The Eastern Cape is known for its exquisite landscape and rugged coastline. It’s what makes hiking in this wonderful part of the country so special. Casual walkers and serious hikers alike will find something to gush about on these five hiking trails in the Eastern Cape that are perfect for the beginner.
1. Blue Duiker trail in the Tsitsikamma National Park (4km)
For an easy introduction into the world of nature walks, the Blue Duiker trail is the perfect place for a leisurely stroll. Named after the, now almost extinct, Blue Duiker antelope, this trail will truly astound you with its natural wildlife and sheer beauty. Reaching approximately 4km this scenic trail will lead you through the Tsitsikamma National Park.
2. Andersons Dam Trail at Khologha Forest (8km)
The Khologha forest provides six different trails for virtually all levels of fitness. You can take the whole family on this magnificent walk that is shaded by yellowwood and stinkwood trees from the Khologha forest. Once you reach the Andersons Dam there are ablution facilities and picnic spots for a well-deserved rest stop.
3. Bushbuck Walking Trails in Port Elizabeth (from 1.5 km)
Located in the Island Nature Reserve, the Bushbuck Walking Trails offer several circular routes that interlink with each other to give you a variety of options for all fitness levels. The shortest route will take you through lush forests where you may be lucky enough to encounter an elusive Blue Duiker or a rare bird or two. They also have braai areas for a relaxing lunch break.
4. Bushman Trail in Tarkastad (6km)
For that early morning walk, the scenic terrain through the Commando Drift Nature Reserve offers the perfect escape. Not too strenuous and enjoyable at a slower paced, this trail is rich in birdlife such as waterfowls and waders. The trail meanders along the dam all the way up Paling Kloof – a popular jeep track and takes just two hours to complete.
5. Roseate Tern Hiking Trail in Port Elizabeth (9km)
Switch from an inland trail to a tranquil beach trail for a refreshing alternative. This circular route starts at the entrance of the Cape Recife Nature Reserve and follows alongside stunning beaches and natural dunes and offers picturesque views all along the way. History buffs will be delighted to discover lighthouse that was built in 1851 and a historical military observation post.