Top 5 Family Walks in Cape Town

2016-04-11 21:00 - Louzel Lombard
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Cape Town - Mother City residents are often spoilt by the abundant offering of easily-accessible outdoor activities right on their doorsteps. If you live anywhere around Table Mountain, you basically live inside a national park that's dedicated to protecting a natural world wonder, its flora and fauna, and to showcase this unique beauty to visitors.

This means to live in a natural, protected playground where you can hike, cycle, mountain bike and walk to your heart's desire. All you need is some inside info to tell you where to go and what to do and see. 

Queue 'Family Walks in Cape Town', a recently released guide by professional hiker Tim Lundy, son of the famed Cape Town hiker Mike Lundy. If you don't want a dedicated guide tagging along on your family outing, the book will give you the insights as you explore the myriad of trails and walks in and around the city. 

Lundy says his childhood memories include many hiking trails and special moments on the mountain with his father, and he hopes to encourage these memories and a healthy lifestyle in other families with 'Family Walks in Cape Town'. 

The book gives detailed route descriptions and itineraries, tips and interesting information of mild, beautiful walks in and around the Mother City.

The walks are perfect for small children and grandparents, Lundy says in the preface of the book. He says he was inspired to put together a guide that would suit the physical abilities of his elderly father and his six-year-old daughter, who both needed fairly easy and accessible surfaces and beautiful surroundings to ensure a great day. 

Although Mike Lundy passed away in 2015, Tim says he is literally following in his father's footsteps with his book. 

On a hike in December, Lundy said his motto for hiking was 'Minimum effort, maximum reward', and this is clear in all the hikes he recommends. 

These, says Tim Lundy, are the Top 5 Family hikes in Cape Town:

1. Fish Hoek Beach and Wetland

The bay lies in the shadow of the Kalkbaaiberg and Elsie’s Peak headlands, which are dotted with homes that take advantage of wonderful views of the bay. The long, white, sandy beach at Fish Hoek is one of the safest on the False Bay coast, making it ideal for long walks. 

A photo posted by Gina Ross (@naturalyarns) on

2. Tygerberg Nature Reserve

Tygerberg Nature Reserve lies in the northern suburbs of Cape Town. Proclaimed as a Local Authority Nature Reserve in 1973, it supports one of the last remnants of the critically endangered Swartland shale renosterveld vegetation type. The reserve covers an area of 309 hectares and boasts 562 different plant species. Of these, 23 are threatened, eight are endemic to Cape Town, and three endemic to Tygerberg itself.

3. Kalk Bay Harbour

You can stroll all the way from Muizenberg to Kalk Bay, or just to a short walk on the beach - it all depends on what you're up for. The walk along the harbour wall allows a beautiful view of all the colourful vessels. 

A photo posted by Anneke (@annekejagau) on

4. Tierbos Waterfall

The Tierbos Waterfall walk is a 20 minute hike up to a hidden valley along the Baviaanskloof River that reveals a year round waterfall. If you're not up for a hefty hike, you can also access Tierboskloof via a few shorter walks that meander through many species of fauna and flora.

5. De Hel

De Hel Nature Area is a riverine valley adjoining Table Mountain below Rhodes Drive to the northeast of Constantia Nek. The upper reaches of the Spaanschemat River runs through this 21,3 hectare natural area, and environmental surveys of De Hel show that the site remains in a near natural condition.

A photo posted by Abi (@abigail.oosthuizen) on

Apart from these beautiful and safe hiking and walking spots, Lundy also warns of danger zones in Cape Town. Lundy told Traveller24 that he was attacked as a teenager on Karbonkelberg in Hout Bay and says safety should still be the number one priority for hikers.

He points out the area and forest around the Rhodes Monument, as well as the Sandy Bay area as crime hotspots, which are best tackled in large groups, or avoided altogether. 

Lundy also says families should best avoid the over-popular routes like Lions Head, where hundreds of hikers ascend on moonlit evenings.  

SEE: Tips to make your Lions Head Full Moon hike unforgettable - in a good way

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