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Trekking The Western Cape of South Africa
09 January 2012

Holidays to Western Cape of South Africa: Trekking

Enjoying a safari holiday does not always have to mean rushing across open plains in a land vehicle in search of exotic animals. South African Safari Holidays can also be a very peaceful and relaxing experience when taken on foot. The concept of a hiking safari holiday most certainly is not a new one, however, instead it could be considered a concept that is just a well-kept secret.

The Western Cape

This portion of South Africa is a very popular choice with hikers for its ideal climate and amazing hiking opportunities. The four most popular walking areas include the Garden Route, Drakensberg Mountains, the Cedarberg and Cape Town.

The Garden Route offers hikers a varied terrain that includes high mountains to woodland, coastal trails and relatively thick forest. The adventurous, wishing to take on the Drakensberg Mountains, are in for some spectacular mountain scenery. Enjoy this somewhat challenging hike as you meander from easy walking trails, riverside routes and challenging mountain peaks. Along the way you will see spectacular waterfalls, crystal clear streams and lush summer greenery, all surrounded by thick woodland.

The Cedarberg provides trekkers with a completely different experience with its dramatically weathered mountain rocks and vastly coloured landscape that belong to the Cedarberg wilderness. This hike option starts only two hours from Cape Town and it is suggested for the months of April to October. A Cape Town hiking safari offers a superb walking experience around Table Mountain. This hike has a variety of trails to accommodate all tastes and provides great coastal views along the way.

Wildflower season in South Africa is from August to mid-September, which makes it a great time to visit. For those who are interested in a much milder form of hiking or walking safari, you may be interested in checking out the many wine tours that are offered. Not far from Cape Town are the Winelands. These areas offer hikers a soft, undulating terrain on which to explore and is much easier to manoeuvre.

Climate and Timing

The climate along the Western Cape is quite distinct with its cool, and often wet, winters and hot, dry summers. Heat sensitive hikers who wish to participate in full day hikes may want to avoid the Western Cape during the hot summer months. Instead, plan your safari holiday around the winter months of December, January and February or in the autumn months of September, October and November. The months of March, April and May are also quite pleasant for full day hikes.

Other South African areas such as the eastern subtropical KwaZulu, Mpumalanga and Natal regions, suffer hot, humid summers. However, they are extremely pleasant during the winter months with sunny days and dry, cold evenings. In the high mountain region of Natal Drakensberg, hikers can anticipate much cooler day temperatures and snow-topped peaks during the winter.

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