to book well in advance. Lush forests, rocky coastline, waterfalls, fynbos and cool mountain streams make this a truly memorable hike. With lots of hills and valleys, it is strenuous, but the distances aren't too great. For a less strenuous but still scenic hike, the Dolphin Trail traverses similar terrain joining up in places with the Otter Trail, but instead of staying in hiking huts, you are accommodated in guest houses offering lovely views and good food. Packs are transported by vehicle, and hikers carry only a day pack with water, lunch, camera and swimsuit.

The Cedarberg, near Cape Town, offers spectacular scenery and hiking for the purist. Equipped with a map and a permit, hikers set off into the wilderness, sleeping under the stars or in a cave. There are no route markers here.

Another such area is the rugged Drakensberg Mountain Range in KwaZulu-Natal, providing some of the most spectacular hikes in the world, such as the Giants Cup Hiking Trail.


In Mpumalanga there are hikes that meander along the edge of the escarpment including the trail through the Blyde River Canyon,

In Gauteng, the Magaliesberg Mountains offer scenic hiking.

The Wild Coast of the Eastern Cape offers miles of deserted beaches, rugged shores and tropical forest. Accommodation is in coastal hotels instead of huts. The norm is to carry your pack, but it can be driven around, if arranged in advance.

In order to limit numbers on trails and retain the feeling of solitude, it is necessary to book the hiking trails.

Please see walking safaris for hiking in game areas.


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