5 child-friendly hiking trails in the South Peninsula

Posted by Zimasa Katamzi on 2 July 2021

The South Peninsula has some hidden gem hiking trails with caves and shipwrecks. If you’re trying to escape the hiking traffic on Lion’s Head and Table Mountain but are also trying to find gentler mountains to climb, then these hiking trails are what you’re looking for. Here are 5 hiking trails you can enjoy with children.

1. Boomslang cave

5 hiking trails in the South Peninsula

Boomslang cave sourced from Flickr.

The Boomslang cave is located right above Kalk Bay and is a fairly easy cave to access. You don’t need to be the fittest person to be able to complete this hike and this makes it a child-friendly trail too. To get to the beginning of the trail, you will need to walk up to Boyes Drive to a sign printed ‘Echo Valley’. Remember that you are hiking into a cave so make sure to carry a torchlight and preferably wear long pants because you will be doing a lot of crawling inside the caves. Boomslang cave is a haven for bats so do not make too much noise and DO NOT shine your torchlight onto the bats otherwise you will disturb them. From up the mountain, you’re able to look down onto Kalk Bay and the harbour. This hike is a round trip so you will start and end your hike at the ‘Echo Valley’ sign.

Where: Kalk Bay on Boyes Drive

Duration: 2 hours (4km)

2. Elsies Peak

5 hiking trails in the South Peninsula

Elsies Peak sourced from Flickr.

From the bottom parking lot right opposite 1st Avenue on Kommetjie Road, you will walk up a flight of stairs that will lead you to the beginning of the trail on Mountain Road. After the ‘Elsies Peak’ signage, you’ll begin to climb the mountain while looking down at Fish Hoek and Glencairn. The first bit of the hike is a strenuous staircase that will give your legs the run for their money. After the staircase, the climb gets less steep until you’re casually walking on sand. When you get to the last bit of the mountain approaching the top, you will have to climb rocks using both your hands and feet. From the top of the mountain, you will gaze at Kalk Bay, Glencairn, Fish Hoek, and Simon’s Town. This trail definitely isn’t a tough one so children can participate in this hike too.

Where: Fish Hoek, Mountain Road

Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes

3. Peers cave

5 child-friendly hiking trails in the South Peninsula

Peers cave is located right above Fish Hoek’s sand dunes near the soccer fields. The climbing begins at the dunes. Right after that climb you are met with what seems to be a never-ending flight of stairs. Just like the trails mentioned above, this hike is a good but steep hike. If you are unfit this climb will take you a little while longer to reach the cave. The cave still has paintings on the rocks and you obviously will see that over some people have drawn some recent outlines.

Where: Above sand dunes in Fish Hoek

Duration: 1 hour 45 minutes

4. Thomas T Tucker shipwreck hike

5 hiking trails in the South Peninsula

Thomas Tuck hiking trail sourced from Pexels.

Formally known as the Olifantsbos Shipwreck Trail, the hiking trail falls within the Cape Point Nature Reserve with over 1200 endemic and protected plants and various wildlife. Following the yellow trail markers, you will hike down from the Olifantsbos parking lot to the sea where the Thomas T Tucker struck the Albatross Rock in 1942. Once you’ve reached the shipwreck you are welcomed to explore the left of pieces of the Thomas T Tucker with children too. This hike is a long one. Depending on your fitness, it will take 2 – 4 hours to climb down and back up to Olifantsbos parking.

Where: Olifantsbos, Cape Point Nature Reserve

Duration: 2 – 4 hours (3km)

 5. Elephant’s Eye

5 hiking trails in the South Peninsula

Elephant’s Eye sourced from Flickr.

Elephant’s Eye is a hiking trail in Silvermine and it is called this because the mountain looks like the side of an Elephant’s head and the cave is positioned just where an eye would be. Most of the walk along this trail is on gravel, and the higher you get up the mountain, the more exposure you get to the beauty of False Bay. This trail is the children’s favourite because of the cave and the possibility to swim in the dam.

Duration: 50 minutes


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