In a time when we are all encouraged to self-isolate and avoid crowds, it can be hard to maintain the momentum of physical and mental health. While there are plenty of things we have been discouraged from doing, safe outdoor recreation in the form of hikes and walks luckily is not one of them.
In fact, many health officials are encouraging a bit of outdoor time, as it can be easy to maintain social distance and avoid touching surfaces while getting your nature fix.
So what to do in Cape Town and where to go?
1. Stroll Along the Sea Point Promenade
With mesmerising views of the rolling Atlantic Ocean, this is a soothing walk that is good for the body and soul! The Seapoint Promenade begins at Granger Bay and stretches until Bantry Bay, though you could begin at Cape Grace and quickly meet the path that way. The Green Point Lighthouse is a popular starting point and, if you run/walk from there to the Sea Point Pools, and back again, you will clock up some 7 km in total. The ‘prom’ is usually populated by dog walkers, fit mums, families, cyclists, and runners, so you head out early if you want to avoid most people. Luckily, the recent renovations and large stretch means that it is generally easy to keep the recommended 6-foot distance rule in play.
2. Walk the Pipetrack Trail
With amazing views of the Twelve Apostles and Camps Bay below, the Pipetrack is an undulating trail dotted with trees and benches from where to soak up the sunsets. The trail begins at the top of Kloof Nek at the Table Mountain Cableway (there is a parking lot and set of steps that will take you there) and follows a water pipeline past Bakoven, with easy access to Table Mountian’s many hiking paths. The most popular loop is about 6km in total. It can be secluded, so if you are living/staying with someone, bring them along.
3. Explore the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens*
Our glorious botanical gardens are a must, and such a wonderful way to enjoy the sunshine and fresh air. You could visit Kirstenbosch dozens of times and discover a new pocket of flower-filled loveliness, or a grove of majestic trees you had not seen before, each and every time. Kiddies love the rolling hills, and tadpole-filled streams and everyone loves the newly built Boomslang Treetop walkway. If you want to learn more about Fynbos – a plant kingdom totally unique to the Cape, Kirstenbosch is where you should head too. Again, the spacious paths, and large expanses of open lawns means that you needn’t come into much contact with people while enjoying the outdoors.
4. Enjoy a Beach Walk
Salt, sea, and sand. A winning combo to help make you feel connected and grounded. There are many beautiful and secluded beaches in the Western Cape to explore. While Clifton Fourth can be busy, Clifton First and Second beach are usually quite empty. For a true ‘long walk on the beach’ feel, head to Long Beach in Kommetjie, or out to Mlebos Beach in Blouberg for that iconic Table Mountain pic.
5. Biking or Hiking in Jonkershoek*
The Jonkershoek Nature Reserve lies near the town of Stellenbosch. It is a quick drive from Cape Town and there is lots to do, from hiking to mountain biking or simply relaxing and enjoying the mountain views. If you have access to a mountain bike and are an enthusiast, enjoy the adrenaline rush. Otherwise, opt for one of the lovely shorter walks available on the reserve. If you are well and up for it, you could even tackle a longer, more challenging hike of up to 18 km.
What we can all do
Remember, smiles, warm gestures and generous words can mean even more than usual at times like these, so let us dish them out in spades. Good will boosts our immune systems, so let us double the dose!
*Please note that the opening and closing of public spaces may be subject to change. Kindly check that destinations are accessible before planning a trip.
Blog post by Tarah Darge