A gentle hike to the waterfall in Silvermine East

On Saturday morning, the 13th of November, the weather was so nice that we decided to head south towards the Silvermine Nature Reserve for a gentle hike around the eastern section. Besides, I needed a break from the computer, where I’d spent the entire week sorting and editing all the photos I took during the 2010 Cape Town Military Tattoo. Our last hikes had been around High Steenberg Peak in Silvermine East in early September, and an all-too-short hike in the drizzle along the Hillcrest path in Silvermine West at the end of September. It was definitely time for some more exploration of our beautiful wilderness areas!

Welcome to Silvermine Nature Reserve, Gate 2!

When we arrived at the booms to the reserve in the mid-morning, there were already a fair number of cars parked in the parking area. We set off at a steady pace, slowly getting into our stride, as we followed the gravel road up to the route-sign, where we debated our options. As we’d be doing the 10km Big Walk on Sunday, we decided on a short, gentle hike to the waterfall and back.

Screenshot from Google Earth showing our route (in white) and the waterfall (the red dot)

Ah, it felt great to stretch our legs again, to inhale that refreshing scent of flowering fynbos, and to listen to the birds tweeting and chirping as they flitted from one flowering bush to another.

We followed the easy gravel path as it curved around the southwest-facing hillsides, enjoying the view that opened up before us. We could easily trace the line of Ou Kaapse Weg, as it curved downhill towards Noordhoek – and far away, on the distant horizon, we could make out the white curve of Noordhoek beach.

As we came to the turn-off to the narrow stone path that would take us down to the waterfall, I saw a stone-clad cement pillar on the left, with a silvery disk mounted ontop, on which was drawn a detailed map showing the different routes, destinations and approximate distances. Very helpful!

Oh! I don't remember this map being here the last time we hiked in this section of the reserve

We turned onto the stone path, and made our way across to the top of the waterfall. A couple of trees stand right at the edge, anchored solidly in the ground, and giving the perfect vantage point for looking dooooown the waterfall. (If you tend to get vertigo, though, don’t look too closely at the rushing water as it tumbles down!)

We forded the narrow stream, and followed the stone path as it led upwards, winding among dense, tall fynbos shrubs, until we joined the gravel road once again. From here it was an easy return back to our car. I stopped frequently to snap pictures of the beautiful flowers we encountered.

By the time we had waved goodbye to the friendly security guard at the booms, my stomach was rumbling… and so we soon found ourselves at the Noordhoek Garden Emporium, which we’d discovered a couple of months ago. (Have a look here, here and here for some more pictures of this delightfully quaint place.) It was the perfect place for a restorative lunch – and we could even have a quick browse through the weekend papers! Ah, bliss!

We restore our energy levels with a delicious chicken-and-mayo toasted sandwich and a baked cheesecake - YUM!

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Gallery of Photos

8 thoughts on “A gentle hike to the waterfall in Silvermine East

    • Hello Helen – yes, I agree. It’s usually not too hot, that one is constantly looking for shade, and the mountains haven’t yet been dried out by the summer months. There was so much birdlife too! I just wasn’t fast enough to photograph them.

  1. Stunning pics! I love the birds especially. I would recommend the wonderful walks around Cape Point Nature reserve, although some of the walks are over three hours long (often windswept too) and you have to pay a pricely entrance fee. That is, if you haven’t already done these!

    Speaking of restaurants, I like the Blue Water Cafe at Imhoff’s Farm – excellent pizzas – or the Easy Dig Cafe at Harry Goemans Garden Centre (opposite Solole Game Reserve) on Kommetjie Road. It has a great natural atmosphere and good food.

    • Hello Gloria – thank you so much for those tips! Actually, we hadn’t done *any* of the walks around Cape Point, because the entrance fee of R75 a person is, quite honestly, horrendous. I know that entrance is free if you have a Wild Card, but we don’t have one… yet.

      And we’ll check out the two cafes you mention – always nice to get personal recommendations from locals; we tend to avoid touristy places (which tend to have exorbitant prices and to be really busy during the tourist season) and prefer tucked-away places that make good value-for-money slow-food and give friendly service.

  2. It truly sounds like it was a wonderful hike. The color in the flowers was exceptionally gorgeous. Sounds like you have been very busy with that Tattoo! Glad you were able to take a break from the computer.

    • Thanks, Kathy. Yes, it was wonderful to be out in the wilds again… but, Kathy, the Tattoo – wow… it was simply AWE-some! I didn’t even mind the long hours and the lack of sleep, because I really had the best time; I hope that my excitement filtered through on the posts. And hopefully I’ll be part of next year’s Tattoo as well.

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