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Hiking and Walking Clubs in South Africa
Eastern Cape Hiking
Active Escapes is a leading authority on Wild Coast Hiking. From traditional backpacking trails to fully supported 'slackpacking' holidays; the entire Wild Coast can be hiked, with accommodation ranging from luxury hotels to tented camps or village based homestays. They also offer fully guided and supported hiking trails in the Drakensberg, Eastern Cape Highlands and KZN Midlands, as well as more challenging Drakensberg hikes with a registered mountain guide.
Drifters, a tour operator, offers a tour that features either hiking and cycling on the Wild Coast. It lasts six days and five nights and passes along beautiful unspoiled coastline, and a three-day option is also available.
KwaZulu Natal Hiking
Berg Free is run by Dave Sclanders, a registered mountain guide. He offers hikes in the beautiful Drakensberg, ranging from one day in length up to five days. Descriptions of a wide variety hikes are provided, along with extensive safety information, photos, and feedback from hikers.
Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife oversees game parks in KwaZulu-Natal, from the coast to the Drakensberg Mountains. They have a section on hiking, which includes a weekly hiking report, links to weather reports, safety information, tips, and vital information. Some links to hiking operators are also provided.
Gauteng Hiking Clubs
The Boksburg Hiking Club meets on the first Wednesday of every month. They organise trails and a hiking programme is available on the club's website. To see what it's all about, take a look at the club's photo section too.
The Footprint Hiking Club offers pictorial reports on various trails, as well as written reports. A hiking calendar is included, as well as advice on hiking equipment, hiking with children, and how to start hiking. The club's mission statement is "to offer members the opportunity to enrich their lives by partaking in environmental and socially related activities offered by the club while taking an active and responsible stance in the preservation of the environment".
Johannesburg Hiking Club - Organises hikes and hiking-related events, and fosters a sense of responsibility towards the environment. Meet like-minded outdoor and conservation-orientated people who wear heavy boots and smell like the mountain air. The club offers youthful, midweek and Sunday hikes, backpacks, base camp weekends, slide shows, club evenings and social events.
Western Cape Hiking Clubs
Cape Nature provides information on numerous outdoor activities, including hiking - from one day to multi-day trips in the province's many nature reserves. Other offerings include mountain biking, kloofing, canoeing, kayaking, fly-fishing and horse trails, among others.
High Adventure is a mountain guiding and training company based in Cape Town. They offer guiding services that cover the Cape Peninsula mountain chain and other Cape mountain rangers, as well as all the the significent ranges and climbing areas in other parts of South Africa and Namibia. Their guided activities include mountain walking through to rock climbing and accomodate all levels of ability and experience.
Hike Cape Town - is a comprehensive site that focuses on day hikes in the Cape Peninsula. There is also information on guided walks and trail running. Walks are graded according to difficulty, and a good description is given of each one. Time and distance is included.
Ridgways Ramblers offer guided tours and operate out of Cape Town. They cater to all levels of hikers, including individuals, families and schools. Table Mountain is a favourite venue, but the hikes go further afield too, including at Kirstenbosch, the Lions Head, Jonkershoek Nature Reserve, Kogelberg Nature Reserve, and the Three Sisters.
***PORTFOLIO RECOMMENDS RIDGWAY RAMBLERS: Read our interview with Binny of Rideways Ramblers on the Portfolio Travel Blog***
Venture Forth International is based in Cape Town and incorporates the Cape Town School of Mountaineering. It's a specialised mountain guide service and an accredited mountaineering school. They offer guided treks and hikes in the the Cedarberg, Swartberg, and Drakensberg mountains, as well as on Table Mountain. Rock climbing and kloofing are also undertaken, while expeditions to Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania and Cerro Aconcagua in Argentina are also offered.
Take-a-Hike specialises in guided trails around Cape Town. They include "Table Mountain: Constantia Corner Trail", "Cape Point: Shipwreck and Sirkelsvlei Trail", and "Hout Bay: Manganese Mine and Blackburn Ravine Trail". Galleries of the three trails show what is on offer.
Garden Route Hiking
Garden Route Hiking Trails has information on different routes around different towns. The hikes are also rated according to difficulty and contact numbers are provided.
MTO Forestry is the custodian of the famous Tsitsikamma Hiking Trail. Located in the southern Cape, it is a hiker's paradise, passing through beautiful indigenous forests and mountain fynbos. It is about 60m kilometres in length and features excellent overnight accommodation facilities.
RockSport Mountain & Outdoor is based in Sedgefield on the beautiful Garden Route. They offer rock climbing, hiking, backpacking information and equipment. Descriptions of climbing routes around South Africa are also presented, as is info on hiking routes in the Eastern Cape.
Hiking Throughout Southern Africa
Linx Africa - Trails in Southern Africa is a useful resource which, region by region, allows one to click on specific areas in each province and find out more about the hiking trails in those areas, including the type of trail, the closest town, a description, and contact details.
Mountain Club of South Africa - Hiking is one of the MCSA's main activities, with the club's different sections organising hikes ranging from short day walks in kloofs to multi-day traverses across remote mountain areas.
Night Jar Travel has a section on hiking. A number of trails are suggested. Namaqualand is famous for its spectacular Spring flowers, which carpet the region in a rainbow of colour.
Peak High Mountaineering offers trekking, rock-climbing, ice-climbing, and Mountain Development Trust Courses in mountaineering, trekking and abseiling. Equipment is also available for hire. Mountain biking is another option, as well as mountaineering on Mount Kenya. A nice photo gallery is included.
SA National Parks manages a system of parks which represents the indigenous fauna, flora, landscapes and associated cultural heritage of South Africa. Click on the links to Game Parks run by SA National Parks to find out more about hiking opportunities inside of them, including the famous Otter Trail.
South African Hiking Trails has information on more than 300 trails. Useful details such as duration, layout, difficulty, distance, and a good description of the trails are provided. A list of popular trails is also provided.
Southern African Outdoor and Adventure Trails is based in Hilton, KwaZulu-Natal. It offers a number of trails and a calendar of when these hikes will be done is provided. Search the website for options all over South Africa, or check on their mountain bike options too.
Wikitravel - Hiking in South Africa features a list of trails with contact e-mail addresses and phone numbers for them.
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