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Explore our mountains, fynbos and forests <h2 class="sectHeading">Walks and hikes​​​​​​</h2><p> <strong>Table mountain<br></strong>Climbing to the top of Table Mountain is a favourite activity for both residents and visitors. Though some people prefer to catch the <a href="https://www.tablemountain.net/" target="_blank">cable car<i class="icon link-external"></i></a> before taking a leisurely stroll across the mountain’s flat top, many find it extra rewarding to tackle the mountain on foot. The most common way to get to the top is via Platteklip Gorge. This steep zig-zagging trail leaves from a point near the lower cable car and takes you up the front of the mountain.</p> <span> <div class="notification with-heading dark-copy pink bg-light-grey"><div class="graphic with-border"> <i class="info toptip"></i> </div><div class="desc"><h4>Top tip</h4><p>Both Signal Hill and Lion’s Head offer breath-taking views of the city. A popular and new tradition in Cape Town is to hike to the top of Lion’s Head on the evening of a full moon, but do make sure you go in a group and are led by someone with experience.​​​​</p></div></div></span> <p> <strong>Forest hikes<br></strong>Skeleton Gorge, Newlands Ravine and Echo Valley are all easy to access for refreshing walks that include forests. Orange Kloof requires a permit. Contact <a title="Table Mountain National Park" href="https://www.sanparks.org/parks/table_mountain/" target="_blank">Table Mountain National Park<i class="icon link-external"></i></a> to organise your permit.​ </p><p>If you’re interested in hikes around the Cape Peninsula, pop into your local bookstore and pick up one of the many excellent guides available. The best ones have detailed route descriptions, maps, safety tips, and some local history. ​</p><p> <strong>Nature reserves <br></strong>Almost all of the City’s <a href="https://www.capetown.gov.za/Explore%20and%20enjoy/nature-and-outdoors/our-precious-biodiversity/city-nature-reserves">nature reserves and natural areas</a> offer walks for the whole family – often with a fun educational element – and some also offer more active hikes. Find an updated list of walks and hikes in our <a href="https://resource.capetown.gov.za/documentcentre/Documents/Graphics%20and%20educational%20material/Nature_reserve_hiking%20trails.pdf" target="_blank">Nature Reserves Hiking Trails Guide</a><span>. </span></p><div class="notification with-heading dark-copy pink bg-light-grey"><div class="graphic with-border"> <i class="info toptip"></i> </div><div class="desc"><h4>Top tip</h4><p>Walk into <a href="https://www.capetown.gov.za/Family%20and%20home/See-all-city-facilities/Our-recreational-facilities/Nature%20reserves/Blaauwberg%20Nature%20Reserve">Blaauwberg Nature Reserve</a> and enjoy views of our two <a href="https://en.unesco.org/" target="_blank">UNESCO<i class="icon link-external"></i></a> World Heritage sites: Table Mountain and Robben Island. This scenic reserve also offers activities like whale watching, bird watching, surfing, and fishing.​</p> ​​ </div></div> <span> <h2 class="sectHeading">​​​​​​​​​​Trail running​​​​​​​​​​​​</h2></span> <p>Many hiking trails in <a href="https://www.sanparks.org/parks/table_mountain/" target="_blank">Table Mountain National Park</a><a title="Table Mountain National Park" href="https://www.sanparks.org/parks/table_mountain/" target="_blank"><i class="icon link-external"></i></a> can be adapted to trail running, while some of the City’s <a href="https://www.capetown.gov.za/Family%20and%20home/See-all-city-facilities/Our-recreational-facilities/Nature%20reserves/">nature reserves</a>, like <a href="https://www.capetown.gov.za/Family%20and%20home/see-all-city-facilities/our-recreational-facilities/Nature%20reserves/Helderberg%20Nature%20Reserve"> Helderberg</a>, <a href="https://www.capetown.gov.za/Family%20and%20home/see-all-city-facilities/our-recreational-facilities/Nature%20reserves/Tygerberg%20Nature%20Reserve">Tygerberg</a>, and <a href="https://www.capetown.gov.za/Family%20and%20home/see-all-city-facilities/our-recreational-facilities/Nature%20reserves/Blaauwberg%20Nature%20Reserve">Blaauwberg</a> nature reserves, offer excellent trails that cater to different fitness levels.</p> <span> <p>Browse the City's<a href="https://www.capetown.gov.za/Explore%20and%20enjoy/See-all-City-facilities/Our-recreational-facilities/Nature%20reserves"> nature reserves</a> to see which have accommodation options or get in touch with<a href="https://www.sanparks.org/parks/table_mountain/tourism/accommodation.php" target="_blank"> SANParks<i class="icon link-external"></i></a> about their Table Mountain huts and Hoerikwaggo tented camps. </p> <h2 class="sectHeading">Mountain biking​​​​​​​</h2></span> <p>​Travelling by mountain bike gives you access to places that are often too remote for the tourist bustle. Some of the most popular mountain bike trails are in Tokai Park and in other designated areas along Table Mountain. For more information, get in touch with <a href="https://www.sanparks.org/parks/table_mountain/" target="_blank">Table Mountain National Park​<i class="icon link-external"></i></a>.</p> <span> <div class="notification with-heading dark-copy pink bg-light-grey"><div class="graphic with-border"> <i class="info toptip"></i> </div><div class="desc"><h4>Top tip</h4><p>You will need a <a href="https://www.sanparks.org/parks/table_mountain/tourism/access-cards-permits.php" target="_blank">My Activity Card<i class="icon link-external"></i></a> if you’re going to mountain bike in Table Mountain National Park.</p></div></div> </span> <p>Further afield, Swartberg, Anysberg, De Hoop and Rocherpan are just some of <a href="https://www.capenature.co.za/activities/mountain-biking-cycling/" target="_blank">CapeNature's reserves<i class="icon link-external"></i></a> that offer beautifully designed mountain biking trails.</p> <span> <h2 class="sectHeading">Picnics and braais </h2></span> <p>Enjoy our wonderful climate and get together with family and friends for some outdoor eating at any of Cape Town’s official picnic spots and braai (barbecue) areas.​ ​Almost all the City’s nature reserves offer picnic areas. Note that some reserves have restrictions on braais, depending on the season and level of fire risk.</p> <span> <div class="notification with-heading dark-copy pink bg-light-grey"><div class="graphic with-border"> <i class="info remember"></i> </div><div class="desc"><h4>Remember</h4><p>Never feed our wild creatures and certainly not our baboons! See our tips for <a href="https://www.capetown.gov.za/Explore%20and%20enjoy/Nature-and-outdoors/Mountains-and-hiking/Focus-on-baboons" target="_blank">dealing with baboons </a>when out and about.</p>​</div></div> </span> <span> <h2 class="sectHeading">​​​​​​​​​​Safety tips​​​​​​​</h2></span> <p>Take responsibility for your safety while exploring the outdoors. Here are some basic safety tips for mountain and forest trips: </p><ul><li>Take your phone and make sure it is fully charged.</li><li>Wear the right footwear and clothing – remember, temperatures can change quickly, especially in our mountains, and rain can come suddenly.</li><li>Do not plan a hike during or just after bad weather (check the forecast beforehand).</li><li>Take enough drinking water and food with you.</li><li>Always apply sunblock and do wear a hat – the South African sun can be harsh.</li><li>Never walk alone (groups of at least four are recommended).</li><li>Always let someone know where you are going and how long you expect to be.</li><li>Use the recommended routes and have a reliable map.</li><li>Do not carry valuables.</li><li>Walk at the pace of the slowest person.</li><li>Do not approach or feed baboons or other wild animals.</li><li>Never follow someone you don’t know into deserted areas.</li><li>If you are hiring a guide, make sure he/she is from a reputable company.</li><li>​Never hike in the dark. Make sure you allow enough time to finish your hike before sunset.​​</li></ul> <span> <div class="notification with-heading dark-copy pink bg-light-grey"><div class="graphic with-border"> <i class="info toptip">​​​</i> </div><div class="desc"><h4>Top tip</h4><p> <strong>Save the following numbers onto your phone in case of an emergency:</strong><br>Emergencies: <em> <a>021 480 7700</a></em><br>Table Mountain National Park: <em> <a>021 957 4700</a></em><br>Wilderness Search and Rescue: <em> <a>021 948 9900</a></em></p></div></div></span><span> <h2 class="sectHeading">​​​​​​​​​​<span>Find a reserve​​​​​​​​​​​​​</span> ​​​​​​​</h2></span> <p>The City of Cape Town manages many <a href="https://www.capetown.gov.za/Family%20and%20home/See-all-city-facilities/Our-recreational-facilities/Nature%20reserves/">reserves and natural areas</a>. You can visit all of them – some are free and others have a small fee.</p><p> <strong>For </strong> <strong>provincial and national reserves in the Western Cape</strong>​, visit the following websites:​​</p><ul><li> <a title="Cape Nature" href="https://www.capenature.co.za/" target="_blank">Cape Nature<i class="icon link-external"></i></a>: manages 24 nature reserves and wilderness areas across the Western Cape. Most offer overnight accommodation and/or camping and a variety of activities.</li><li>​<a title="South African National parks (SANParks)" href="https://www.sanparks.org/" target="_blank">South African National parks (SANParks)​<i class="icon link-external"></i></a>: manages five national parks within the Cape, including Table Mountain National Park.</li></ul><h2 class="sectHeading">Dog walking in nature</h2><p>If you want to walk your dog in <a href="https://www.sanparks.org/parks/table_mountain/" target="_blank">Table Mountain National Park<i class="icon link-external"></i></a>, you will need a <a title=" My Activity Permit dog " href="https://www.sanparks.org/parks/table_mountain/tourism/access-cards-permits.php" target="_blank">My Activity Permit<i class="icon link-external"></i></a>. Your dog will also need to be kept on a lead.</p><p> <a href="https://www.sanparks.org/" target="_blank">SANParks<i class="icon link-external"></i></a> have produced a very handy brochure with maps and instructions for how to <a title="