Get out and enjoy all that nature has to offer right on our doorstep; Silvermine is a gorgeous nature reserve boasting plenty to see and do.
You will find Silvermine Nature Reserve in the central region of the Table Mountain National Park. Ou Kaapse Weg divides the reserve into two sections. The reserve covers the area from the Tokai side of Table Mountain to the Noordhoek and Sun Valley area overlooking the sea.
In the seventeenth century, eager miners believed that there was silver in the mountains so they sunk shafts to try and find it. The attempt was futile but the name remained. In 1998, the Table Mountain National Park took Silvermine under its wing to ensure the preservation of its natural beauty.
Things to see and do:
The reserve is a conservation area for indigenous fynbos and is home to nearly 1,000 species. There is a display of the flowers currently in bloom at the main gate on the west side.
Hiking and walking
The routes are well-illustrated on the maps which you can grab at the entrance. Both the east and west sides of Silvermine offer excellent hiking opportunities, including a short and wheelchair-friendly walk around the reservoir, a walk along the river, a walk to the Silvermine Waterfall, and longer hikes with breathtaking scenery. Read our blog post for the details on hiking to Elephant’s Eye Cave.
Picnic or braai
Choose a designated spot around the reservoir and enjoy a picnic with fresh air and panoramic views without all the walking. Built-in braais are available in the winter months only due to the high fire risk in summer.
There are certain areas where you are allowed to walk your dog.
Take your binoculars and telephoto lenses – swallows, orange-breasted and malachite sunbirds, rock kestrels, kites, buzzards and peregrine falcons are common. If you’re lucky, you might even see black eagles.
In the late eighteenth century, the city built the reservoir to be used as a water supply, but since 1912, it has been open for recreation activities. It’s an excellent spot to take a dip or train. Read our blog post to find out about other spots to cool off in the Cape Town heat this summer.
The are mountain biking trails are on the west side, but you’ll need a permit. The popular Silvermine MTB trail (7,5 km circular route) begins at the parking lot, goes past the reservoir, up Noordhoek Peak and back again.
Rock climbing and cave exploring
There is a rock climbing area near the Silvermine reservoir and some sandstone caves to explore.
There are two official parking places from where you could start your adventure.
Gate One (to the western section)
Coming from Cape Town along Ou Kaapse Weg, turn right, and you will find Gate One to Silvermine. From here, you could hike to the top of the Constantiaburg Mountain for exquisite views of Hout Bay or enjoy some leisure time around the reservoir. The area also offers tracks for mountain biking enthusiasts.
Travel a few hundred metres past Gate One and turn left into the car park. Gate Two will gain you entry to a hike over to Kalk Bay or you could take a circuit route. This section includes majestic, indigenous Afromontane Forests, stunning waterfalls and fascinating geology.
It’s important to take note of exit times when entering a gate. Click on ‘gate hours‘ to see a list of the times. Check the South African National Parks website for updates on operational constraints in this area.
Get a Wild Card and enjoy unlimited access to Wild Conservation Partner Parks, Reserves and Resorts (Parks) depending on the membership you choose.
When Gate 1: May–August 8 am – 5 pm; September–April 7 am – 6 pm; Gate 2: all year 8 am – 6 pm
Where Silvermine, Ou Kaapse Weg
Cost R30 per adult per day, R15 per child for non-Wild Card holders
Contact +27 21 780 9002 (gate), +27 21 789 2457 (office)
Photography courtesy Silvermine Nature Reserve Facebook page