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  • Writer's pictureJoshua @ Forge

6 easy steps to planning the perfect hike at a CapeNature reserve using the Forge App

In July 2021 we announced a partnership with CapeNature, ensuring that their hiking trails are covered with superior digital maps.

Hiker walking down a path alongside towering peaks at Jonkershoek Nature Reserve.
Jonkershoek Nature Reserve is a popular hiking destination just an hours drive from Cape Town.

These maps include super accurate trails and important points of interest, like camping sites, waterfalls and mountain peaks among others, as well as information on

opening hours, facilities, contact details and more.

With all the information in one place, the Forge app is your go-to tool for planning and navigating your next hike. The app currently hosts 12 CapeNature reserves across four Western Cape regions. So once you’ve planned and booked your adventure, whether it's at the breathtaking Groot Winterhoek, the majestic Sneeuberg or laid back West Coast, here’s how to get the most out of your Forge app.

1. Scan me - get the app

Maybe packing got a bit stressful the night before and now you’ve turned up at the start of your adventure destination but realise you forgot to download the Forge app onto your device?

No worries!

At selected CapeNature reserve reception desks you’ll find a small upright poster where you can scan a QR code which will take you directly to the relevant app store. You can also access Forge directly from CapeNature’s Visitor App. At some reserves, such as Kogelberg, where cell phone signal is weak, there is free WiFi available for guests.

Poster advertising the Forge App at CapeNature reserves.
Scan QR codes to download the Forge app at selected CapeNature reserves.

2. Take me offline - download your map

Generally, cell phone signal at CapeNature’s reserves is weak and that’s probably one of the best parts of being outside and why you’ve chosen to ‘get away from it all’. Thankfully, Forge has you covered with our offline maps feature.

While you’ve still got signal or WiFi, use the filter to find the map you need. Near the top of the screen, tap ‘Offline Maps’ and then ‘Available to Download’ (if you haven’t already downloaded the map). Find the map you want to download and tap the little cloud icon.

It’s as simple as that (just remember to leave the app open whilst the map downloads).

Tutorial guide on accessing offline maps on the Forge app.
Offline maps are essential for heading out to areas with variably cell-phone network connectivity.

3. Navigate like a pro - map tools and features

Once the map screen opens you’ll see a bunch of buttons on the bottom and right hand side. These buttons allow you to change what is visible on the map, offer additional information on the reserve and provide tools to help you easily navigate around the map.

A full app tutorial is available in the side menu of the app - which can even be accessed offline - as well as on the Forge website.

Guide to the map tools on the Forge App.
Forge maps include all the information you need on your chosen hiking destination/

4. Mayday, mayday! - make emergency calls

Imagine you’re having the best day out enjoying the Western Cape’s crème de la crème when all of a sudden your mate slips and let’s out a yelp. They’ve sprained their ankle and tell you they can’t carry on. You need help. This is when you need the built-in emergency call function on your Forge map.

Tapping the red button brings up a list of only relevant emergency contacts in bright red. This way you don’t have to waste time searching Google for the right number to call or have the number saved on your phone already (although we’d always recommend this!). Tap the number you need and a call will be placed directly to that number from the app. Note that you will need both airtime and cell phone network to do this - not even we can work magic to do this without!

Hikers walking on an overcast day at Kogelberg Nature Reserve.
Even on a casual hike emergencies can occur. (Kogelberg Nature Reserve))
Hopefully you won’t need to go near the red button but it’s always there.

If in doubt while using the app, just hit the ‘Locate to Current Position’ (the target) button and your precise location will be front and centre again. If all this just becomes too much, you can always check out the App Tutorial in the side menu.

5. Share the mountain stoke - tag @forge_sa

The side menu features a bunch of other useful things, including links to our social media pages. So once you’ve had an awesome hike through the fynbos and along sandstone cliffs, all that’s left to do is to share the mountain stoke by tagging @forge_sa and @capenature in your best pictures on Instagram and Facebook.

6. Tell us about your Forge experience - rate and review the app

Forge is made for you - the South African explorer. We love hearing about your experience of the app and how we can make it even better. Let us know what you think by rating the app and leaving a review on your app store (Google Play or Apple App Store). If you spot something faulty on the app, drop us a note, either on our social media channels or via email at and we’ll get our map mechanics on it as quickly as possible. You can also drop us a note just to say ‘Hi! 🙋’.

Get the most out of your Forge app - Find Your Path and Explore More.


Be sure to get the free Forge App on your mobile and download our offline maps to take with you onto the mountain, then share the stoke using #ForgeSA

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