Hike #21: Silvermine and Kalk Bay Peak

After Martin told Catherine how easy and uneventful our last hike had been, she agreed to give us one more chance.  Since our attempts to follow instructions usually end in a degree of digression and unhelpful discussions about the true meaning of directions like “take care not to traverse too far” and “more-or-less keeping this level”, we came up with a cunning plan and decided to make this hike up as we went along. After all, if there isn’t any particular place you’re supposed to be, you can’t very well be lost.

Nonetheless, Alison did confidently predict ‘this is nearly the top’ and ‘there really can’t be that much more up’ several times, while anxiously checking Catherine’s face for signs of displeasure.  Fortunately, the day was superb, the views of Kalk Bay were even superber and the ups weren’t so very uppity.  And, although we had no idea where we were most of the time, we didn’t get even remotely lost.


Duration: 3 hours

Distance: 12 km

Trail directions we used: The Silvermine and Hout Bay Slingsby hiking map

Parking: At the Sunbird Centre in Silvermine (this way you start far from the madding crowds, and you also don’t have to pay the permit fee).

Post-hike eating place: The Food Barn Deli at Noordhoek Farm Village for quiche and chicken pie.


  • A rather easy uphill and a not-too-jarring downhill.
  • Jumping around on the rocks overlooking the bay.
  • Alison getting confused by the way things get connected up in unexpected ways on the mountain and insisting that Kalk Bay was ‘some other place that looks like Kalk Bay’.
  • Coming down the other side of Kalk Bay Peak and discovering we’d come along the path from Echo Valley that we hadn’t taken last time. (It’s all connected! Double rainbows!)
  • Catherine still smiling by the end of the hike.

Alison Westwood is a travel writer and hikist. You can read more of her writing at alisonwestwood.com

Photographs of this hike

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