If you’re keen on a low-effort, high-reward hike, then Silvermine is for you. The Silvermine Nature Reserve forms part of the Table Mountain National Park and covers the Cape Peninsula mountain range from the Kalk Bay mountains through to Constantiaberg.
Distance: 7.5 km
Time: 4 hours
There are plenty of delightful trails in the area but a firm favourite is the Silvermine to Kalk Bay hike. The trail starts via the entrance in Ou Kaapse Weg, follows the trail to a beautiful waterfall (unfortunately, it is small and has no swimming opportunity), makes a pit stop in the Amphitheatre and finishes in Boyes Drive in Kalk Bay. Adventurous souls can also explore Boomslang Cave on the way.
Follow the jeep track from the starting point until a turn-off to a steep set of stairs takes you down to the waterfall. This is a detour, however, so you must take the stairs back up and continue on your merry way.
The sandy trail will lead you on to magnificent views of False Bay, and offers many spots to picnic. Continue in the footpath, and you will find a descent into a large, round open space between the rockies: you have reached the Amphitheatre.
After that, Boomslang cave is quite hidden and many who don’t know the area miss it completely, so keep an eye out for a small hole in the mountain with Fish Hoek behind you. There is a tunnel leading you to the cave (but can be accessed from both sides). From Kalk Bay’s side, there is a sign leading hikers to the cave and it is easier to find.
Be sure to take flashlights. The cave is not recommended for those suffering from claustrophobia as it gets quite narrow, with no outside light or air. Once you have explored the mountain’s belly, head on out and follow the sandy path on its gentle downward slope to Kalk Bay.
Highlights: Waterfall, Amphitheatre, Boomslang Cave
Pictures: Steve Jones