Hiking in Silvermine Nature Reserve

Hiking to the Elephants eye cave, up to the Constantiaberg tower and then down to the viewing platform above Hout Bay is one of the most rewarding hikes in the Cape Peninsula. It is relatively short (should take you +/- 4 hours to complete) has wonderful views in every direction, includes a chance to explore the elephants eye cave and takes you through some of the most amazing fynbos.

The starting point is in Silvermine North at the top parking area. (Going up Ou Kaapse Weg from the Southern suburbs turn right into Silvermine and continue following the road until you can’t drive any further) Then follow the path signed towards the elephants eye cave. Initially you follow a jeep track forking left after about 5 minutes walking. Then take the short cut cutting out a huge corner. As you rejoin the jeep track you will a small path to the right that is clearly signed to elephants eye cave.

Elephants eye cave

The path off the jeep track is well marked

You  now follow a relatively flat path with amazing views over False Bay and the Southern suburbs for about 15 minutes. At a junction turn left and after a further 5 minutes the path climbs steeply to a small block like building perched above you. This is the fire lookout hut. During the summer months someone sits on duty here looking for signs of fire in the Tokai forest below.

The fire lookout hut

The lookout hut in Silvermine nature reserve

You should reach here about 30 minutes into your hike. Its a good place to take a break before tackling the steep climb first to the cave abd then up the Constantiaberg.

 

hiking in Silvermine nature reserve

The view from Elephants eye cave

Drop back down the path from the lookout hut and you will see the path to the cave almost immediately on your right. This starts to climb steeply up a zig zag path until after less than 15 minutes climb you turn off the main path and head for the cave. It is well worth taking this 5 minute detour as the cave is large and quite deep. Photos from inside the cave are breathtaking.

Hiking in Silvermine

Inside elephants eye cave

Once you’ve explored the cave return to the path and continue up. This is now the hard part of the hike. You head up hill for about 45 minutes until reaching the cement road that leads up to the mast.

 

Looking South from the Constantiaberg

The view from the Constantiaberg

Cross over the road and take the continuation of the path that cuts out a corner of the road. Where you rejoin the road again take the small path that leads of it and takes you around the back of the mast.

 

The Constantiaberg mast

The mast at the top

At the first path junction take the left option. At the second junction again turn left and you will begin to head down a steep path towards the Silvermine lookout platform. You are now overlooking Hout Bay, Chapmans Peak drive and the Atlantic.

Hiking in Silvermine nature reserve

Unbeatable views coming down from the Constantiaberg

 

After about 30 minutes hard downhill you join the path to the Silvermine viewpoint that overlooks Hout Bay. Turn right here and you will be at the viewpoint in less than a minute. Relax and the enjoy some of the best views in Cape Town.

 

Looking out from the viewpoint

The Silvermine viewpoint

From here you follow the path from the view point back to the jeeptrack. Turn left and follow the road back to your car. It is all down hill and should take you about 30 minutes to get to the end.

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