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Trails replace beaches

Exploring all the best nooks and crannies of Cape Town’s hiking trails has become the new norm as beaches and public swimming pools are still closed under level 3 lockdown.

Many are flocking to hidden hiking gems around Cape Town, strolling along footpaths to dip into dams and rock pools, hoping to find a waterfall along the way.

Capetonians have shared their hiking experiences on social media, claiming that the new-found hobby does not only replace their beach strolls, but keep them fit and healthy as well.

Alice Lovegood says she has a new love for nature after her hiking journey throughout January.

“As a beach lover, it was really difficult at first to adapt to not taking my daily stroll along the beach. We have become so used to going to the beach and it was stripped away from us just like that.

“I began to search online for what to do to keep myself not only busy, but fit as well. Hiking was the perfect solution and after giving it a go, I loved it! Some trails do require a fee, but the experience is so worth it,” she says.

Kenny Swartz says that since many activities have been closed due to level 3 lockdown, hiking has become the best option to stay busy.

“Since going on a few hikes during the festive season, I have become fit and this ended up as a new hobby.

“Bookings are also essential when going hiking as most reserves only allow 50 people per day due to Covid-19 protocols. I encourage everyone to take on hiking. It really is a good way to get out with your family for fresh air,” he says.

In line with stricter regulations, the CapeNature reserves adjusted its restrictions and rules. Most of the reserves have also been closed for day visits, while reserve accommodation remains open and unchanged.

The CapeNature reserves says conference venues remain open at 50% capacity and all recreational swimming pools within nature reserves will remain open to visitors (adhering to strict protocols).

“Signage and capacities are in place and checks are implemented. Hiking and mountain biking only at controlled access points. The hiring out of vessels (boats, canoes etc.) by a business for any other activity will not be allowed,” CapeNature states on its website. The following Covid-19 protocols apply when visiting one of the CapeNature reserves:

  • With the safety of visitors and staff remaining a top priority, all visitors entering a controlled CapeNature reserve entrance gate will be subjected to a screening process upon arrival.
  • This will include the mandatory completion of a four-step check-in process requiring the compulsory sanitising of hands, wearing of masks, temperature checks and completion of a quick visitor access register.
  • Compulsory completion of a visitor screening questionnaire for all overnight visitors.

Opening and closing times of reserves for day visitors are from 09:00 and 18:00 respectively where access points at CapeNature reserves are used.

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