Things To Do in ConstantiaElephant's Eye Cave Hike
Where? Start at the Silvermine Nature Reserve parking area, Constantia, Cape Town
When? Best during daylight hours.
How much? Free
Start: Silvermine Nature Reserve parking area, at the end of the road as close to the dam as possible (not easy, if you get there late); your Wild Card, or Green Card, gets you free entry (you can also hike from the Tokai Arboretum)
Finish: where you started
Duration: anything from two to five hours; just under 8 km
Fitness: a fairly easy hike, although the last bit to the cave is rather steep and you will need a good pair of shoes
Our tip: go early as this is a popular hike, particularly in summer over weekends; if you want the cave to yourself, go during the week; take plenty of snacks if you have kids along
You cannot call yourself a Capetonian unless youíve walked to Elephantís Eye Cave. Itís not difficult to do, the scenery is amazing, the views incredible, and children manage it with ease.
Most of the walk is along well-hewn paths and gravel roads, and the higher you get, the more beautiful the views as Cape Town and False Bay begin to emerge behind you. Even as early as the Tokai Forest there are wonderful views across to the Hottentot Holland Mountains, provided itís a clear day.
The road zigs and zags its way slowly at a steady incline to the cave, which is huge (just as well as over weekends there will be a fair number of you in there at a time). Some people even bring their dogs up here (you need a Level 1 My Activity Permit to do this).
Elephantís Eye lies high up on Constantiaberg Mountain. Itís called Elephantís Eye because the mountain looks a little like the side on of an elephantís head and the cave lies just where an eye would be (you can see the cave from the Constantia / Tokai valley below).
Silvermine is part of Table Mountain National Park, protecting its diverse fynbos and scenery and preserving the hiking, caving, climbing and mountain biking that so many people of Cape Town love.
You can end the hike at the cave and then return the way you came, or you can continue right to the mast atop Constantiaberg Mountain (well worth it for the views!).