There’s something exciting about September each and every year for me – but never more so than when I get to explore the beautiful outdoors during Springtime! Such was the case recently when we visited nature park, Majik Forest, in Cape Town’s Northern Suburbs.
It had been added to my travel list ever since my boyfriend told me it’s pretty inside, with both nature walks and MTB routes for outdoor enthusiasts to enjoy. And its central location – a short drive from both Tyger Valley Shopping Centre and Willowbridge Mall – makes it the perfect place for a nature escape.
In between moving and rearranging things for our new lease on life in the Northern Suburbs, we spent a beautiful Sunday afternoon at Majik Forest.
And, although it isn’t spelt the usual way: Majik Forest is in every way magical! Especially during springtime. Nestled between a green corner of vineyards and residential and work spaces, Majik Forest provides a touch of greenery and lush beauty to the borders of Bellville and Welgemoed, with the Durbanville Wine Valley but a short drive away too…
With a secure, fenced-off perimeter and a wealth of flowers, shrubs, forested areas, still dams and flowing streams contained within, Majik Forest is a nature lover’s paradise. And, although the park has strong ties to the Tygerberg MTB Club (evident from signs and plaques, as you enter from the Van Riebeeckshof Road/Jip de Jager side), it is a wonderful, free public space for all to enjoy.
Here, you will find expansive stretches of lawn (freshly-mown and fragrant at the time of our visit) and benches throughout, as you explore the shrubbery – or stick to the smooth, well-worn paths shared by families, couples, cyclists and joggers alike.
However, certain sections of the park are off-limits to bicycles so please, if you bring your bike along, keep an eye out for no cycling signs and stick to your designated paths/routes. (For example, apparently, no cycling is permitted on the walkway between the houses and dam… something not everyone seems to be aware of.)
Majik Forest MTB Trails
For cyclists, you can enjoy tackling smooth paths made for speed, bridges, rocky parts and more! The loop of the main Majik Forest trail may, according to Tygerberg MTB, take anything from 50 minutes to 1.5 hours to cover, depending on your fitness level. Distances vary, ranging from 2 – 5 km. All trails are clearly and carefully marked out by yellow arrows, and are interleading. Best part of all? Again, this section is free to ride.
However, if you wish to ride the Bloemendal side of Majik Forest, you will need a permit or to be part of the Tygerberg MTB Club, as both the Bloemendal Singletrack and Corridor to Ntidia are restricted to members or cyclists who have purchased a day pass.
Club members may park at the Protea Hotel (which is found near the Vineyards Office Estate); showing your bike board will gain you entrance. However, non-members may park in the street.
Peaceful picnics and park strolls
Or, if you simply want to enjoy a quiet stroll or peaceful picnic, bring the whole family – including your leashed, four-legged pooch – along. Due to its natural beauty, Majik Forest is often used for family-, couple- and wedding-photo shoots so don’t be surprised if you see people posing for shots or lugging fancy cameras around.
Although we only explored a few small sections of the park on this balmy Sunday afternoon, we still spent a good hour or two enjoying a private lunch on a tree stump bench; lying on the freshly mown lawn (below the houses), which overlooks the dam and immersing ourselves in the forest and reeds encircling the dam…
This last section is particularly magical, especially with the crisp, green trees and (at the time of our visit) vast bed of wild flowers.
So too are the streams, which, even with the Western Cape’s current dire water situation, were flowing prettily downstream. We saw a few people hiking alongside the stream and using a rope swing to precariously sway out over the water and back onto the bank. This ensured that high-spirited laughter filled the air.
The lawn spaces are ideal for relaxing with a meal or drink (there are waste bins inside the park so please don’t litter in this beautiful, clean space) and enjoying a quick rest after some brisk biking or ambitious walking through the park.
The reed-encircled dam and little bridges, criss-crossing over twinkling streams, make for a unique park experience, while the beds of clivia and other bright blooms ensure a heady dose of colourful scenery. Before we left, we managed to snap some more photos of the various blooms. The clivia bed was a particularly photo-worthy spot.
We haven’t ventured far into Majik Forest at this stage but already I can tell it’s another of several naturally beautiful wonderlands found within Cape Town’s often overlooked Northern Suburbs…
For more information on Majik Forest, see: www.tygerbergmtb.co.za
Or else, unlock its wonders for yourself by visiting it at the Majik Forest Upper Entrance, 20 Van Riebeeckshof Road, Van Riebeeckshof, Cape Town or via Majik Forest Lower Entrance, Jip De Jager Drive, Bellville, Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa.
While there is on-site security, I still advise caution if you visit Majik Forest early in the morning or late in the afternoon especially.
I also recommend visiting in a pair or group. (And I would advise the same for any local outdoor experience – safety is important in any city but especially in outdoor public spaces.)
Author: Tamlyn Ryan
Content writer by day and blogger by night, Tamlyn Ryan passionately runs her own travel blog, called Tamlyn Amber Wanderlust, from her home base of Cape Town, South Africa. And, despite a national diploma in Journalism, in her free time, Tamlyn’s preferred niche remains travel writing.
Tamlyn is a hopeless wanderer, equipped with an endless passion for road trips, carefully planned, holiday itineraries and, above all else, an innate love for the great outdoors.