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Hiking in South Africa

Hiking in South Africa

The mega distance Rim of Africa mountain track has a total walking distance of over 700 kilometres and takes a total of around 48 days to complete. Seasoned hikers have been heard to compare it to the Appalachian trail and the Continental divide. The Rim of Africa route starts from the Koue Bokkeveld region, following the Cedarburg and Skurfteberg mountains and stretches to the Outeniqua Mountains in the Garden Route

There is talk of linking this trail to the Outeniqua and Addo Great Corridor Hikes which would ultimately create a hiking path in excess of 1000 kilometers, ending at the renowned Addo Elephant Park in the Eastern Cape.

KwaZulu Natal hiking trails

Perhaps the most well known trail in Natal is the Kosi trail which starts south of the Kosi Lake and takes hikers through dune forests, along beaches, savannah and wetlands to the Indian Ocean, at Kosi mouth. The average trail is three nights to cover the distance (about 15 kilometers per day), but the route remains flexible, allowing hikers to choose a route suited to availability of time and the fitness level and enthusiasm of the hiking group. Along the way hikes can enjoy horse riding, snorkeling and fishing at various points.

The Drakensberg mountains offer a variety of hiking trails, ranging from a few hours to a few days. It is a good idea for inexperienced hikers to do the longer trails with a guide, as routes can be challenging and weather variable and dangerous at times.

Hiking the Hills of South Africa’s Free State area

The town of Clarens is based in a particularly scenic area of this province, known for its dry rugged sandstone beauty, spectacular Autumn colours and endless hills of highveld grasses. The Cannibal Trail, a greed flat trail, takes hikers on a circular 2 day trail of 16 kilometres. The hike is self guided and self catered. Incredible mountain views, river and forest walks await the walking traveler in this area. Tents aren’t necessary as sleepovers can be arranged in a restored cow bard along the way on the first night, and in a cave on the second. This is hiking in comfort as both places have showers, flush toilets and cooking facilities.

Fanie Botha Hiking Trail, Mpumalanga

One of the oldest and most well known hiking trails in South Africa, this route takes walkers across the Lowveld escarpment, through forests, past myriad waterfalls and over rocky cliffs.The whole trail is five days long although there are two and three day shorter options available. There is fixed structure shelter at all the stopping points with flush toilets and cooking facilities and only the Mac Mac shelter does not have a shower. According to the local hiking fraternity, this trail is still regarded as one of the best in the country. The scenery is breathtaking. There are, however, some fairly strenuous sections to be negotiated and in summer heat can be a problem. Komatiland Forestry has upgraded this trail and it is well worth a visit.

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