Elephant’s Eye is a cave located in the Constantiaberg mountain range, accessible by first entering either Silvermine Nature Reserve or Tokai Forest. Aptly named after its eye-like appearance on a part of the mountain resembling an elephant’s head, the trail is a highly popular choice for locals and tourists alike due to its relative ease. Once the home of a feared Hottentot Chiefteness, Elephant’s Eye overlooks Cape Town’s southern suburbs and is an excellent vantage point for taking in breathtaking views of the city.
We ventured forth into Silvermine Nature Reserve on a hot Sunday afternoon. After paying the standard seasonal rate at the gate, the road through the fynbos took us to the main parking area, where we set out over the saddle alongside Silvermine Dam.
The trail starts off on a comfortable contour, leading up to the ridge overlooking greater Cape Town. Being a hot day the trek uphill was a bit tedious at times, but the excitement of reaching the cave kept us going. Once having reached the top of the ridge, the trail decends into a small patch of pines with a river running through it. We cooled off here for a water break before we continued toward the ascent to the cave.
Some 30 minutes later we reached the cave. It is a very large cavity in the mountain, with it being more high than it is deep. There are plenty of places to sit inside the cave, with good lighting too. Ferns, moss and other flora adorn the ceiling – making for quite an unusual experience giving you the feeling of being upside down. The views looking out from the cave are second to none.
The trail there and back takes about two hours, but factor in another hour for taking in the views from inside & around the cave.
Where Silvermine, off Ou Kaapse Weg
When October – March (summer) 7am – 6pm, exit at 7pm. April – September (winter) 8am – 5pm, exit at 6pm
Contact +27 21 780 9002