The slackpackers guide to south africa. Man hiking

News / 15 March 2022

The slackpacker’s guide to South Africa

Whether you’re an intrepid explorer or part of an active family, you’ll find no shortage of adventures to conquer in South Africa.

But even if you’re not quite ‘outdoorsy type,’ there are still plenty of ways to experience nature in your own time and at your own pace.

Take slackpacking, for example. This brilliant concept entails less strenuous hiking, without the discomfort that comes with carrying a heavy backpack and sleeping in the wild.

But where to go?

If you’re ready to break in your hiking boots, here are some of our favourite day hikes you can add to your local itinerary:

Giant’s Castle, Central Drakensberg, KwaZulu-Natal

Closely resembling a sleeping giant, Giant’s Castle is a hiker's paradise with trails ranging from 3km to several days. The guided two-hour route to the main caves includes a visit to a San rock art site. Keep your eyes peeled for the majestic bearded vulture as you plod along.

Skeleton Gorge, Table Mountain, Western Cape

If you’d prefer to skip the crowds on Lion’s Head, Skeleton Gorge is arguably one of Table Mountain’s most scenic slackpacking routes. At just 6,2km, the first half of this moderate trail consists of forested ravines, the second half showcasing handsome views over the Mother City.

Buffalo Gorge, Middleberg, Mpumalanga

With six different routes, Buffalo Gorge is a hiker’s paradise, irrespective of fitness level. Those looking for an easy ramble should make a beeling for the Blue Trail, which leads you through indigenous forest, curious rock formations and cascading waterfalls.

La Motte Hiking Trail, Franschhoek, Western Cape

Another great spot far from the hustle and bustle of trails closer to Cape Town. This circular route allows you to gaze over the mountains of the Franschhoek Valley and get some of that fresh Winelands air to the lungs. Finish off with a celebratory glass of tipple as your post-hike refresher.

Cannibal Cavern, Northern Drakensberg, KwaZulu-Natal

This well-marked 6km return trail leads to an impressive cave once occupied by the San, as well as refugees during During King Shaka Zulu’s wars of expansion. Look out for Ground Woodpeckers sunning on the rocks as you go.

Pipe Track, Cape Town, Western Cape

What we love about this route is that you don’t need to break a sweat. It’s one of the best hiking trails in Cape Town for beginners! Located on the Western slopes of Table Mountain, you’ll walk along a relatively flat path past views of Camps Bay, Clifton and the dramatic Twelve Apostles Mountain Range. Perfect for a sunset amble!

Keen to get active this year and master the art of slackpacking?

We have more than a few easy routes located at our lodges and resorts dotted across the most scenic parts of the country.

Get in touch with our team today. They’re on standby to assist.