Thursday, 26 March 2015

The stunning Silvermine Nature Reserve - Part 6 of the TMNP series

Silvermine Nature Reserve forms part of the spectacular Table Mountain National Park range and is situated among the slopes of the Capes’ Deep South. The river of Silvermine which runs from the reserve through to Clovelly where the Silvermine Wetlands can be found. Originally named Silvermine in 1675 when shafts were built as it was believed there was silver hidden within the reserve. This turned out not to be true but nonetheless the name stuck.

It was declared to be a part of the TMNP back in 1998. Silvermine Nature Reserve is divided into 2 parts by the curving road of Ou Kaapse Weg meaning Old Cape Road.

Just a mere 20 minute drive from the city centre of Cape Town it offers a great escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. Why not go triumph one of the various hiking trails on the mountain or relax with a lovely picnic around the reservoir? There are also mountain-biking trails to be braved.

The Silvermine Circuit around the reservoir.
Some of the well-known hikes, but not limited to, are that of Peers Cave Hike where there was the famous discovery of a large skull which can be traced back to be about 12 000 years old, the cave is situated above the sand dunes of Fish Hoek. The 3 hour hike to and back from Elephants Eye cave can be reached from either Silvermine Nature Reserve or from the forest area of Tokai. The Noordehoek Peak circuit is a hike taking 3 to 4 hours to complete, offering views of the Atlantic and Hout Bay.

There are braai areas for the South African family and friend tradition of cooking meat over flames. People can also take a dip in the dark-water dam, or feed the little fishes bits of bread, which is very cute to watch!

A popular spot for bird watching and to check out the indigenous flora of the Cape. There are an estimated 900 species of Fynbos to be seen on the reserve. Dogs are more than welcome to enter the reserve accompanied by their owner.

A boardwalk which offers accessibility for those in wheelchairs or babies in prams is in place for a wheel about or walk around the dam’s edge. It is an easy 20 minute stroll which circles around the family friendly reservoir, appropriately named the Reservoir circuit.

The reserve is open from 08h00 till 19h00 everyday to explore. There is a small entrance fee which goes towards the conservation of the area. Ample parking for cars can be found at both of the 2 entrances into this magnificent reserve. 

A fire broke out in the month of March (2015) and spread throughout the Southern Peninsula leaving parts of the Silvermine Nature reserve burnt. The extravagant Silvermine tented camp was left damaged. The Capes indigenous Fynbos however will recover from the fire as the plants greatly benefit from being burnt. 

*Take Note: When this article was published as part of the TMNP series, the Silvermine Nature Reserve had been closed in the interest of public safety and for the environment due to the Cape fire.

Enjoy the tranquillity and beauty of the Silvermine National Park. 

Protea found in the Silvermine Nature Reserve.

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Leo the chilled doggy from DARG


DARG is the well-known Domestic Animal Rescue Group situated in Hout Bay. Founded years ago they have been taking in animals that have either been abandoned or are neglected, those with disabilities or not, cats and dogs. They care for these animals, feeding them, sheltering them, and giving those once unloved animals tons of affection until they find a permanent and happy home.


Leo was brought into DARG as an unwanted and neglected dog from the Hout Bay area. He arrived with mange, his coat was patchy and he was flea-ridden. Due to being so weak, often all he could do was lie around, he had devolved pressure sores and bad circulation. Those with disabilities know all too the well about the dreaded pressure sores. Leo wolfed down a bowl of chicken and rice when he first got to DARG because he was absolutely starving.

He has gotten a spiffy new haircut, put on weight and is looking so much better. Leo would be happiest in a quiet and loving home. He gets on with other dogs as long they are not too rowdy as he himself is a chilled out older kind of doggy. A lover of slow walks and lying about in the sun, Leo is also happy munching on treats and getting spoilt with tummy rubs.

The above is before, followed by after.

For more info contact DARG- 021 790 0383

Office hours 9am – 4pm

DARG Fundraising Committee email:

DARG Website:

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

South Africa's very own para-athletes

The South African flag.

SA para-athletes

South Africans’ amazing para-athletes are set to be showing what they are made of at the Nedbank National Championships for Physically Disabled, in the city of Johannesburg. It begins on the 29th of March and continues through to the 2nd of April this year.

This eight day event which has been running since 1992 will showcase eight different sports such as; athletics, boccia, cycling, football, goalball, judo, powerlifting and swimming. 

It offers a perfect platform for both newcomers to sports for people with disabilities and the leading para-athlete stars.

South Africa is one of the leading nations in the world for disabled sports with a variety of talented athletes to be proud of. They are known to often bring home many medals which were won due to their immense talent, dedication and hard work.

South-African Para-athletes

Natalie du Toit.

Natalie Du Toit born in Cape Town, now a retired swimmer is well recognized for what she had accomplished during her competitive swimming years. Her left leg was amputated due to an injury caused in a scooter accident. She qualified as an amputee and took part in the 2008 Olympic Games which were held in Bejing that year.

Ersnt van Dyk.
Born in Ceres without both legs Ernst van Dyk went onto become one of South Africa’s well known para-athletes. He is a dedicated wheelchair and hand-cycling racer. Ernst has won the Boston Marathon, a highly respected wheelchair race, an impressive 9 times.

Fanie van der Merwe.

Fanie van der Merwe has cerebral palsy but has managed to become a track star. He is one of the country’s top para-athletes having won numerous gold medals.

The next Paralympics will take place in the exciting city of Rio in 2016.