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South Africa is a fabulous hiking country. The weather is great, the infrastructure is world class, the scenery is breathtaking, and the people are friendly and very hospitable. Mountain and coastal hikes are the most popular sorts, with their sweeping beaches, rocky shores, indigenous forests, broad ranges, flowing valleys, and exotic streams and falls.

Before your hiking trip, make sure to stalk up on all the appropriate hiking gear prior to your trip. You can find all your outdoorsy items on Gumtree today for affordable prices.

Otter Trail

Probably one of the most popular hiking trails in South Africa, Otter Trail is in the Tsitsikamma National Park along the spectacular Garden Route of the Western Cape. It compares favourably with some of the great hikes of the world. The 42-kilometer trail through exquisite indigenous mountain forest will take you around five days to complete. It starts in the Storms River Mouth and ends in Nature’s Valley. There are many huts along the trail route, and booking needs to be made well in advance.


Outeniqua Trail

While in that part of the country, another great hike is the Outeniqua Trail. You will need a good bit of experience to tackle this trail, which is over 100 kilometres and will take about a week to complete. You can opt for hiking portions of the trail that take two to three days to complete. The trail, which takes you through indigenous forests of yellow wood trees, starts at the west end at the Old Forest Station. Accommodation on the trail is basic and rustic.

Hogsback Trail

Further up the east coast is the Hogsback Trail in the Amatola Mountains. This is also in the order of 100 kilometres long and starts about 20 kilometres outside King Williamstown. Six days of hiking will take you through grasslands and forests, streams and hills. This can be a very cold hiking trail, so if you are planning a winter trip, take care. Accommodation is basic along the trail.

Drakensberg Mountains

The famous Drakensberg Mountains offer some spectacular hikes. The Northern berg is particularly popular, with numerous walks of various lengths offering varying degrees of difficulty. You can either stay in basic huts along the way, or for the more adventurous spend your nights in the caves with the sounds of the baboons at sunset. Hiking to the famous Tugela Falls is truly spectacular and very popular in the Berg.


De Hoop

A great beach trail is the De Hoop Whale Trail, which is around 55 kilometres long. You can explore rock pools, sea caves, sweeping beaches, and warm Indian Ocean waves. It will take you around five days to complete and starts near Bredasdrop in the De Hoop Nature Reserve. It offers comfortable overnight accommodation along the fynbos plains, which are inhabited by antelope and a good variety of bird species. So get your boots on and head for the trails.

Coffee Bay

If you get to the incredible Transkei area of the Eastern Cape, then Coffee Bay along the Wild Coast is a great place to base yourself for hiking. You can walk for days along this rugged and exotic coastline, fishing in the rivers and lagoons and getting close to nature. The famous Hole in the Wall, which is the last remnant of a cliff face, is a spectacular walk from Coffee Bay.

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