South Africa

Best walks, hikes and treks in South Africa [View list of walks]

About South Africa

South Africa really is one of the world’s most fascinatingly varied countries, for the walker and the general traveller alike.

There is the extraordinary diversity of its geography and animal and plant life, from the deserts of the west to the great reserves of the north (no-one should come without spending time in one of the game parks) to the mighty Drakensberg to the wetlands of St Lucia to the wild coastlines to the battlefields to the civilized and gorgeous Cape.

It has had a fascinating if too often unlovely history, with huge cultural diversity (see the Boer in his natural habitat, meet the herdsmen of Lesotho or the Zulu farmers of the, er, Drakensberg foothills). And it has lovely winelands.

While you can need to travel with a wary eye, South Africans are generally very friendly to visitors, and there are fabulous and characterful places to stay. The food can, though, be disappointing outside a few places.

 So, South Africa has things to fascinate everyone, children included. The variety of travel and tours you can make in South Africa is as a result huge. We tell you about walking below, but have a look here for a huge selection of the South Africa travel, tours, holidays and activities available.

Walking, hiking and trekking in South Africa

South Africa has some of the world’s best walks, hikes and treks, ranging from famous mountain hiking and trekking trails in the magnificent Drakensberg to geological absurdities like the Blyde River Canyon (and, er, the Drakensberg)  to historic battlefields (the Fugitives’ Trail in particular) to coastal beauties (Tsitsikamma, the Otter trail, the Wild Coast) to fantastic nature reserves (e.g. Hluhluwe-iMfolozi: the excellent website of South African National Parks (or SANParks) has good info) to tribal backwaters (the, er, Drakensberg) to the unmissably atmospheric Table Mountain and Cape Peninsula.  The Cederbergs, to the north, are also lovely.

So, walking, hiking and trekking tours and holidays in South Africa are so varied that everyone’s taste and energy levels  can be met. Walking in South Africa isn’t just for hard-nuts, although there is plenty to get their juices flowing. The lazy and youngsters alike will be enthralled by what it offers:  South Africa walking, trekking and hiking holidays and tours really can be for everyone. And there are a multitude of operators offering services ranging from booking accommodation to providing guides to transporting your luggage from place to place to fully-supported treks.

See the list below for a (currently incomplete – please give us your recommendations!) list of the best walks, treks and hikes in South Africa. Various of these are in our world’s Top 100 list.

The best time for hiking is generally during the dry and cool season, between March and November.

It is worth looking at www.trailguide.co.za.

Famous walking regions include:

-          the outstanding Drakensberg 

-          The east and south coasts

-          The Cape (Table Mountain and the Cape Peninsula in particular)

We intend that our walk pages contain detail and photos on walking, hiking or trekking routes, including books, best times and weather, how to get there, possible problems, walking, trekking and hiking firms, organisers and guides in South Africa, accommodation in South Africa and useful links. But this takes a lot of research, so if they are not "there" yet, please give us any suggestions you may have.

Drakensberg Escarpment
Drakensberg Escarpment - ? From near the Sentinel© William Mackesy Table Mountain
© Alia Sovcourse The Fugitives' Trail, Isandlwana to the Buffalo River
Isandlwana From behind the saddle - © William Mackesy

Best walks, hikes and treks in South Africa

You can sort the walks by category by clicking on the category titles.

(The rating of walks marked * is currently provisional.)

Region Walk Name Walkopedia Rating Difficulty Day Walk
Possible?

  Blyde River Canyon
89*
Strenuous Yes
  Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Walking Safari
82
Strenuous Yes
  The Fugitives' Trail, Isandlwana to the Buffalo River
88
Moderate Yes
 Cape Area Cape of Good Hope
81*
Variable Yes
 Cape Area Cederberg
78*
Moderate Yes
 Cape Area Lion's Head
80
Strenuous Yes
 Cape Area Swellendam Trail
78*
Strenuous Yes
 Cape Area Table Mountain
81
Strenuous Yes
 Drakensberg Drakensberg Escarpment
94
Variable Yes
 Drakensberg North Drakensberg Traverse
92
Strenuous Yes
 Drakensberg Southern Drakensbergs (south of Giant's Castle)
92*
Variable Yes
 South-East Coast Otter Trail
79*
Strenuous Yes
 South-East Coast Tsitsikamma Trail
79*
Variable Yes
 South-East Coast Wild Coast Trail
79*
Variable Yes


Our partners Responsible Travel 

have carefully chosen expeditions 

and holidays around the world.    

Great walking, and much else...

Walkopedia Sponsor

See their site for inspiring ideas

For £50 off your trip, contact them quoting WW50

All material on this website is � Walkopedia Ltd 2008 - 2015, unless specified otherwise.
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED