With summer drawing close to an end, use this weekend as an opportunity to enjoy the great outdoors. Here are our picks of the six sensational hiking trails you need to try!
Hennops Hiking Trail, Pretoria
Located just 30km outside of Fourways, Hennops is the perfect place for the intrepid outdoorsman, or woman, to take a break from the hustle and bustle of the big city. They offer three different trails, the more advanced 11,3km Krokodilberg Route, the easier 6,1km Zebra Route, and the simple 2,5km Dassie Route.
All the routes offer game viewing opportunities, and with no carnivores loose on the property it’s a great way to introduce the kids to hiking.
Where: R511, Pretoria, 0001
When: Mondays to Fridays 8 am – 1 pm; Saturdays to Sundays 7 am – 2 pm
Cost: R60 for an adult, R30 for children under 12. All fees must be paid for in cash.
Contact: Call 082 825 9205, or visit hennopstrails.co.za
The Oubaas Trail, Pretoria
Based at the late General Jan Smuts house, The Oubaas Trail offers a wonderful 2,3km hike through the pristine gardens to the top of a tranquil Smuts Koppie. There are over 300 species of birds in the surrounding area, so make sure to bring your binoculars!
After you enjoy a wonderful hike, why not take a bit of time to explore the Jan Smuts Museum, or go shopping at the nearby Irene Market open on Saturdays.
Where: Jan Smuts Avenue, Irene, Centurion, 0062
When: Mondays to Sundays 8 am – 4 pm
Contact: Call 012 670 9016, or visit smutshouse.co.za
Umhlanga Lagoon Nature Reserve, Durban
Take a guided hike through the fantastic Umhlanga Lagoon Nature Reserve. The 64-acre reserve is home to hundreds of birds, small game and indigenous tree species in the 18 000-year-old Hawaan forest.
The expert guides make this a great hike to do with children, or tourists looking to find out more about a uniquely South African area.
Where: Entrance to Umhlanga Lagoon Nature Reserve at Breakers Resort, 88 Lagoon Drive, Umhlanga
When: Daily, there are three walks at 9 am, 11 am, and 2 pm
Cost: R30 per adult, R15 per child
Book: Call 031 561 2271, advanced bookings required
iSithumba Hiking Trails, Durban
Take a leisurely two-hour hike, with an expert guide, in KZN’s Midlands. The gentle trail through Mamba Gorge will take you through scenic mangrove forests, where avid birdwatchers can see plenty of majestic water birds.
Make sure to take some time to ask your guide about the amazing cultural history in the area.
Where: iSithumba Village, Hillcrest
When: Guides available on site at request
Cost: R140 per person
Contact: 031 825 3495, or visit durbangreencorridor.co.za
Lion’s Head, Cape Town
Located in between Signal Hill and Table Mountain, Lion’s Head is a wonderful, relatively short hike that provides one of the best views of the Mother City. It can be a bit steep at some points, but is easy enough to do.
A favourite haunt of local rock climbers, you can spend a wonderful afternoon quickly hiking to the top and enjoying a picnic.
Where: Signal Hill Road, Cape Town
Contact: Call 021 712 0527, or visit hikingcapetown.co.za
Kogelberg Trail, Cape Town
Revel in the wonders of the Cape Floral Kingdom as you explore this wonderful 24km trail. The trail may be long, and take approximately eight hours to complete, but it’s fairly gentle. Plus, the scenery and tranquillity are truly worth it.
Make sure you get a proper permit to hike in this nature reserve, the process is easy and the proceeds help protect the fantastic fynbos in the region.
Where: Kogelberg Nature Reserve, Western Cape
When: Anytime, but given the length of the hike its recommended to start between 8 am in winter or 10 am in summer
Cost: R40 for adults, R20 for children
Contact: Call 021 483 0190, or e-mail [email protected]