Hiking in Orange Kloof

Orangekloof is the only area on Table Mountain with restricted access for hikers. Its a small and particularly beautiful area with a large section of indigenous Afromotane forest and a beautiful gorge that runs up onto the back of Table Mountain. This is the gorge that was dammed in the 1800’s to create the Woodhead and the Hely Hutchinson reservoirs. This development has not detracted from the beauty of the gorge. Instead one of the attractions of hiking here is a visit to the Woodhead Tunnel that was dug through the mountain as a way of channeling the water from the reservoirs back to Cape Town. No longer in use, this tunnel is well worth a visit.

The hike begins with about 40 mins through the forest. This is a deceptively tough part of the trail as the path runs continuously up and down as it winds its way towards the mountain.

hiking through the forest

Hiking through the forest in Orange Kloof

The trees tower over you, tall and magnificent, until after a particularly steep section you get above the trees and join a jeep track for a small time before heading into the gorge itself. After 10 mins on the jeep track you head up into the gorge itself.

Orange kloof Table Mountain

Looking towards Hout Bay

Initially the trail is open taking you through beautiful fynbos. Behind you an amazing view of Hout Bay is worth a photo break.

After about 30 mins going steeply up hill you come to a junction. Go straight ahead and down a small incline. At the bottom turn left when you meet another path. Follow this path for 10 minutes until you come to a treacherous bridge crossing a small stream. (it may be safer to walk through the river bed here) Once across the river another minute through the bushes will take you to the Woodhead tunnel itself.

It is possible to climb into the tunnel here. Inside there is room to stand and a torch reveals the passage leading off into the gloom. I am sure people have explored further but I prefer being in the sun!

Orange Kloof. Table Mountain

The Woodhead Tunnel

Once you’ve finished exploring return to Disa Gorge and continue to climb. There is still about half an hour to go, but the path is now not steep at all. The gorge begins to close in and you get closer to the river that has been tumbling along side you the whole way up. Eventually the dam wall itself comes into view.

Explore the only restricted area of Table Mountain on a guided hike with Ridgway Ramblers.

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