spes bona forest, muizenberg

Hiking Cape Town: Spes Bona Forest

**A look back at hiking in the Spes Bona Forest almost a year ago! Soon after this hike, the trails on this side of the Cape Peninsula closed due to the fire last March. I believe the trail reopened in September.**

The Spes Bona Forest hike, starting from Boyes Drive in Muizenberg, uses the Silvermine trails overlooking False Bay and the sea towns of Kalk and St. James Bays. The trail starts with a slow series of exposed switchbacks, before making its way into a dense, green forest.

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We happened to go on a particularly foggy day over the summer, so while the sea-facing hike up started sunny and warm, entering the Spes Bona forest was like entering another ecosystem. It was damp and covered thickly with trees, like a jungle. Especially cool were the milkweed and yellowwood trees and their furry barks.

There were also quite a few large boulders, and a moss-covered cliff with continuously dripping water. Apparently it turns into a waterfall in the winter.

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After crossing over the raised boardwalks, the trail creeps up through thick, high fynbos until you reach the summit—or at least what we think was the summit. It was covered so thickly in fog, we couldn’t see very far in front or above us. The top was covered in another kind of forest of vertical granite slabs.

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Above are a series of Velskoenblaar flower blooms—commonly known as the “April Fool” flower.

The trail ended in a sandy amphitheater, though there were other trails from there that connect to more Silvermine hiking routes. We stopped in the amphitheater awhile before winding our way out of the foggy forest and back into the sun.

The Spes Bona hiking trail itself only takes a couple of hours, climbs easily and is a great way to experience a variety of the environments that exist in Table Mountain National Park.

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