The hike through one of the iconic tourist attractions in South Africa the Cape of Good Hope is an incredible experience! We hope our Cape of Good Hope hiking guide will help you to plan a hike and to enjoy it the most! Total distance of the hike 33,8km (you can add 10-12km extra by walking around Cape Point and taking longer routes and loops). To complete the route you need 2 days and 1 night. It’s a circular route that starts and ends at the Main gate of Cape of Good Hope. You go through the fynbos, over the cliffs, along the beaches most of the trail goes through occasionally visited by day visitors part of the park.
How to book Cape of Good Hope hike?
Through Buffelsfontein Visitor Centre 021 780 9204 (Mon – Thu from 9am to 4pm, Fr from 9am to 3pm).
How much does it cost?
- Accommodation (bunk bed in a hut) – ZAR280/US$20.
- Entrance fee – ZAR135/US$10, free for Wild Card holders.
Where to stay on the hike?
Hikers sleep in one of three huts; Protea, Restio and Erica. Erica can accommodate 6 people, Protea and Restio 12 people (two rooms for 6 people each). Each hut has bunk beds with mattresses, hot water shower (gas heater), flushing toilet, electricity, braai place, kitchen with gas stove, sinks, tables, chairs, pots, plates, cups and utensils.Basically all you need to relax after a long day of hiking. You can arrange braai wood delivery with a park service right to your hut.
What to pack for the hike?
Since you sleep in a hut you don’t need to carry a tent, mattress, stove, pots etc. unless you want to cook or boil water on the way.
- Sleeping bag, we had thin summer bags it was quite hot outside but if you do it in winter take a warmer one.
- Towel, toiletries, pillow (you can bring a blow up one or just use your clothes instead).
- Flip flops or any comfortable shoes to change from your hiking boots.
- A set of clothes for sleeping. A head lamp or a torch in case you’ll have to hike in the dark.
- Camera/phone to take photos or videos.
- Camel pack or water bottle that you have enough water for the whole day there weren’t any places to refill water on the way.
- Food, it’s up to you how much and what to bring. Since there is a braai place and wood you can bring meat or boerewors it’s very nice to sit around the fire and braai after a long walking day.
Where to leave your car?
There is a safe parking spot behind the Main gate, all multi day hikers leave their cars there. Though it’s safe don’t leave any valuable stuff in the car.
Note! You can walk the route both ways clockwise or anticlockwise. The main difference is the distance you walk on Day 1 and Day 2. We walked anticlockwise (from #12 to #1 on the map); our first day was quite long 20km+ but the second day was shorter which is nice since you still have to drive back home.
For more details and info on the hike check this PDF file.
The Cape of Good Hope 2 day hiking itinerary
Day 1, 20km+ (optional walk to the Cape of Good Hope and Cape Point), from the Main Gate to Protea/Restio hut, 8-10 hours.
It’s essential to start your hiking day early that you have enough time to get to the hut and to enjoy the scenery. The main gate is opened from 6am (October to March) and from 7am (April to September), you won’t allowed to start the hike after 9am. We arrived just after 7am and after a short signing in procedure we started the hike. The first part was through fynbos with slight ups and downs but mostly flat. The second part continues along the coast. Here we saw many hedgehogs on the stretch between Hoek van Bobbejaan (#9 on the map) and Gifkommetjie as well as some ostriches, gemsboks and many baboons.
From Pergams Point (#8 on the map) the route splits; you can go direct to the overnight huts (#6) or continue walking along the coast towards the Cape of Good Hope. If you feel strong enough to walk for 2-3 extra hours we’d definitely recommend to do a longer route and visit it. Especially if you (like me) have never been there before! It’s absolutely worth of effort though there are usually many tourists.
Remember the last part from Cape Point to the huts involves some climbing make sure to finish it before it gets dark!
If you don’t have strength to walk extra 10km or so but want to see the highlights on the second day after finishing the hike just get in your car and drive there.
Not to miss
- the Cape of Good Hope, you won’t miss it there will by many people around.
- the Diaz Beach, white sand beach surrounded by cliffs, don’t get too excited the water is very cold!
- the Cape Point and the Lighthouse. Once at the lighthouse you’ll get an amazing view on False Bay and Cape Town.
Day 2, 13km+ (optional longer route along the coast), from Protea/Restio hut to the Main Gate, 4-6 hours.
We started walking at 7.30 am after packing and breakfast the earlier you start the better especially in summer when it can get quite hot by midday. There are two route options; the longer one (marked white on the map) and the shorter one (marked red). The split is at the beginning 300m after the parking spot.
The longer route has more ups and downs and obviously a bit longer; you walk along the coastline; down to the beach, past Da Gama Cross and up to Kanonkop (#3 on the map). This up is quite long and steep but the view from the top is fantastic!
The shorter route continues through the top and joins the longer one at Kanonkop. It goes past Visitor centre where you can buy some snacks and cool drinks.
From Kanonkop it’s about 3 hours walk to the Main gate with quite a few ups and downs and stunning views over the cliffs and the ocean.
Not to miss
- Sunrise with amazing view over False Bay and Cape Town right from the hut stoop.
- Da Gama Cross.
- Kanonkop, a signalling canon crowning the top of the mountain.
The hike isn’t very difficult though can be quite demanding especially if you decide to walk longer routes and do detours so moderate level of fitness is not must but preferable.