The Hidden Constantia Forest

by Claire Minnaar

I just love getting kids out the house to have some outdoor fun. There’s nothing better than getting their bodies moving, filling their lungs with fresh air and getting their blood flowing.

We are permanent residents in the town of Hermanus which is, if you don’t know anything about it, a seaside town about 120km outside of Cape Town. We are regulars to the beach and nature reserves in the area, but on a recent trip to Cape Town, we did some of the popular “tourist” places like Planetarium, Company Gardens, Waterfront, etc. But, we were very lucky to discover this amazing forest in the Constantia area. Forests are not something we have in our area, so this was a great adventure for my 2 boys.

We went to visit some friends of ours in Cape Town who also have 2 boys. We decided to go out for a walk and drove down towards the Alphen Hotel. Just around the bend is a dead end, but the most amazing forest can be found there. I lived in Cape Town for several years before heading to Hermanus and I never knew about this forest. I grew up in the Southern Suburbs of Cape Town and I can’t believe I didn’t know about it. But, given by how many people were around the day we were there, I don’t think it’s a particularly well-known forest and possibly a “Constantia secret”, but it’s worth checking out for a Saturday / Sunday afternoon adventure with the family.

The forest offers so much for your kids! There are massive trees that have fallen over – perfect for climbing! There are little rivers with small tunnels, an easy to follow path which is in a circle, so you can start at your car, follow the path and land back up at the car without getting lost. There’s a bridge where I’m sure kids could find some tadpoles to catch.

If you are horse lovers, you most likely be greeted along the way by riders passing by. The plants, flowers, fungi  and trees are beautiful – if you have“green fingers”, you will love what this forest has to offer.

Please note: For those with little ones, if your pram is suitable for off road paths, you will be absolutely fine to take your pram along.

A Word of Warning

A change of clothes and shoes is most likely required for your kids. Expect lots of laughing, smiles and muddy clothes and memories.

Random Tip

If you go check out this forest, make sure to take a camera along. The backdrop for photos is amazing and you are sure to capture some great shots of the family during your walk.

Where to Go

If you head towards the Alphen Hotel, you will pass the hotel on your left-hand side as well as the popular Green Belt. If you keep following the road and remain on Alphen Drive, the road forks and if you keep left, you will be on Oak Avenue. Keep driving and you will spot it!

Approximate Co-ordinates

-34.0010163, 18.4369588


This isn’t the exact point, but if you head in this direction, you should spot it.

If you do visit this forest, please drop me an email or leave a comment below and let me know if you enjoyed your time there.

A walk in nature walks the soul back home

Mary Davis

Please respect the area which is extremely clean – we didn’t spot a single piece of litter and ask that if you do take food or snacks along, you don’t litter along the way.

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