While we understand a person by walking a thousand miles in their shoes, we too, understand a city by walking through its roads, parks, and promenades. Cape Town runners have long understood the beauty of the city is best seen on a running route through the city, showcasing the magnificent sweeping views of the Atlantic ocean, the incomparable sunsets, the exquisite architecture, the natural canvas and the vibrant community on these paths.
Cape Town’s versatile ocean tarmac and rugged mountain running routes are a fully immersive scenic experience for all running and walking enthusiasts. Grab a pair of trainers and let’s explore the city together.
Running routes on the Atlantic Seaboard:
The Sea Point Promenade: 11km Route
The Sea Point Promenade is the perfect place if you are looking for an uninterrupted ocean view. The promenade is one of the most popular routes for Capetonians, who congregate with their dogs, friends and family.
The 11km route is a social hub of runners who enjoy the mostly flat (a blessing for beginner runners) path that runs alongside the ocean. Make the most of the route by starting at Granger Bay Boulevard and follow the route along Beach Road until you reach Seacliff Road in Bantry Bay.
Camps Bay to Hout Bay: 22km Route
If you are a seasoned runner, you will most likely enjoy this 22km run from Camps Bay to Hout Bay. The views are more than Instagram worthy, with views stretching over Camps Bay, Clifton and even Lion’s Head.
The one direction of the route will guide you through Suikerbossie, down into Hout Bay village. The opposite route will guide you through views of the Atlantic seaboard towns in front of you where you can take a break and snap a photo of the sights.
Constantia Nek, Vlakkenberg Peak and Hout Bay Beach: 11km Route
A beautiful but challenging route for intermediate and expert runners. This point-to-point route takes you from Hout Bay road at the summit of Constantia Nek up the slopes of Vlakkenberg Peak.
There you will begin a fast and technical descent – where runners must be cautious – skirting along the tarred access road in the direction of Vlakkenberg and the abandoned Manganese Mine.
Before you finish your route at the Hout Bay beachfront, you will drop down onto the historic East Fort and onto Chapman’s Peak Drive. An exquisite trail for the adventurous runner looking for a challenge and a view.
Lion’s Head/Signal Hill Road: 8km Route
An excellent route for both runners and walkers who enjoy an incline in their trails. Locals who frequent this route tend to start running up the mountain from the parking area at the bottom, up the dirt road, circling Lions Head to get to the top.
Exercise some caution when running up as it is one of Cape Town’s most famous natural tourist attractions and it welcomes hundreds of fellow runners and hikers. Once you begin descending Lion’s head and make your way back to the parking lot, venture up the Signal Hill Road for an extra 3km on your route.
The endpoint offers a rewarding view over Cape Town and makes the journey worthwhile.
The Old Fisherman’s Trail: 22km Route
A different 22km route to Hout Bay, running from False Bay. This route is a fantastic trail run in Kalk Bay, passing through Echo Valley to the Fishermans’ trail.
The trail guides runners through the Silvermine Reservoir with a subtle incline to the summit of Blackburn Gorge, where you will see views stretching over the Hout Bay area.
Runners should run this route in a group and take caution when summiting the peak.
Devil’s Peak: 5.33km Route
Devil’s Peak is the ideal route for both beginner and intermediate runners who want to challenge themselves with endurance and gradients. Beginners should start the run at the top of Devils Peak Estate, with more advanced runners making their way up the route. This trail is ideal for coordination as runners need to navigate over uneasy terrains over the quarry. Runners are cautioned to be aware of the intensity the lower gravel roads that lead to Rhodes Memorial, just above the University of Cape Town.
Tafelberg Road: 12 km Route
Starting at the foot of Tafelberg Road, this 12km route will guide runners to the cable station before running 6km along the base of Table Mountain and the bottom of Devil’s Peak. The perfect trail run for experiences/advanced runners with inclines and intensity through the hills.
Running routes in the Southern Suburbs:
Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens: 10km Route
Venturing into the southern suburbs will offer runners a different natural landscape within Cape Town. As the epicentre of natural excellence, Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens is perfect for a run outside the hustle and bustle of the city centre.
Runners should follow the Protea and Restios lined gravel path from the top gate of Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens which steeply winds until it reaches a horizontal plain with views of the Cape Flats and the rest of the southern suburbs. The undulating trail run winds through river beds, tall green pines and stunning views of Constantia Valley before rising to an upper contour path and back to Nursery Ravine.
Rondebosch Common: 2.5km Route
Nestled deep within the suburbs, the Rondebosch Common is a popular training route in Cape Town. The common is 2.5km in circumference, is well lit and is full of runners and walkers.
It’s an ideal spot for 5km time trials which you can start at the corner of Campground and Park Road. Surrounded by views of the mountain, runners and walkers will be rewarded with a new perspective of the Table Mountain range.
Silvermine: 6.17km Route
A beautiful, slightly quieter route for runners who want to run surrounded by natural elements. Runners should start at the gate, run towards the dam then follow the mountain bike route to the left.
Run around the dam coming back over the concrete wall and following the dirt road back towards the start gate. The river route towards the right will take you past the braai sites, where you may turn left, back into the car park.
Run this route with a group, where possible, and run it during daylight hours.