Full-Day Cape Point Hike
Complete with lighthouse and panoramic views, Cape Point lies at the bottom of the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve – the very tip of the Cape Peninsula. Most visitors drive straight to Cape Point itself but this 7 750 hectare reserve offers glorious half and full day hiking in pristine fynbos and coastal environments.
With the Atlantic Ocean on one side and the Indian Ocean on the other, each coast offers a distinct hiking experience. The two coasts can even be combined in a two-day hike; overnight accommodation comes in the form of self-catering chalets with kitchens and bathrooms.
Flat & Easy – Cape Point’s West Coast
Cape Point’s west-facing Atlantic coast is mostly flat. Home to long deserted beaches, it offers easy walking and is perfect for families with children or hikers who don’t want any uphill. There’s lots to see: rusty old shipwrecks lie on the beach, flocks of sea birds rise and fall as you pass and it’s one of the best places to see animals: tortoises, ostrich, baboon and bontebok antelope are often spotted close to the beach. If you’re lucky, you may see zebra and even eland, a giant antelope that once lived in great numbers in the Cape.
Away from the beach, there’s diverse lowland fynbos to hike through and you’ll enjoy grand views and mesmerising rock formations. It’s particularly good for flowers between August and December. Choose from half day or full day circular hikes – each begins with the shipwreck trail on the beach.
Mountains & Beach – Cape Point’s East Coast
The eastern side of Cape Point overlooks False Bay and the Indian Ocean – literally. Much of the coastline is mountainous with sheer cliffs tumbling dramatically into a surging sea. The hiking trail deftly follows the contours of the mountains, rewarding you with amazing views before dropping you down onto the beach. It’s a wildly diverse floral experience and there are animals too: baboons and ostriches are often seen and there’s good bird watching. You even have a chance to go for a swim – or at least a paddle – at Buffels Bay, one of the prettiest beaches on the Peninsula.
Unlike the west coast, the east coast hiking trail is not a circuit. The complete top to bottom route is a full day’s hike but it can be shortened considerably thanks to several access points. This makes the hike perfect for those who want the spectacular views of the mountain trail but feel like finishing after lunch.