Some things are just more fun when you do it with a group of people. And when it comes to hiking, it is also much safer in a group. Joining a hiking group is also a great way to meet new people. Nature lovers in Cape Town unite almost every weekend to explore the many wonders found a mere stone’s throw away from central Cape Town.
Fun Hiking Groups in Cape Town
Whether you are looking for a challenging hike, or simply a leisurely stroll, one of these hiking groups in Cape Town will have the right partners that will want to explore with you. If none of the options below catch your fancy, there are some more niche hiking groups in Cape Town on meetup.com.
#1 Meridian Hiking Group
This is a great option for a family-orientated hike. The Meridian Hiking Group was founded in 1989 and over the years it has remained an exclusive group of passionate hikers. At the moment, the group consists of just over 200 members. Although exclusive, they are always willing to welcome a new hiking enthusiast.
Based in Cape Town, they regularly arrange free hikes you can join, as well as scheduled weekends away and special conservation activities. Fill in the membership form to join and keep an eye on their calendar to stay in the loop with upcoming weekend trail hikes.
#2 Cape Union Mart Hiking Club
This group is great for all fitness levels. You can choose the hiking intensity level according to what you feel comfortable with. Joining the Cape Union Mart Hiking Club is a great way to systematically challenge yourself to attempt more advanced hikes. They schedule more than 120 hikes a year, each fascilitated by one of their 20 experienced hike leaders.
Founded in 1991 they have just over 300 dedicated members. They schedule both weekday and weekend hikes. From a simple stroll in the fresh air, to a challenging hike that will leave you huffing and puffing, you will find something to fit your mood. Bookings can be made via their website or a direct email.
#3 Mountain Club of South Africa
This countrywide organisation caters for people passionate about all things outdoors. From hiking, to rock climbing and bouldering, to mountaineering. By joining the organisation, you will gain access to exclusive hiking opportunities. The Cape Town Section was founded in 1891. They host over 200 activities each year, ranging from basic to advance hiking trails.
The MCSA is a non-profit organisation, dedicated to offering nature lovers access to the best hiking opportunities across the country. The Cape Town Section is the oldest club. Visit their website for more information about the process to become a member.
#4 Table Mountain Treks and Tours
Unfortunately, each year there are numerous hiking accidents on Table Mountain. With its convenient access, situated in the heart of the city, many people misjudge the intensity of the hikes. There are various trails leading up the mountain, ranging from beginner to advance routes.
If you are a hiking novice, it’s best to join a group of hikers with a professional guide. Table Mountain Treks and Tours offer tours up Table Mountain, as well as other nearby hiking spots. These include Hoerikwaggo Trail, Lion’s Head, Platteklip Gorge, India Venster, Maclear’s Beacon and Echo Valley, Kasteelspoort, Skeleton Gorge, Devil’s Peak, Chapman’s Peak, Shipwreck Trail, and Noordhoek Peak. You can also schedule a private tour with them to other Western Cape areas.
#5 Hiking Cape Town
This is by far one of the most popular hiking groups in Cape Town, with over 6 000 members. Hikers of all fitness levels are welcome to join. Explore the mountains and rivers of the amazing Mother City with fellow nature lovers.
Hiking Cape Town hosts regular planned hikes. But you can keep an eye on the Facebook group for more spontaneously organised hikes as well.
Tips for Hiking in Cape Town
Firstly, Cape Town is infamous for offering you four seasons in one day. So always make sure you are prepared for almost any type of weather. Even in high summer, there can suddenly be a chill in the air from the wind factor. Especially when you reach the top of Table Mountain, 1 085m above sea level.
- Never hike alone. If possible, aim for at least a group of four people.
- Make sure you pick a route that is suitable for the fitness level, experience, and ability of the whole group.
- Inform someone of your hiking schedule for the day, including routes and the time you expect to return.
- Be prepared for bad weather. Take weatherproof clothing along, torches, proper hiking shoes, enough water, flask with warm beverage, and a big rucksack to fit everything so that your hands and arms are free at all times.
- It’s best if someone in the group is familiar with the route. Alternatively, take a paper map or guidebook along. Don’t assume you can rely on cell phone signal.
- Stick to the straightforward and well-used paths. If possible, rather use the same route back down, especially on your first hike on a new route. Don’t ignore danger signs and resist the urge to take short cuts through unfamiliar ravines.
- Before starting your hike, decide who is the leader for the day. This is crucial for bigger groups.
- Stick together and strike a pace that everyone is comfortable with. Don’t split up, even if the pace is slower than you prefer.
- Keep a close eye on the weather and the time. Rather turn back if the weather starts changing suddenly, or if the route becomes too tedious for someone in the group to complete.
- When you safely arrive back home, remember to tell the person you informed of your hike.
Emergency Services: 021 480 7700
Table Mountain National Park Security: 0861 106 417
General Emergency Services Number: 10177.