Best Cape Point hiking trails

Best Cape Point hiking trails

Photo credit: Cape Point South Africa

Cape Point is undoubtedly one of Cape Town’s most magnificent natural wonders and sought-after attractions. Located approximately 60km south west of the city of Cape Town, at the very tip of the Cape Peninsula, Cape Point is the ultimate mecca for nature lovers and adventure seekers. Besides its natural beauty, rich diversity of fauna and flora, secret beaches, and endless variety of adventure experiences, it boasts some of the most thrilling hiking trails in the Western Cape.

Here are some of the best Cape Point hiking trails you absolutely must add to your Cape Town hiking bucket-list!

#CAPE OF GOOD HOPE TRAIL

Start point

Cape Point main parking area | Follow signs towards Cape of Good Hope

Difficulty

Easy

Distance

+- 3.5km | 2-3 hours

Boasting unsurpassed views over the pristine Diaz Beach and rugged western shoreline, its no surprise that the Cape of Good Hope Trail is regarded as one of the best Cape Point hiking trails. It’s accessibility and easy-going nature makes it a popular hiking trail among beginner and avid hikers alike.

The Cape of Good Hope Trail takes you along a well-maintained and marked boardwalk towards the famous Cape of Good Hope sign, located on the rocky shoreline below. We highly recommend you hike all the way to the very end of the trail as it leads you right to most southern point of the Cape Peninsula. Not only will you be well rewarded with sensational views, but the fact that you reached the most South Western corner of Africa means you’ll proudly be able to tick something thrilling off your Cape Town adventure bucket-list.

#LIGHTHOUSE KEEPER’S TRAIL

Start point

Behind upper funicular station | Park at the Cape Point main parking area and walk to the station or save energy and take the funicular

Difficulty

Easy

Distance

+- 2km | 1 hour return

Best Cape Point hiking trails

Photo credit: Cape Point South Africa

As most visitors to Cape Point are eager to see the renowned old lighthouse atop Cape Point, the Lighthouse Keeper’s Trail is often overlooked. Little do they know they’re missing out on a bucket-list worthy hiking experience on one of the most beautiful trails in the reserve. The Lighthouse Keeper’s Trail is a relatively short and easy-going hike that runs just below the Cape Point lighthouse.

The trail starts behind the upper funicular station. From there you will follow a narrow, but well-established walkway that will lead you along a breath-taking path and a sheer cliff-face towards the lesser-known new Cape Point lighthouse. On your trail you will pass plenty of historical bunkers and fortresses which were used as strategic observational points throughout Cape Point. The Lighthouse Keeper’s Trail also boasts a fascinating perspective of the old Cape Point lighthouse which towers many metres above, as well as beautiful Cape fynbos scattered along the trail. Once you reach the end of the Lighthouse Keeper’s Trail it will truly feel like you’ve reached the very tip of Africa.

#GIFKOMMETJIE TRAIL

Start point

Gifkommetjie parking area | Follow signposts upon entry into Cape Point

Difficulty

Easy

Distance

+- 5.5km | 2 hours return

The Gifkommetjie Trail is another one of the best Cape Point hiking trails for beginner and avid hikers alike. Following the south western shores of Cape Point, the Gifkommetjie Trail boasts beautiful views of Cape Point’s unspoilt shoreline, lush green dune vegetation, open pans, and marshes.

The versatility of the trail makes it a great option for the moderately fit looking to enjoy a great hike while still covering a good amount of distance, as well as beginner hikers or strollers eager to get out and about and explore the untamed beaty of Cape Point. As the Gifkommetjie Trail is in an often-overlooked region of the nature reserve, it offers hikers the ultimate escape from the hustle and bustle. The result is a feeling of true tranquillity, escapism, and bliss in one of the most picturesque destinations.

#ANTONIESGAT TRAIL

Start point

Traffic circle south of Buffels Bay Beach

Difficulty

Moderate

Distance

3.5km | 2-3 hours return

The adventure filled Antoniesgat Trail is undoubtedly one of Cape Point’s top hiking trails. Starting off near one of Cape Point’s most beautiful secret beaches, Buffels Bay Beach, this trail is jam-packed with unparalleled scenic beauty, adventure and a few hidden gems and amazing stops along the way.

Besides enjoying an epic hiking experience, you will have the opportunity to cool off in one of the tidal pools along the trail as well as enjoy a braai at the well-maintained facilities at the end of the walk. By far one of the main allures of the Antoniesgat Trail is its thrill-seeking appeal. The trail takes you right to the action where powerful waves pound the peninsula – this is bound to get every thrill seeker’s heart racing! The adventure doesn’t end there – hikers and adventurers can also choose to explore several caves and tunnels en-route. This is one Cape Point hiking trail that will definitely not disappoint!

#KANONKOP TRAIL

Start point

Cape Point visitor centre

Difficulty

Moderate

Distance

+- 5.5km | 3 hours return

The Kanonkop Trail is one of the most popular Cape Point hiking trails among hiking enthusiasts. As the name suggests, the trail was named after the old canon located at its peak. The Kanonkop Trial is a 3-hour circular route departing from the Cape Point visitor centre. It boasts some of the most magnificent panoramic views over the vibrant False Bay coastline, Cape Point, Buffels Bay Beach, and the prominent Da Gama monument. The trail also passes an interesting old lime kiln along the way.

While this exhilarating Cape Point hiking trail only requires a moderate level of fitness, there is an easier and more accommodating route for those feeling a little less energetic and not quite in tip-top hiking shape – To get there, follow the road to Venus Pools and park close to the signs directing you up Kanonkop, a few hundred metres after the turnoff at Bynes. Once you’re there, it’s time to start your Kanonkop hiking adventure!

#PHYLLISIA CIRCUIT

Start point

Gifkommetjie parking area | Follow signposts upon entry into Cape Point

Difficulty

Easy

Distance

+- 7km | 3 hours return

Although the Phyllisia Circuit is a slightly longer hike than all the other Cape Point hiking trails, it’s worth every extra km! The Phyllisia Circuit trail departs from the Gifkommetjie parking lot. From there, you will follow a circular route that takes you parallel to the western Cape Point coastline, showcasing spectacular panoramic views right throughout, and returns along the shore.

As with many of Cape Point’s bucket-list worthy hiking routes, the Phyllisia Circuit trail is another sensational hike that is too often-overlooked. However, this is great news for avid hikers, keen adventurers and explores, as it gives them the perfect opportunity to escape the large crowds and immerse themselves in the unapologetic natural beauty of Cape Point and discover everything it has to offer. Even on some of Cape Point’s busiest days, the Phyllisia Circuit trail offers hikers the ultimate sense of tranquilly and peace in one of the most beautiful settings.

Although the Phyllisia Circuit is a slightly longer hike than all the other Cape Point hiking trails, it’s worth every extra km! The Phyllisia Circuit trail departs from the Gifkommetjie parking lot. From there, you will follow a circular route that takes you parallel to the western Cape Point coastline, showcasing spectacular panoramic views right throughout, and returns along the shore.

As with many of Cape Point’s bucket-list worthy hiking routes, the Phyllisia Circuit trail is another sensational hike that is too often-overlooked. However, this is great news for avid hikers, keen adventurers and explores, as it gives them the perfect opportunity to escape the large crowds and immerse themselves in the unapologetic natural beauty of Cape Point and discover everything it has to offer. Even on some of Cape Point’s busiest days, the Phyllisia Circuit trail offers hikers the ultimate sense of tranquilly and peace in one of the most beautiful settings.

#SHIPWRECK TRAIL

Best Cape Point hiking trails

Photo credit: Cape Point South Africa

The Cape Point Shipwreck Trails are undoubtedly some of the most popular and best Cape Point hiking trails for hikers from all walks of life. These unique trails depart from the Olifantsbos parking area, with each one offering a different perspective and enthralling insight into the early days of the many Cape Point maritime events. Cape Point has an intriguing, albeit somewhat sombre, maritime history, and the shipwreck trails at Cape Point take you right to the heart of the action. The shoreline is littered with wrecks from years gone by, and still to this day their presence on the peninsula’s beaches make for a mesmerising journey into an altogether different era.

There are two main variations of the famous shipwreck trail:

#1 THOMAS T. TUCKER TRAIL

Start point

The trail starts and ends at the Olifantsbos parking area

Difficulty

Easy – Moderate

Distance

If you opt to retrace your steps from the Nolloth, the route is an easy 3km & should take approximately 90 minutes | The inland route is 5km & will take approximately 2 hours, 30 minutes

Best Cape Point hiking trails

Photo credit: Cape Point South Africa

The Thomas T. Tucker Trail is the most accessible and shortest of the Shipwreck Trails. Staring at the Olifantsbos parking lot, you will follow a well-marked trail outlined with yellow markers. This trail will guide you through the endemic Cape fynbos, all the way down to the beach. We highly recommend that you make a few stops en-route to the beach to search for untouched marine life in the jagged rock pools.

Once you reach the beach, continue along the pristine, yet often isolated stretch towards the prominent wreck of the SS Thomas T. Tucker. Boasting a prominent history, the SS Thomas T. Tucker is possibly the most photographed wreck at Cape Point, and the birdlife that has taken up residence on the hull of the old ship makes for great photo opportunities.

After making your way past the Thomas T. Tucker wreck, you will find the Nolloth. The Nolloth was wrecked in 1965 and makes for a great resting point. If you still have some hiking energy left in your tank and you’re keen to continue your thrilling Cape Point Shipwreck hiking adventure, you can choose to follow the inland ridge past the Nolloth wreck and make your way back to the Olifantsbos parking area, or continue on to Sirkelsvlei.

#2 SIRKELSVLEI TRAIL

Start point

Olifantsbos parking area or by proceeding past the Nolloth and following the signs from the inland ridge

Difficulty

Easy – Moderate

Distance

7.5km return walk should take approximately 3 hours

If you’re a shipwreck enthusiast, the Sirkelsvlei trail is perfect for you. You can make your way to the Sirkelsvlei Trail in two main ways – You can either reach it by proceeding past the Nolloth and following the signs from the inland ridge or from the top of the Olifantsbos parking area alongside the boom. The path from this direction will quickly split into two, with each of these routes leading back to the original starting point at the Olifantsbos parking area.

The Sirkelsvlei Trail is a pristine and rugged hiking route that has successfully braved the harsh Cape Point elements over several years. This sought-after Shipwreck trail takes you along a stunning loop all the way up to the Sirkelsvlei pan, which is the largest body of water in the region still fed by fresh underwater springs. The stark Cape fynbos found along the Sirkelsvlei Trail makes way for reed flats, which are often punctuated by sightings of the rare red hartebeest, bontebok, and a multitude of birdlife. If you’re keen for another adventure, you have the option of visiting the Staavia Edge which is located along the route. From there, you will be able to spot the Olifantsbos Cottage.