Hiking Trails in Nelson Mandela Bay

  • 04 June 2020 | By Nelson Mandela Bay Tourism

Nature lovers have an array of different hiking trails to choose from, whether it be mild family-fun hiking trails along the Baakens River or more steep climbs that lead to magical rock drawings and mountain tops looking out as far as Jeffreys Bay. There are a variety of hiking trails throughout the city that offer views of art, wildlife and different vegetation and they are of different difficulty levels.

Get active and enjoy some of the many diverse hiking trails and walks in Nelson Mandela Bay. Here is a few....

Van Stadens Wildflower Reserve Trails:  

The trail between 500m to 11km is a floral wonderland and visitors are encouraged to explore and enjoy the extraordinary diversity and splendour of the natural Fynbos, succulents and other indigenous flora. Mountain bikers are welcome to explore the plateau section of the reserve.

The Lower Guinea Fowl Hiking Trail: (7.5km) 


heavenly walk in the valley this morning with good friends and all the hounds... ❤❤

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The lower Guinea Fowl is a 7,5 km trail which is accessed from the 3rd Avenue dip in Newton Park, leading down to Settler's Park and Brickmakers Kloof. The trail meanders along the edge of the Baakens River flood-plain, and passes through a steep-sided valley below the city suburbs for its full length. The trail offers an accessible walk of considerable interest ranging from wildflowers, trees and blue water lillies to fauna such as dassies, leguaans, tortoises and lizards.


The Lady Slipper Hiking Trail: (3km) 

The lady Slipper Hiking Trail is a strikingly beautiful mountain reserve hike with rocky peaks, pristine fynbos and magnificent quartzite outcrops. 


The Sacramento Hiking Trail: (8km) 

The area offers attractive seascapes, landscapes and, depending on the season, some remarkable displays of dune vegetation and wild flowers as well as some history. A bronze cannon points towards the wreck site of the Portuguese galleon, Sacramento, the Sacramento monument and towards the far end of the sandy bay, aptly named Cannon Bay where the ruins of a mill, which used to crush seashells are located.

Bushbuck Trail: (900m - 16km) 

The trail can be fragmented as five different trails. Many of the trees are labelled with their national tree list numbers to aid identification and the birdlife is impressive - some 120 bird species have been recorded in the reserve. Vervet monkeys, bushpig and small antelope such as bushbuck and blue duiker are often spotted in the forest.

Donkin Heritage Trail: (5km) 

The Donkin Heritage Trail links 51 places of historical interest in the old Hill area of central Port Elizabeth. Trail booklet available at the Donkin Reserve Visitor Information Centre.


Route 67: (Varies in distance - how far do you want to walk?) 

Route 67 consists of 67 Public Art Works symbolising Nelson Mandela's 67 years of work dedicated to the Freedom of South Africa and includes 67 steps leading up the second largest flag in Africa.


Coastal Fynbos Trail: (7km)

An inland route is followed through the coastal fynbos starting and returning to Sappershoek along the top of the ridge overlooking the sea.


Maitlands Nature Reserve Hiking Trails: (3km-9km)

Dense indigenous coastal forest, abundant birdlife, an old wagon road which leads to Maitland lead mines, a variety of small animals such as bushbuck, and blue duiker as well as the famous giant Maitland sand dunes can be seen. 

Roseate Tern Hiking Trail: (9km)

The 9 km circular Roseate Tern Hiking Trail starts at the entrance gate of the Nature Reserve and offers beautiful unspoilt beaches, natural dune vegetation, rocky outcrops, a lighthouse built in 1851, an old military observation post, as well as a bird hide. No permit is required for hikers leaving their vehicles outside the gate. The Reserve is also regarded as one of the prime birdwatching venues around Port Elizabeth.

Grysbok trail: (2.5-4.8km)


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The trail meanders through the reserve, providing opportunities for observing the exciting fauna, including a variety of mammals, reptiles, amphibians, birds, and flora of the area. There are two trail options that can be walked, a 4.8 km or a 2.5 km loop. Both trails cover relatively flat terrain and are suitable for moderately fit people.

Aloe Trail: (9km)

The Aloe trail comprises two trails, a  2km, marked with yellow arrows, and a longer one of 7km (3 hours), marked with red arrows. Both start at a gate at the top of Tippers Creek Road, between Amsterdamhoek and Bluewater Bay. The trail takes a circular route via the escarpment overlooking Amsterdamhoek, returning through valley bushveld on the plateau. 

3 Rivers Trails: (3.5km-8.5km)

With a great network of MTB trails already existing at J-Bay Bike Park, Sunnyvale/Bluegums/Crossways Farms and Woodridge – the 3 river trails link all these existing trails in the Thornhill area to provide mountain bike riders of every level with a variety of unlimited world-class trails, not only for mountain-biking, but also for trail-running and hiking. See https://3riverstrails.co.za/trails/ for all the different trails on offer.

We could not post all of the trails so please comment below which of your favourite ones we left out. For more hiking trails visit our website.

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