South Africa
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The Hike to Oude Schip Island is only one of the many hiking trails around Cape Town that makes the Mother City one of the most epic places in the country for hikers. There are two routes to get to Oude Schip Island, one of which starts at the Sandy Bay Parking lot and another that starts from the Hout Bay Dunes.

Starting from the Sandy Bay parking area hikers can follow the path along the coastline until you reach Sandy Bay Beach. Please note that there are nudists on this beach and in the bushes and it is therefore advisable not to take children on this lower route. Walk along the beach (naked or clothed) until you reach the end where you’ll find a huge log from a fallen tree with a route into the Milkwood trees behind it. The paths inside the Milkwoods can be a little confusing, but if you keep heading up the path, you’ll find a path heading out of the forest about 100 meters from the entrance at the log which heads out to the right.

Once you’re out the forest and on the path, walk straight and you’ll eventually reach Oude Schip Island. Check the tides before setting out on your hike because you need to climb down a pretty easy rock face and over the rocks and pools which can only done during low tide! From here you can spot the shipwreck Harvest Capella (1986).

The hike itself is around 9 km in total and should take about three and a half hours there and back. Enjoy a picnic with a view from the rocks, from this spot you can see the shipwreck, Lions Head, Table Mountain, Little Lions Head and Sandy Bay.

The “less dodgy route”, the top route can be accessed from the Sandy Bay or Hout Bay Dunes parking lots. From Sandy Bay you once again follow the path toward the beach, you’ll see a path heading off to the left just before you descend onto the beach itself. Head up this route, which is quite steep and will take you up to the Hout Bay Dunes. Walk over the dunes and follow the path for about 2.5 km’s to Oude Schip Island. Near the end, the path becomes very steep and the loose gravel and stones can cause you to slip, so be extra careful!

Have a great hike!

Things to see and do

  • Scenic Mountain Views
  • Sandy Bay Beach
  • Milkwood Forest
  • Hout Bay Dunes
  • Rivers & Rock Pools
  • Oude Schip Island
  • Harvest Capella Shipwreck
  • BOS 400 Wreck
  • Birdwatching
  • Picnics


Free, self-guided hiking trail

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