Things To Do in NewlandsKings Block house to Kirstenbosch
When? Daylight hours
How much? Free
Start: parking area at Rhodes Memorial
Finish: Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens
Duration: 6 km, roughly 3 hours one way
Our tip: end your hike at one of the two restaurants at Kirstenbosch for lunch or tea
Rhodes Memorial, at the foot of Devil's Peak, is one of Cape Town's iconic structures - a memorial to the English-born South African Cecil John Rhodes. Designed by Sir Herbert Baker to look like a Grecian temple, the giant stairway is flanked by no fewer than eight bronze lions and is only a short walk from the start of the hike, so worth exploring.
The hike starts along a path to the left and at the top of the parking lot, as if heading for the hills. It rises up at a fairly steep incline towards the King's Blockhouse, built as a lookout post over False Bay and the Castle just after the first British occupation of the Cape.
Though not much to look at it was one of three blockhouses built on the slopes of Devil's Peak, later used as a signal station for communication between Table Bay and False Bay. Now it is a national monument.
From the block house follow the contour path towards Kirstenbosch (in the other direction it heads up Table Mountain). The path takes one through Newlands Forest, offering wonderful views and waterfalls en route, before heading on to Kirstenbosch.
It is not a difficult walk, bar the steep climb to the blockhouse and then later just before the descent into Kirstenbosch.
For the more determined hiker, return along the same path.