Avid hiker, trail runner, and award-winning travel writer, Heather Richardson grew up in England but has criss-crossed the globe for her work. Now residing in Cape Town, Heather takes advantage of the surrounding mountains in her spare time, and also has a soft spot for the area’s wine farms. For our hiking enthusiasts, we asked Heather to share some of her best trails in South Africa.
It’s very hard to pick a favourite hike in South Africa, but I do love a wild camping weekend in the Cederberg. A highlight for me was scrambling up Sneeuberg, the highest peak in the Cederberg, and then hiking back down past the iconic Maltese Cross rock formation. I want to do more hiking in the Drakensberg, too – a mountain range that runs through eastern South Africa, home to the country’s highest peaks. Last year, I took part in Ultra Trail Drakensberg, an ultra-running event, where the route took us up to the Lesotho border for sunrise, across the 12 Apostles mountains, and back along part of the undulating Giant’s Cup Trail. Finally, a long-standing favourite that’s much closer to home is Lion’s Head, the little peak in Cape Town with views across the Atlantic, the city and Table Mountain. It’s deservedly popular at sunrise and sunset.
I always hike in my trail running shoes – Brooks Cascadia. They’re much lighter than hiking boots, dry out quickly, and have excellent grips. If, like me, you don’t need the ankle support, I’d always recommend trail runners for hiking.