The dry west coast of South Africa offers many excellent hiking trails, whether you’re looking for a leisurely country stroll or an expedition that lasts several days. Visit this beautiful region where the pace of life is slow, because the joy is in the journey, not the arrival.

Did you know?

There are more than 1 200 species of flowering plants along the West Coast.

From Cape Town to Strandfontein, the Cape's West Coast is full of attractions for hikers of all levels. Rich in flora, this region attracts walkers throughout the year.

The West Coast National Park, less than an hour's drive from Cape Town, offers hiking routes that incorporate sections of beach, rocks and tracks. In summer, the adjoining Postberg Reserve is opened to visitors to enjoy the floral display. There is an overnight and day trail here.

The Columbine Nature Reserve, which is slightly further north, has similar topography, as well as some quirky accommodation establishments for hikers and slackpackers to consider.

A number of guided tours are offered along the West Coast for those who’d like to local knowledge thrown in along the way. You can contact West Coast Tourism for more information about these walks.

The Darling Stagger is a 25km hike, leniently spread across three days, from Darling to Yzerfontein, passing through wine and olive farms along the way. Darling is famous for its wild flowers and is also the home of famous South African comedian, Pieter-Dirk Uys. Hikers who enjoy a bit of theatre should visit his establishment, Evita se Perron, to see one of his shows.

If you fancy a bit of beach walking, Eve’s Trail is a great option, as it includes the 16 Mile Beach at Yzerfontein, as well as sections of the West Coast National Park and Langebaan Lagoon.

Further up the coast there is also the Five Bay Trail, a 28km stretch between Paternoster and Jacobsbaai.

In addition to the wide range of vegetation along the West Coast, wildlife that hikers may see include eland, rock hyrax, caracal and marine life such as whales and sharks.

The West Coast is well known for its seafood, so there is no shortage of sustenance for hikers. Fuel up at any of the fishing villages that you pass through during your travels.

Travel tips & Planning info

Who to contact

West Coast Tourism
Tel: +27 (0)22 433 8505
Email: tourism@wcdm.co.za

How to get here

Hire a car from Cape Town International Airport or take a bus from the Cape Town city centre.

Best time to visit

The spring months of September and October are the best months for viewing wild flowers. These months also generally offer excellent weather conditions.

What will it cost

Guided hikes range from R1 500 to R2 500 for a three-day hike.

What to pack

Don’t underestimate the amount of water you will need when hiking through this arid region.

Where to stay

If you fancy something rustic, the Beach Camp near Paternoster is an excellent option, offering tented accommodation.