Cape Point Hiking
Cape Point Hiking
There is a road that runs from the entrance gate of the Cape Point Nature Reserve to the very tip of the Cape Peninsula but who wants to drive through this pristine 7 750 hectare reserve? Cape Point hiking offers some of the most scenic, most spectacular and most diverse one-day hiking in the Cape Town area and it’s very accessible, hugely rewarding and easier than you might think.
There are 2 very different faces to this reserve. The western-facing Atlantic shoreline is mostly flat and its long, deserted beaches are strewn with shipwrecks and shore birds. It’s easy walking, ideal for families or beginners and there’s a lot to see: paths meander over extensive, vegetated dune fields and up into rolling fynbos-covered hills, and it’s not unusual to spot ostrich, eland, bontebok and zebra.
The eastern edge of Cape Point looks out over the Indian Ocean – literally. Much of the path follows the chain of mountains on this side of the peninsula, offering sublime views, excellent fynbos and even the chance to spot a whale or 2 in season (August to November). Even better, the path dips down through thicket vegetation and onto the shore where patches of unique strandveld, duneveld and limestone fynbos will get the botanists reaching for their field guides. In fact, there are more species of plant in the Cape Point Nature Reserve than in the whole of the British Isles – and something is always in flower.
But Cape Point hiking is not without its challenges: a lunch stop requires that a keen eye is kept out for marauding baboons, and the wind, so much a feature of Cape Point, can make the going tough. But where else can you go body surfing for lunch while on a mountain hike? The ocean waters are crystal clear and inviting (though be warned that the water temperatures barely rises above 15°C) and the opportunities to see big game, whales, extraordinary flowers and endemic birds so close to Cape Town make a Cape Point hiking experience truly unique.
Combine a Table Mountain hiking tour with a Cape Point hike – talk about the best of both worlds.