I would like some recommendations on the easiest multi day hikes.
We are hoping to get some multi day hikes done in 2018, however being not the most experience nor the fittest currently, we want some hikes that will be a little challenge but still kind to the body…
Thanks in advance
Hey @King_ov_Valhalla, where in South Africa are you based?
I am based in the Free State, close to Bloemfontein, however we travel as much as possible, Hitting Kzn next week, Gauteng start March and then Garden Route end of March if all goes to plan and work allows it
Easy is very subjective. If you want to hit the KZN Drakensberg, go with Giants Castle area - the trails are generally in very good shape and are often even sign posted. The map there is also pretty accurate. If you are fit enough, Langalibalele Pass is one of the easiest ways to the top of the Drakensberg and is on a good trail the entire way. Alternatively you can always head up Oribi Ridge and follow the contour path along to Bannerman Ridge - which is a scenic route if you aren’t ready to head to the top.
Just make sure that you are carrying a good tent (i.e. a hiking tent, not something from a supermarket), as the wind there, even at 2000m, has torn many tents to shreds.
Royal Natal National Park is the best spot for easy day hiking, but you aren’t allowed to camp outside the designated campsite, so you can’t do a multi-day hike there.
The easiest multi-day hike I’ve done is the Num-num Trail near Machadodorp (Emakazeni) in Mpumalanga. As a hike I found it to be OK, nothing amazing other than the one camp/overnight hut - Aloe Kaya, which was special!
Hiking the Giants cup trail, 5 days need moderate fitness. Stay in huts along the way, neat and tidy. It was my first multi-day trail that I did in preparation to the Fish river canyon, which i still need to do when I finally get my passport
Port St Johns to Coffee bay is a must. It’s an easy hike with a local guide - you stay in rondavels in the local villiages and the mama’s cook massive meals each night ranging from whole farm chickens and pot brood to fresh mussel pots and even oysters. So you only carry your lunch and daily water with you. There are tuckshops along the way. Bedding is provided. It’s an amazing experience that includes forests, rolling hills, beautiful beaches and river crossings. All the fees go straight back into the pockets of the local people. http://wildcoasthikes.com
Easiest can be classified in three ways:
Being inexperienced is fine, but you have to have an idea of your level of fitness for anyone to answer this question accurately. Do a day hike or two (I am sure you have) and give an indication of what your comfortable with. Also take into account who is going with you (children/ parents/ friends).
Most trails will ballpark you between 13-23km per day. If you can easily do this in a day then consider climbs… a quick ascent of 300m at 45 degree angles will be hard on most climbers. Also consider a relatively easy hike will turn downright scary in bad weather. Most people consider the Hottentots Holland mountain as safe since it frames Somerset West/ Stellenbosch, but climbers have died on the mountain due to hypothermia in full hiking gear (and these were not novice hikers).
If you do not mind taking the odd climb slowly then:
-The Otter trail
is a relative pushover. Really short days, a single big climb and beautiful.
If you want to try to ease into it, try slackpacking a multiday hike first:
-The leopard trail
the walks are longer, but its slackpacking and I have done it with a group
of seniors (average age 70). Given they did train a bit
If your looking to start with shorter options (2-3 days) then:
why not start closer to home.
-Rhebok hiking trail (Golden gate NP)
-Bokmakierie hiking trail (Doornkloof NR Colesberg)-they recently upgraded this one
Hope this helps. PS. Just note the time of year and rainfall in the regions. You’re bound to catch at least one day of rain on the otter, although I have hiked it without. It goes without saying to avoid summer heat, but NB for the leopard trail and Bokmakierie.
If you have something specific in mind just drop more hints and we can add more hikes