Cape Town Hiking

The Vlekkenberg trail  is really one of my favourite Cape Town hiking trails.  It is however very exposed in summer and has few water stops. So if you are planning it for a summers day please start early and ensure everyone has enough water.

You start at the top of Constantia Nek but instead of heading up the jeep track and onto the back table you cross the road and head a little bit down the pass towards Hout Bay. After about 150m you see a gate on your left and a sign for Table Mountain National Park. Go through the pedestrian turnstyle and head up the road. 100m up the road you take a smaller path leading off to the left and through another gate. Follow this path. It leads you steeply up alongside vineyards. After a steep slog up the path turns to the right and begins to lead you more gently up the mountain.

The path leads you beside vineyards

The steep steps up the Vlakkenberg

The path is quite overgrown but not difficult to find. Until about 10 years ago it led through an area heavily infested with alien vegetation. Now some of the aliens can be seen making a fighting comeback. However after about an hour you cross a small stream you enter pristine fynbos and have about half an hour to the nek which is your highest point of today.

At the top the Vlakkenberg

A good lunch place at the highest point of the hike

After a break you continue along the same path that leads you down the other side of the Vlakkenberg. You drop about 150m and cross a wetland area at the nek between the Vlakkenberg and Constantiaberg. Although quite a large area the water here is not usually drinkable. Once across the wetland you again head up hill until you join the tar road that leads to the Constantiaberg mast. Turn right and follow this road for 2 minutes. Here you take a path to the right that leads on a contour around the side of the mountain.



The view from the Constantiaberg road

The view of Table Mountain from the road to the mast

You should be at this point between 2 and 2.5 hours from starting the hike. You now follow this path which heads towards Hout Bay.


The Vlakkenberg trail

The path that circles the Constantiaberg.

After 15 minutes you come to a small ravine where you cross a stream. In winter it is possible to get some water here. During the summer it may be possible to find water if you follow the stream for +/- 10m up the hill. Towards the end of summer even this is dry. This is also the only shade on offer for the rest of the hike. Its a good place for a lunch/snack stop. The path then continues to lead you around the contour towards Hout Bay. After another half an hour the begins to lead in a steep downhill zig zag towards Chapmans Peak drive. After 15 minutes going down hill you come to a junction. Straight on will continue around the contour to Blackburn ravine. The right fork continues to lead you downhill to the parking area at East Fort.

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