Best long-distance hikes in South Africa
There are so many spectacular sites to discover along the hiking trails of South Africa, that half the challenge ends up being figuring out which one to try. To help you choose, here are our top five long-distance hiking trails to try in South Africa.
The Fish River Canyon Hiking Trail
One of the top attractions to visit while touring Namibia, the Fish River Canyon Hiking Trail is approximately 180 kilometres long. The trail stretches from the south of Seeheim to the Orange River, located between Namibia and South Africa. Since it’s the second largest hiking trail in the world, adventurers can expect to see an expanse of awe-inspiring nature and 1.5 billion years of geological history.
Length: 180 kilometres
If you are the type of person who enjoys the beautiful scenery and a notch of adventure, the Hoerikwaggo Trail is for you. This trail offers striking scenery of the mountain and the ocean, as well as running trails along the way. What you may find fascinating on this journey is the Cape Floral Kingdom World Heritage Site, which links to two African icons, the Cape Peninsula and the City of Cape Town. You’ll also have the opportunity to see beautiful destinations such as Hout Bay, Silvermine, Kommetjie, and Simon’s Town. The Hoerikwaggo Hiking Trail is a five-day trail that stretches from Table Mountain to Cape Point. For travellers who prefer shorter trails, there are other options.
Length: 75 kilometres
Difficulty: Moderately strenuous
Amatole Hiking Trail
If you live for the adrenaline and adventure, try one of South Africa’s toughest trails, the Amathole Hiking Trail. A 100-kilometre stretch, the hiking trail begins at the Madam Dam and leads through indigenous woods until reaching the Tyume River. Key attractions along the trail include:
- Swimming holes
- Breathtaking waterfalls.
Length: 100 kilometres
The Rim of Africa Trail
One of the longest trails in the world, the Rim of Africa Trail, stretches 600 kilometres along the rocky mountain terrain from Cederberg to the Outeniqua Mountains. Due to its distance, there are several other hiking trails to suit all levels of hiking experience.
Length: 600 kilometres
Difficulty: Very strenuous
The Otter Trail is South Africa’s most popular hiking trail. This five-day trail runs along the Garden Route. One can imagine the kind of scenery you’ll get to see. Some of the best parts of the trail include walking along the coast, passing through the indigenous Afro-montane forest and river crossing. The entire trail is located in the Tsitsikamma National Park. Some of the trail’s landmarks include:
- Storms River Mouth
- Nature’s Valley
- Ngubo Huts.
Length: 41 kilometres
Difficulty: Easy to moderate, depending on fitness levels.
From trekking through bushveld to encountering beautiful scenery, South Africa has some of the continent’s most striking hiking trails. To experience the wilderness and absolute best of nature, why not give one of these trails a go?