Hiking trails are the best way to experience South Africa's scenery, sunny climate and outdoor culture – it’s one of the world's most popular hiking destinations. Whether you like to hike up mountains, along rivers or through valleys, you’re certain to find a perfect route.

Did you know?

South Africa is rated as one of the top hiking destinations in the world.

Hiking trails are found across South Africa and offer hikers over 1 000 registered hiking routes to choose from, with options in all nine provinces.

Follow trails such as the six-day Hoerikwaggo Trail, between Table Mountain and Cape Point in the Western Cape, to discover what walking in South Africa's great outdoors is all about.

The South African National Parks Board (SANParks) is responsible for administering a large number of hikes in the country's numerous national parks, and there are many more hiking trails and routes in provincial game reserves and commercial forestry areas.

Hiking trails range in length from an hour or two, right up to a couple of weeks or more. Officially registered hiking trails are all signposted (usually with painted icons on rocks) and most hiking authorities will supply maps and all the information you need.

Unmarked and trail-less wilderness hiking can also be experienced and some of the more popular destinations for this activity include the Cedarberg and Groot Winterhoek Mountains near Cape Town, the Wolkberg in the Limpopo province, and the Drakensberg Mountains in KwaZulu-Natal.

No matter your experience or fitness levels, South Africa has a hiking trail for you. With registered trails in all nine provinces, facilities, information and guides standing by, you have no excuse for not getting out into the wild on foot and experiencing the beauty of Africa at first hand.

You could also try a guided bush walk, where an armed guide and tracker will lead you into the wilderness, show you big game, teach you about the biodiversity of the area, and tell you what to do if you meet an angry rhino or lone buffalo. The guided walks in the Kruger National Park are particularly rewarding.

Hiking along deserted beaches is also a superb option, particularly during whale-watching season.

Travel tips & Planning info

Who to contact

South African National Parks
Tel: +27 (0)12 428 9111

The Hiking Organisation of South Africa
Mobile: +27 (0)83 532 5557
Email: hosavosa@gmail.com

Footprint Hiking Club
Mobile: +27 (0)82 456 7020
Email: bookings@footprint.co.za