Hiking with your dog

We are getting a puppy next week. The idea is to find places where we can hike and take him with, partly for safety and partly because he is supposed to be our best friend :slight_smile: I think this will be a nice topic to exchange information about hiking trails that would allow dogs and also just exchanging tips and important things to know before you take your dog on a hike.

I know I can google this, but I haven’t yet found anything other than cottages where you can take your dog with and then go walk a bit around the place, or parks where again, you can go walk around a bit. I’m more interested in proper hiking trails. Something like Magoebaskloof (I doubt they allow dogs) could be nice, but even places without overnight huts. I must admit, I haven’t thought the tent issue through yet. Our hiking tent is very small, but I figure we can squeeze in.

Background info about the dog: We are getting a Golden Retriever. We think it’s a good fit for what we want. Intelligent, trains well, loves walking, loves swimming, will bring us food when we run out.

Shameless bragging, I know. His eyes are far apart, so he will obviously be trustworthy and have great peripheral vision.

Ok, so let’s get started, who knows some dog friendly hiking trails?


I agree. I’ve also googled and can’t find any overnight hikes that allow dogs in the Mpumalanga, Limpopo areas.

I would love to take my mutt with us on an overnight, just wonder who is going to carry his food.

You can get your pooch one of these :smiley:


Also looking for any dog friendly overnight hike!

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Haha, those bags look a little bigger than what I had in mind, but we’ll see what he can carry on our daily walks in the neighbourhood.

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I take my dogs hiking at kranskloof, magaliesberg

Some great trails, blue trail is diverse includes easy rock climbing, a challenging gorge/river, mapmyhike had it around 9km.
I have taken various dogs, they all coped just fine, though some parts are tricky.
There is also a yellow trail, I think it is shorter.
If you book in advance I think they have some kind of lodge if you want an overnight stay.
A few weeks ago it was R60 a human, R20 a dog - some jerks hiked before us and threw some much rubbish on route - was a tad annoying, I don’t understand that.
At the start they have decent braai area and toilets, and you will see monkeys and the odd buck on route.

Thanks! My eyes lit up for a moment, but it’s a different Kranskloof. I haven’t been to this one. Can you please confirm their directions? I’m asking because it looks wrong. 1.5km from the turnoff puts you pretty much at Sparkling Waters, and to turn right also doesn’t make sense. Google maps has a marker for Kranskloof between Grootkloof and Hamerkopkloof. I’ve been to both plenty, but didn’t think there’s much in between them. The map does show a little kloof however :slight_smile:

How big is the cliffs? I know this is a hiking forum, but you know, climbing.

You continue past Sparkling waters on the dirt road about 1km and the entrance to the parking is on the right.
The uphill and rocks is the easy part - the river section can be a challenge but great fun, my beagles and even my sausage half beagle coped just fine - but overall its a moderate to challenging hike.

Great, thanks! I think it might be the same farm where we park our cars when we go to grootkloof.

I’m sure most of you have already found this info, but I thought I’d post it anyway in case someone found it helpful:


Hi there, I just joined the forum and my first time posting. It was great to see that i am not the only one looking for a nice hiking trail where I can take my dog, and to top it would be an overnight hike! I am in the Cape town area, and not sure if you guys can help me with something pet friendly around here that you know?

I don’t know about overnight trails, but this link has a list of some very nice day hikes you can do with your dog in and around Cape Town: The Best Dog-Friendly Hiking Trails in Cape Town

Cape Union Mart wrote an article about the top dog-friendly hikes in South Africa: https://www.capeunionmart.co.za/5-of-the-best-hikes-to-do-with-dogs-in-south-africa

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You can do part of the Wild Coast meander with your doggie. Make enquiries. Definitely Trenereys, Kei Mouth and Morgan Bay are pet friendly and offer camping at the hotels


Hi Herman,

Yip, most of the hikes in the Lowveld are “Plantation” hikes, awesome trails and good value. Both KLF (Komatiland Forrest, now known as Safcol) and Sappi Forest do not allow any pets. So the well-known Fanie Botha, Kaapschehoop, Maggobaskloef trails etc. are all a no no with pets. A few privately owned trails do allow dogs, some may stipulate that it’s OK, only if the K9 is on a leash.
I hiked with a male GSD (my wife’s guardian) and my female Malinois. They both have their own backpacks in which they carry their meals, snacks and two 500ml water each. I carry and extra one litre of water for them to share.
Our favorite overnight hike is the Num Num (or Five Assegai) this trail can be a full five day or as we prefer a two day one night trail. As the trails are on different farms not all sections allow pets. We leave our vehicle at the Pongola Camp and hike up to Aloe Kaya and back down the next day. Slightly challenging for the K9’s but with a little help it’s all doable.
There is also the Blue Wildebeest Trail, Close to Badplaas, Mpumalanga. This is an awesome base camp with two (2) day trails on the farm. Very quiet and a real hidden gem for both humans and K9’s.
Lastly, I also use the Elangeni Hiking Trail, not far from Waterval Boven. This has a testing day 1 with a hard climb and not much water, however the accommodation and day two are easy with plenty water.
The other consideration is that your dog may not be able to navigate all the obstacles on a hike, for example a ladder. Either you do not take the dog or you learn to carry them up or over obstacles.
Water & food are also a consideration, a K9 requires water more frequently than humans do, high temperatures and long walks can be strain for a newbie K9.
Please feel free to mail me should you have any other questions. Hiking with a K9 is special and if you plan correctly trust me your K9 will love it!

Kind Regards,


Wow, thanks for all the info Redshift3! We’ll definitely give those trails a go.

We took our dog to Wilgepoort the other day and he loved it. He especially enjoyed swimming in the river.

Also thanks to Arno and June for your suggestions :grinning:

A real shame that Port Elizabeth and the Eastern Cape does not offer anything…

Oh wait, correction!! The beautiful Sacramento trail is mentioned in the Cape Union Mart article posted…woohoo!:joy:

I think down here we just do it informally😉

Hi Redshift3,

Thank you for this information, it is extremely helpful. I am a freelance photographer, writer and avid hiker; I am aiming to write an article about overnight dog friendly hikes in Mpumalanga (I live just outside Nelspruit). I phoned Num Num, but they have informed me that they do not allow dogs anymore, due to some animal chasing incidents.

I have tried to contact Blue Wildebeest Trail, but I’m struggling to get through (the number I used is for the Jhb Hiking Club). Do you perhaps have other contact details for me please?

Besides Elangeni, Blue Wildebeest and Buffalo Gorge, do you know about any other dog friendly hikes in Mpumalanga?

Kind regards,
Mia Louw

Hi Mia,

Sorry only logged on recently, been rather preoccupied with Comrades.

I used Jacana Travel they are brilliant with hiking info. Don’t forget there are areas in Kaapschehoop that are dog friendly, like Battery Creek and Devils Knuckles. The Blue Swallow Reserve and KLF trails don’t permit K9’s.


Give me a shout on smavro@icloud.com if you need more help, I’m resident in Nelspruit.

Kind Regards,

Any dog friendly off leash day hikes in Gauteng or Northwest Province?

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