Difficulty level : medium
Duration : 3 to 4 hrs
I know many people love to sleep late, especially on a Sunday, but if you decide to tag along with my friends and I for hike, be prepared to be #ChasingTheSun as my one friend will say when he posts his sunrise pictures. The peace and serenity, watching the world wake up and the skies become a canvas with so many colours are the moments we live for. These moments can never be bought and the experience never passed on. I always say you can sleep later again when you get home.
When we visit Muizenberg Caves, we usually meet at Surfer’s corner and try to take as few car’s as possible up to Bailey’s Kloof trail, which is opposite the shark potters lookout on Boye’s Drive. Surfer’s
corner fills up pretty early with surfer’s wanting to catch their
early morning wave, so your car should be fine. Bailey’s kloof parking is at the start of the trail, but it only has sufficient parking space for about 4 vehicles, so we usually car hop up to the trail.
The shark spotters are directly opposite Bailey’s kloof trail on Boye’s drive, which makes it very easy to spot the starting point.
At the start you will get a few steps upward. When standing on a large boulder, turn to your left and follow the path.
Follow this winding path as it goes to Kalk bay’s side then back again, and prepare yourself for a steep climb straight to the top, where you will be greeted by the Mimetes valley of the Silvermine’s Nature Reserve.
This path is easy walking with various flowers, fynbos and colours in full bloom.
You will see a gravel road approaching, and if you look to the the right, you will see the beacon with the map of the area in the centre of various paths.
If your intention is to visit Muizenberg Cave, stick to your right and go in the direction of St James Peak. If you hear the croaking of frog’s at a small pond, you have now reached Nellie’s pool, which means you have gone a bit too far.
The pointer board will lead you up a path and a bend to your right, will reveal the cave. Be sure to have your flashlights ready if you want to explore the various paths and tunnels, they become narrower and smaller and some places you even have to crawl. This is a perfect place to have a rest and have something to nibble on.
All rested, we headed down the path we came from, turned left back to the route marker and followed the path to the Kalk Bay amphitheatre. This route was overflowing with flora of various types and colours. The rock formations makes you feel as if you have entered a western movie setting.
The path walks in-between the rocks and flowers as we searched for Tartarus Caves. Keep your eyes open, as it’s very easy to miss, because the opening is small and located very close to the ground.
The cave is damp on the inside and if you listen closely, you can hear
water flowing closeby. Just for fun we kept quiet and turned off our
lights. The silence was deafening and there was darkness all around!
When we exited the cave it’s amazing to see how bright and colourful it is outside, which makes you appreciate this trail even more.
Before we made our way down the path, we sat for a bit at the top beacon and looked over Kalk Bay harbour, Fish Hoek, Simon’s Town naval base and all along the False bay coastline.
We left the beacon and walked the trail on the side of the coast and we returned to the route marker, walking through Mimetes valley. Just before you approach the trail to head down the mountain, you are greeted by the big blue ocean and coastline of False Bay which now stretches from Muizenberg all the way up to Strand.
If you love the beach, the sights and sounds of nature, and have an explorer’s spirit within you, I am certain you will love this trail!