Hiking Trail: De Hel
Name of Reserve / Area: Greater Constantia area
Nearest Town: Constantia, Houtbay, Tokai
Province: Western Cape
Country: South Africa
Duration of hike: 1 hour 30 min (about 4km, this is a semi circular walk)
Directions to get there: From Cape Town CBD, take the the M3 south towards Muizenberg. Turn right into Rhodes Drive. Follow this scenic windey road until you get to a circle in the road. This is known as Constantia Nek. Turn left and drive down into Constantia Main Road. About 750 meters from the circle, you will find a small car park on your left. This marks the start of your walk onto the De Hel trail.
Best time of year to go: Any time is good. This path is covered with thick forest and schrubs and makes for a comfortable walk on a hot summers' day.
What costs did you incur to do this hike: none
How safe is it: As always, I make sure I have some sort of protection. In this case, my only source of protection was my man and his doggie Zues, the 5 year old doberman. Lucky for me, Alex remembered to bring his pepper spray and his shocker too. I was covered from all bases. I would not take this walk on my own though.
Fresh Water: The little stream along the way provided a good supply of water for the pooch, but we did find a runners' fountain right at the end of the walk by Southern Cross Drive.
Difficulty: very easy stroll. Great walk for beginners, elderly and your fat lazy / old doggie.
Pets: Allowed (fat ones, thin ones, old ones, the works!)
From the car-park, turn right at the De Hel signpost and follow the narrow path down into the beautiful valley.
(the above image was taken along this route, and can be saved as a wall-paper if u wish to do so)
Soon the path will make a sharp turn to the left and eventually you will find yourself walking next to the stream below.
Ignore the first wooden footbridge crossing over the stream on your left...
...as well as a large fallen tree over the stream , just a few meters further.
Both these offer paths to our destination at the top, but do keep right and continue to enjoy the scenery until you find the second wooden footbridge at the bottom of the path. This is a great spot to sit and enjoy a relaxing picnic whilst hearing the water flow below and the birds chirping above. Turn left and cross over the stream onto the wooden footbridge.
Soon after you have crossed over the second wooden footbridge, the path will fork again.
You have a choice of going left - the easy stroll to the top, or right over a third wooden footbridge - which is a more fairly difficult inclined walk with some steep steps to the top.
We took the more easier option going left and followed the narrow path up the hill.
Either one of these routes will take you in about 10 minutes to the jeep track above.
Turn right at the jeep track and follow the almost level gravel path all the way to the end of this route at Southern Cross Drive.
Here you will also find a water fountain for you and your pooch to enjoy some fresh cold drinking water.
Turn back and retrace your steps all the way until you get to the path you just came up from. Ignore going back down the path, but continue walking along the jeep track. This jeep track will bring you back to where you parked your car in Constantia Main Road.
How will I rate this hike? It was not the most spectacular I have been on, but I rate it as a must do. If you need some time out from your hiking due to an injury or ill health, this walk will be a pleasure to use as a 'get-back-into' things again.
Easy Walks in the Cape Peninsula