South Africa is home to some of the most stunning scenery, perfect for a hike. Coupled with its warm weather during December and January, taking a hiking holiday is possible. Here are some suggestions:
Mafadi & Njesuhi
Dubbed the second highest mountain in South Africa, travellers here embark on a 4-day, 65km hike that transverse the Drakensberg Mountain range. There's also Njesuhi, a mountain peak 1.5km east of Mafadi. Njesuthi is an accessible hike to the summit, but it is going to take at least three days and nights to get there. Be sure to check out the upper Njesuthi Cave.
Champagne Castle in the Drakensberg got its name after the first people to ascend its peak brought a bottle of bubbly with them. Known for being a five ‘big’ peak hike, Champagne Castle is the second highest peak in the Drakensberg mountain range. At 3377 meters, it is rather challenging. However, the view from the top is so worth it. The hike takes a few days. The most favoured route is over Gray’s Pass.
Table Mountain, arguably one of the most popular mountains in South Africa, isn't as challenging as the others, but it truly is remarkable.
There are multiple hiking trails one can take up and around Table Mountain featuring caves, gorges and some of the best views of Cape Town. Just beware that some trails are challenging than others. If you want to tackle one of the harder trails and fear you are too inexperienced, there are plenty of guides available to take you where you want to go. There is also a cable car for those who do not want to hike far.
The Magaliesberg Mountain Trail
This trail is an hour away from Johannesburg and perfect for avid hikers. They can climb to the top of the Magaliesberg mountain range with the Mountain Trail at Shelter Rock. This 8km, 4-hour hike will take you to the summit of a mountain and have you wander through nature, human history and fascinating geology.
*Do not attempt this yourself. Rather go with a group and book with a tour guide.
*Do not attempt if you are not fit – rather start with smaller hikes and increase to more challenging ones.