Walking and Hiking in South Africa

South Africa has a great number and variety of hiking and walking choices, obviously outside the scope of this summary. The contrasts are vast from the mountains of the Drakensberg to dozens of coastal walks and all the National Parks and reserves in between. The Hiking Federation of South Africa is a useful contact. The trails are administered mostly by National parks although private trails are also run.

Hiking in South AfricaThe majority of the safari camps in the Kruger National Park and private reserves will conduct walks of their own as part of your stay.

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Safety and requirements for hiking in South Africa

All nature walks conducted at safari camps or lodges are conducted by a professional armed guide trained in first aid. An average degree of fitness is required as with any hiking, and in expected warm temperatures, plenty of drinking water should be carried.

Variety of hiking trails

If you're into hiking, buy a copy of the Complete Guide to Walks and Trails in Southern Africa by Jaynee Levy. It gives extensive details of available trails in all parts of South Africa. Some best known trails and lodges that include guided walks in the same area are:

Eastern Cape - several 5-day sections along the Transkei's Wild Coast Western Cape - the 5-day Otter Trail along the coast on the Garden Route.
Free State - A 2-day trail called Rhebok in the Golden Gate National Park
KwaZulu Natal - Giant's Cup, a 5-day trail in southern Drakensberg.
Mpumalanga - Blyde River Canyon Nature Reserve and surrounding area, Kruger National Park.

Best time to hike in South Africa

In the dry cooler months April to October.

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