Fresh air, beautiful scenery, incredible views… There is nothing quite like escaping into nature! Hiking gives you the opportunity to slow down and enjoy the outdoors, and Hout Bay is one of the best places in Cape Town to take a hike!
This seaside neighbourhood is bordered by the ocean on one side and surrounded on the others by striking peaks. The landscape offers a number of wonderful options for walks and hikes; from coastal meanders to ravine rambling.
We have put together a list of five hikes to enjoy in Hout Bay along with some information about each trail. Take a look:
Little Lions Head
Little Lion’s Head (also known as Klein Leeukoppie) is a short hike with excellent views of Hout Bay and Llandudno. Named in honour of its “big brother” situated near the Cape Town city centre, the hike up this mountain won’t take long and is a great early morning or late afternoon excursion. The trail starts on Mount Rhodes Drive (it is on private property so you will need to ring a buzzer at the gate on Mount Rhodes Drive and security will let you in). There is some easy rock scrambling required near the end and then you will be rewarded with unforgettable views!
Read more about the Little Lions Head hike here.
Myburgh’s Waterfall Ravine
This beautiful 8km trail is for the more experienced hikers and takes about 6 hours to complete. It’s well known for the waterfalls that can be seen in winter as well as the beautiful red disa flowers which bloom in summer (from January to March). Start at Farriers Way in Hout Bay and finish (after a bit of a steep descent) at the Suikerbossie restaurant. You’ll walk through indigenous forests, hop across river beds and head up the ravine (do take note: it can be slippery after rain).
Find out more about the Myburgh’s Waterfall Ravine trail here.
Blackburn Ravine from Chapman’s Peak
You’re sure to fall in love with your surroundings on this 4.6km, relatively easy there-and-back hike! Begin at the East Fort car park near the Chapman’s Peak Drive tollbooth (ask for a day pass which will give you free access to the car park). Take a look around the fort before heading off on the gravel path. This hike offers amazing views of Hout Bay and the further you climb, the more views you’ll enjoy of Fish Hoek and the beach in Noordhoek. Take it at a leisurely pace and admire the fynbos. Why not pack a picnic to enjoy along the way?
More info on the Blackburn Ravine hiking trail here.
Sandy Bay Shipwreck Trail
This trail is also known as the Oude skip or Oudeschip hike - thanks to the shipwrecks found along the coastline here. Head to Sandy Bay beach from Hout Bay (you can park and then walk down to the beach itself). From here, you will wind along the beach and bushy paths until you reach the Oudeschip Peninsula which is a great spot to stop for a picnic. From here, you’ll be able to see the Bos 400 and Maori shipwrecks (moderate to advanced hikers can continue the path towards the wrecks). Interesting to note, Sandy Bay beach is an (unofficial) nudist beach so don’t be surprised if you feel slightly overdressed!
Find out more about the Sandy Bay Shipwreck trail hike here.
Begin just outside of Hout Bay at Constantia Nek and follow this trail up to one of Table Mountains beautiful dams! The trail begins at the Constantia Nek parking lot and follows a jeep track up the east side of Table Mountain (you can also begin from the Cecilia Forest parking lot). You’ll pass De Villiers Dam, Overseers cottage and reach Alexandra Reservoir (you can continue on from here to the Hely-Hutchinson Reservoir but this is a fantastic spot to stop for a picnic or some snacks). While steep at times, there is no scrambling involved so this hike is easy to moderate depending on fitness levels. The views from the top are definitely worth the walk!
The next time you visit this charming coastal destination, lace up your hiking boots and set off on one of these hikes!
Cape Town is filled to the brim with fantastic outdoor spaces and no shortage of hikes across the city and surrounds! If you are keen to venture a little further out of Hout Bay, there are several iconic Cape Town hikes to enjoy. Table Mountain and its variety of hiking paths is always a great option (the paths range from easy to moderate to advanced). Just across from the iconic mountain you can take a walk up Lions Head which is easy to moderate with some ropes and ladders depending on the route you take. Further south, you can visit Silvermine Nature Reserve near Muizenberg and enjoy the view from Elephant’s Eye Cave! You’re spoiled for choice in this amazing city!
Important to note: Always keep safety in mind when hiking anywhere in Cape Town - stick to the path, stay hydrated, walk in groups and try to avoid carrying flashy valuables. If you are unfamiliar with a particular route, a guided hike could be the perfect thing for you!