Walkers who want to enjoy a classic mountain hike with all the big views but don't want to walk up Table Mountain will find the mountains of the Silvermine Reserve perfect. Only 20 minutes from Cape Town and lower and more sheltered than Table Mountain, Silvermine is home to pristine fynbos, a tumbling waterfall and plenty of oddities like caves, wetlands and patches of gnarled, lichen-covered forest.

Hikes can be tailor-made to accommodate all levels of fitness and interest. Silvermine is ideal for easy, introductory hikes and family rambles (children love the caves) but there are plenty of tougher routes too. It's also a good birding area, bird watchers can expect to see several endemic species, excellent for flowers year-round, and in spring it's not uncommon to look out over the turquoise waters of False Bay and see whales far below ' quite a sighting on a mountain hike.

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