Kloof Corner is my absolute favourite hiking trail in Cape Town – and I’m not alone! It’s an easy, quick route (relative to its sibling hikes up Table Mountain, at least) and the trek is rewarded with some spectacular views. You’ll be looking out over the city bowl, Lion’s Head, Camps Bay and the towering Twelve Apostles, all surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean.
It’s the perfect spot to watch the sunset – or sunrise, if you’re an early bird. And best of all, it’s a hiking trail most people can do, so you can gather up your friends and make the mission.
Difficulty: Easy – Moderate, with steep sections
Average time: 20 – 30 minutes
Start point: Tafelberg Road
How to get here: Follow Tafelberg Road past the first hairpin bend and park at the parking lot on your left. This spot can fill up quick, especially around sunset on a summer day, so you may need to park at the bottom of the road and walk up – it’ll take you about 10 minutes. There’s a nice clear sign marking the trail’s start.
Child-friendly: Yes, children can manage this hike
Dog-friendly: Yes – as this is part of Table Mountain National Park, dog-walkers are required to have a Level 1 My Activity Permit; however, this is not enforced
Hiking tips for Kloof Corner
- Bring water – I did this route with my mum once, and we both forgot water. I tell you, it feels a lot less easy when you can’t rehydrate.
- If you’re afraid of heights, don’t worry – while you can scramble up sheer rocks and hang your legs off them, you don’t need to. The hike itself doesn’t include any sudden drops, and the path is wide and stable.
- Wear hiking boots if possible – not everyone does, and you can manage without, but you’ll find it a lot more comfortable with them.
- This is an easy hike to do even for a midweek sunset – it’s central and easy to reach, quick, and the views are unparalleled.
- This spot can get windy, so bring something warm.
- If you do the hike at sunset, be sure to bring a head torch with you. I’ve done the route down without, and there were lightning bugs and it was incredible, so that’s something to look out for! But if the moon isn’t out, it’ll be difficult to navigate down without light.
The hiking route
The start of Kloof Corner Hike is clearly marked, so you’re sure to find it – but if you like to be careful, just put it in Google Maps! The trail starts steep and quickly levels out, allowing you to take in the beautiful indigenous fynbos and far-stretching views before tackling the trail proper. It alternates between large rocky steps and sandy track, half handmade and half natural, and zig-zags a few times so that you’re not just trekking steeply uphill.
The last section of the hike is the tough part. The steps get steep and there’s no more curving, just a straight slog upwards. But, you can get that slog done in five minutes, and even if you take it slowly and struggle a bit, it shouldn’t take you more than ten minutes. Very much worthwhile!
When you reach the top of the trail, you’ll have spectacular views and can sit right down to admire them. Or, you can follow the curve of the rocky mountain to the right, and your view will shift so that the Twelve Apostles and Camps Bay are in front of you and the ocean and Lion’s Head to your left. I highly recommend watching the sunset from here.
Cape Town’s favourite hike
Kloof Corner really competes with the Lion’s Head hike for the title of local favourite. I’d recommend this route as the easier, milder trail. Lion’s Head is a more exciting scramble (while remaining relatively easy) and has the advantage of great views of Table Mountain, while Kloof is on Table Mountain. But luckily, you can do both!
Have you done this hike before? I’d love to hear what you think of it!