There’s so much to do in this natural pine forest just 15 minutes from the CBD.
Situated on the eastern slopes of Table Mountain, Newlands Forest is a favourite among (dog) walkers, trail runners, leisurely strollers, die-hard hikers, nature lovers, picnickers and tourists looking to get into nature without having to venture far from the city centre.
Important note Although the Cape is rich in natural beauty, tourists and locals alike are urged to take necessary precautions when exploring secluded areas, as crimes and accidents do happen.
Those venturing into the Table Mountain National Park should have the following emergency numbers on hand: 086 110 6417/ 107 or 021 480 7700. Criminal incidents should be reported to the nearest police station as soon as able.
We also recommend @safetymountain as a useful resource for hikers. This free safety tracking service allows you to notify local trackers of your contact details, intended route and travel time via WhatsApp. You are then able to provide hourly updates on your progress, and to notify trackers when you are safely off the mountain.
Here are the reasons we love it:
Avid hikers use the forest as an entry for the four unique trails that wind up the mountain. These trails range from easy to moderate, and boast several vantage points along the way that offer exquisite views stretching from the city centre to Blouberg.
Leisurely strollers entering the forest from the parking area will come across a sign with information detailing the various routes. The easier routes are made up of interlinking paths, with a few streams in between, and stunning views of the surrounding suburbs.
Please note Dog walkers require a Level 1 My Activity permit, available for R320 for a year. Contact the Tokai Plantation Office (021 712 7471) to purchase one.
Picnic + braai
Bring your own portable braai and prepare lunch among the trees in the designated braai and picnic areas. Most of the stream-side picnic spots are protected by a canopy of trees, providing shade in summer and protection from rain in winter. No furry companions are permitted in the braai and picnic areas, but they are more than welcome to accompany you on the hiking routes.
Good to know Newlands Forest picnic site is closed from the 1 June to 30 September every year.
The Newlands Forest Nursery is well worth a visit, with four large greenhouses and a vast patch of cultivated land.
R320 (My Activity dog-walking permit)
Picnic area R35 (South African adults)
R15 (South African children 2 – 11 years)
R70 (SADC adults)
R35 (SADC children 2 – 11 years)
R140 (Foreign nationals adults
R70 (Foreign nationals children 2 – 11 years)
Contact 021 712 0527
Address Newlands Forest, M3, Newlands, Cape Town
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