Explore These Forests for Free in Cape Town

newlands forest

Mindful nature walks, energetic hikes and enchanting picnic spots await when you venture out to one of Cape Town’s breathtaking forests.

The Mother City is home to many forests that offer a perfect day out for all ages. These include:

Newlands Forest

Situated against the eastern slopes of Table Mountain, Newlands Forest is a firm favourite for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts, offering everything from beginner to challenging hikes, serene picnics, and some of the most picturesque views around.

The hiking routes cater to all levels of adventurers. From the easy-to-navigate Contour Path leading to Kirstenbosch and Constantia Nek, to moderate level hikes like Fernwood Track and Woodcutter’s Path. Newlands Forest also connects to Rhodes Memorial and Kirstenbosch. After you work up a sweat on the trails, gather at the designated picnic spots to recharge and soak in the tranquil beauty of the forest. Dogs are allowed but must be on a leash.

Location: Table Mountain National Park, Cape Town
Price: Free entry, but permits are required from SANParks for cyclists and dog walkers. Picnic site: R40pp
Contact: Call 021 712 0527

Tokai Forest

Tokai Forest is a playground for outdoor enthusiasts. The well-maintained trails wind through a landscape adorned with ancient trees and vibrant flora, providing ample opportunities for hiking, mountain biking and horseback riding. Tokai Forest boasts the shady Arboretum, which serves as the base for most hikes. The forest also offers picnic and braai areas, believed to be some of the best in the city.

Location: Tokai Rd, Porter Reform Estate, Cape Town
Price: Free entry, but permits are required from SANParks for cyclists and dog walkers
Contact: Call 021 712 0527/7471

Tokai Forest

Constantia’s Secret Forest

Constantia’s Secret Forest winds through the Klaasenbosch Trail, with towering trees and plants lining the route. The short route offers breathtaking views, and if you are lucky, you may spot a few horses.

The area remains secret as you will seldom encounter crowds, offering a perfect escape from the hustle and bustle. If you seek a longer route, you can join the Alphen Trail. Here, you can indulge in a picnic, enjoy a cup of coffee, and partake in some sports with your furry friends.

Location: 38 Spilhaus Ave, Constantia Heights
Price: Free entry

Majik Forest

Majik Forest is a tranquil park nestled between a green corner of vineyards and residential spaces in Cape Town’s Northern Suburbs. The lush grassy banks, stretches of manicured lawns, and picnic areas are perfect places to relax for a bite to eat, while a kids’ play area provides plenty of entertainment for the little ones.

The forest is teeming with flowers, shrubs, and densely forested areas. Majik Forest is generally considered an easy walk and takes an average of 36 minutes to complete. There are also plenty of other secret trails leading in different directions to discover, or simply stick to the smooth paths for a leisurely stroll. Majik Forest has several MTB trails to traverse. There are smooth paths made for speed, with bridges, rocky parts, and dips to navigate along the route. The main loop ranges from 2 – 5 km.

Location: Van Riebeeckshof Rd, Van Riebeeckshof
Price: Free entry

Majik Forest

Cecilia Forest

Cecilia Forest is renowned for its diverse array of plant species, including towering trees, vibrant fynbos and delicate wildflowers. Visitors can wander along shaded pathways or chase waterfalls through clearly marked routes. The forest provides a haven for an array of wildlife, from elusive birds and small mammals to indigenous insects and reptiles. Cyclists can explore designated paths, while picnickers can enjoy a leisurely afternoon.

Location: Cecilia Forest Hiking Trail, Wynberg
Price: Free entry.

Cecilia Forest

Read: Hiking Safety in Cape Town

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Cape Town Tourism is the city of Cape Town's official Regional Tourism Organisation, responsible for tourism marketing, visitor and industry services.

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