5 Best 1-Day Hikes & Overnight Trails in South Africa


Nothing gets your muscles working quite like a hike. If you want to get buns of steel while also enjoying yourself then hiking is the answer — seriously it’s so much fun that you can barely even call it exercise! Luckily for us living in South Africa means we have access to loads of awesome hiking spots (even in Joburg!). So, to get you started on your hiking addiction we’ve put together a list of the best weekend hiking spots in South Africa.

1. De Hoop Bespoke Trail Experience – Overberg, Western Cape

De Hoop Nature Reserve

This 3-night catered, luxury trail at De Hoop Nature Reserve is perfect for anyone who likes a little bit of glam along with their hiking. Guests spend their nights at the beautiful Opstal luxury suites or the stunning Opstal Manor House, both which are chock-full of old-world charm. Hikers can expect 2 full days of guided walks along the 17km-long De Hoop Vlei trail, plenty of interaction with nature, and incredible food! All meals are included in your weekend package and are served at Fig Tree Restaurant.

The trail can accommodate 12 people at a time and is R 8,787 per person sharing including accommodation, internal reserve transfers, meals as well as birding, game viewing, Fynbos and marine experiences on foot. Dinner and Breakfast is included in the package and is served in the Fig Tree Restaurant.

For more information on this trail and other weekend trails check out the De Hoop Collection website.

2. Mountain Sanctuary Park – Magaliesburg, Gauteng

Mountain Sanctuary Park

Just a short drive out of Joburg, Mountain Sanctuary Park Nature Reserve is a great spot to do a 1-day overnight trail. The trails in the park vary from 15-minute walks to 8-hour hikes all of which have views of beautiful mountain pools. The nature reserve is unique in that guests are not restricted by prescribed trails but instead, a map is provided upon your arrival so you can navigate the park with ease. Guests can visit the park for the day or stay the night in one of the chalets, log cabins or camping sites available.

Guests can pay as little as R150 per adult per night for a spot at the campsite or as much as R600 per adult per night for a log cabin with electrical power, a gas stove, microwave, fridge, shower/bath, toilet and kitchenette. Booking is essential.

For more information on the trails and accommodation visit the Mountain Sanctuary Park website.

3. Durban Green Corridor – uMngeni Basin, KZN

Durban Green Corridor

Visit the Green Corridor and explore the uMngeni basin via a series of guided day trails. The various trails stretch inland from the beachfront all the way to the outer west boundary in the vicinity of Cato Ridge and offers three sections, each with separate hubs. With trails ranging from quick walks to 6-hour treks this is a great place to work up a sweat in Durban. Try the 2-hour Isthumba Hiking & Nature Trail at and enjoy a picnic at the Valley of a Thousand Hills.

For more information on the Green Corridor and the guided walks visit the Durban Green Corridor website.

4. Cederberg Wilderness Area, Western Cape

Cederberg Wilderness Area, Western Cape

Escape the city for a weekend getaway to the breathtakingly beautiful Cederberg area. Just a few hours drive out of Cape Town, this beautiful part of the Western Cape is a hiker’s paradise. The Cederberg was proclaimed as a Wilderness in 1973, and with the 66811 ha of mountainous terrain it feels like you’re on a different planet hiking here. The Cederberg Mountains, burnt orange by iron oxide, dominate the landscape. Jagged sandstone rock formations, like the Maltese Cross and the Wolfberg Arch, and ancient San and Khoi rock art, make this area truly spectacular.

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Stretching from the Middelberg Pass in Citrusdal to north of the Pakhuis Pass at Clanwilliam, the Cederberg Wilderness Area encompasses about 71 000 hectares of rugged, mountainous terrain, making it a top spot in the Western Cape for hiking and rock-climbing enthusiasts. A number of exciting hiking trails wind their way throughout the reserve, with the Algeria Campsite serving as a hub for hikers wanting to explore the area at their own pace. It offers camping accommodation and self-catering cottages.

You’ll need to purchase a permit from CapeNature or at the Algeria Reserve Office to access the Cederberg Wilderness Area (R60 for adults; R35 for children). Rates for Algeria Campsite range from R120 per night for camping to R640 per night, per person sharing for self-catering huts.

For more information on the trail visit the Cape Nature Website.

5. Sugarbush Hiking Trail – Krugersdorp, Gauteng

Sugar Bush Trail

This 8-km trail near the Walter Sisulu Botanical Gardens is a great find for Joburg hikers who don’t have the time to drive too far out of the city. The hike is free and hikers can spend the day exploring this incredible trail before taking up accommodation in Krugersdorp or driving home. Most of the trail is on land protected by the Cradle of Human Kind World Heritage Site with beautiful views over the Magaliesberg Mountains. There isn’t much shade so make sure you take along plenty of water, sunscreen and a hat!

For more information and booking visit the Footprint Hiking Club website.

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