By Chandré Cupido
This article is exclusive to the Online Edition 2 of VARSITY News.
This past summer has been a scorching one with mutliple fires all over Cape Town’s magnificent mountains including the infamous Lion’s Head which had been closed for this very reason. Now that summer is coming to somewhat of an end, it’s best to use these last few days to get your hiking boots out and explore other hiking trails in Cape Town before the winter season arrives.
Here are a few trails to visit in Cape Town as well as safety tips to ensure you have a safe journey:
- Platteklip Gorge
Unlike Lion’s Head, there’s not a lot of climbing necessary but rather upward walking which makes it a tad bit easier- especially for a workout. The hike takes about 3 hours and ends at the Upper Cableway Station where you can catch a cable car ride down if you prefer. For this hike a sunhat is needed as well as sunblock and a good pair of hiking shoes is a must. Once at the top you will be rewarded with a stunning view of Cape Town on-looking the CBD and Camps Bay.
- The Pipe Track
The trail follows the pipeline built in 1887 that transported water from dams on Table Mountain to the filtration plant on the path. Apart from the interesting history of this trail, it is fairly easy and child-friendly. The hike is 4 hours long and it leads to the Table Mountain National Park.
- Devil’s Peak
Devil’s Peak is known to be very windy because of the thick clouds that cover the mountain like a table cloth- so hold onto your hats when hiking this trail. This trail starts at Tafelberg Road or you could take the Rhodes Memorial route as another option as well as the Newland Forest route which will take you to Devil’s Peak in 4 hours. The cityscape is a view that you do not want to miss.
With an increase in mountain fires and criminal activity on hiking routes, its safer to hike with a buddy or two, especially with someone who is familiar with the route. Do not flash any valuables as this is a target for criminals and you don’t want to lose anything along the way. Take enough water with, sunscreen, a sunhat and a good pair of shoes that will make your hiking experience worthwhile.
Enjoy the many hiking trials in and around Cape Town but importantly save emergency numbers on your cellphone and make sure to carry a guidebook or map.
Emergencies:+27 (0)21 480 7700
Table Mountain National Park: +27 (0)21 957 4700 / + 27 (0)21 946 6414 / 15
Wilderness Search and Rescue:+27 (0)21 948 9900
Cape Town Tourism:+27 (0)861 322 223