4 Exceptional SA hiking trails to tackle

2016-03-10 20:09 - Floor Huiberts, Drive SA
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Cape Town - If the stress of the office is getting too much for you, maybe it's the right time to turn your attention to the calm release of nature.

And what better way to do this than with a multi-day hike - exercise, beautiful scenery, fresh air - just makes you want to inhale deeply, right?!

But don't be fooled these four iconic South African hikes though, they will take a degree of planning so make sure you know what you're getting yourself into - and if you can't decide which one to do, take it in your stride and work towards checking them all off. 

1. The Otter Trail

Where: Garden Route, South Africa

Find it on Google Maps:

The Otter Trail is one of the most popular hiking routes in South Africa - with its name derived from the Cape Clawless Otter - which resides along the trail.

The hike stretches from the Storms River Mouth in the Tsitsikamma National Park to Nature’s Valley. The total distance of the trail is 42.5km and SANParks recommends spreading the journey over 5 days and 4 nights.

For more information about the trail, maps, tariffs, availability and to make a reservation, click here. 

ALSO SEE - WATCH: Elusive Knysna elephant captured on camera

WATCH: The world renowned Otter Hiking Trail - What an adventure

2. Amphitheatre Heritage Hike

Where: northern Drakensberg, KwaZulu-Natal

Find it on Google Maps

Rising over 1000 metres from KwaZulu-Natal’s Tugela Valley, The Amphitheatre Heritage Hike is one of the most dramatic features in the Drakensberg range.

The hike is around 25-30 kilometres long and generally takes three days to complete. There are accommodation offerings along the way such as lodges, tented camps and backpackers, but one can also sleep in caves if you're feeling adventurous - which can be arranged by a hike organiser such as Active Escapes.

ALSO SEE: Taming the Dragon: 21 things to do in the Drakensberg

3. De Hoop Whale Trail

Where: De Hoop Nature Reserve, Bredasdorp

Find it on Google Maps

Aptly named after hundreds of Southern right whales that journey to the De Hoop Nature Reserve every year to calve and mate, the De Hoop Whale Trail is one of the best whale-watching spots on the planet.

Stretching over 55 kilometres from Potberg to Koppie Alleen, this five-night hike will entertain you with its abundance of flora and bird species along the route.

Cape Nature has packages available which includes accommodation for hiking enthusiasts planning on conquering the trail and the De Hoop Collection has compiled a handy PDF of everything you need to know about the whale trail.


De Hoop Nature Reserve from CapeNature on Vimeo.

ALSO SEE: 20 of SA's thrilling adrenaline adventures to try in 2016

4. Outeniqua Hiking Trail

Where: Garden Route, South Africa

Find it on Google Maps 

The Outeniqua Hiking Trail is a seven day, 108 kilometre, 8 overnight hut hike, starting at Beervlei and ending at Harkerville. Known as one of the toughest hikes in South Africa, the trail may only be done in one direction - from West to East, ending between Knysna and Plettenberg Bay.

Visit the SANParks website for more information about the trail. This PDF details everything you need to know about the seven-day hike.