Hiking trails above Camps Bay

Towering above Camps Bay are the imposing cliffs of the 12 Apostles of Table Mountain. Although appearing steep and unassailable there are in fact numerous hiking trails that lead up onto the back of Table Mountain from this side.

The starting point for any of these trails is the Pipe Track. The Pipe Track itself is a lovely non strenuous stroll that takes you right along the foot of the 12 Apostles with the most magnificent views imaginable. It is an out and back route that should take you around 3 hours to complete.


Park at the top of Kloof Nek at the car park as you turn onto Tafelberg Rd. Then follow the path that leads around the side of the mountain. It is a very clear path having been built in 1887 as the route for the pipeline that would transport the water from the reservoirs on top of the mountain to the city.

5 minutes into the hike you get the first magnificent view of Camps Bay and also the first sighting of remnants of that old pipeline. Although only a few minutes away from your car already the magic of the scenary and the mountain begin to grab you. The sounds of the cars racing over Kloof Nek are muted and the sounds of a variety of birds fill the air.

The 12 Apostles

Almost immediately the views of the 12 Apostles and Camps Bay are outstanding

After about 15 minutes the path takes a steep plunge down, which of course leads to a climb on the other side. Its only a 5 minute climb but enough to get the heart racing a bit. Once up this climb the path remains relatively flat for another 20 minutes. You pass Blinkwater ravine, the diagonal path and Kasteelspoort. All routes up the mountain well worth exploring on another day.

5 minutes past Kasteelspoort and the path joins a wider jeep track for 10 minutes crossing a concrete wier which in the winter is usually flowing with ankle deep water gushing down Kasteelspoort. Shortly after the weir the the jeep track shrinks to a path and begins a gradual climb. The next route up the mountain is Woody Gorge and a further 5 minutes takes you around the corner and into Slangholie Ravine. This is an amazing part of the hike. The path follows a series of steep steps followed by a short sharp descent along a ledge. There is bit of a drop but no real exposure. Slangholie Ravine is considered a particularly dangerous route up the mountain and the sheer sides of the gorge are a good indication of this.

Table Mountain. The Pipe Track

As the path approaches Slangholie Ravine the path narrows and hugs the side of the mountain

This is officially the end of the Pipe Track and you should have taken an hour and a half or so to get here. I do recommend crossing the small river that plunges down the ravine and continuing along the path for a short way. It takes you through a patch of lovely indigenous trees and after a short steep climb you are again on level ground for a time. Here it is definitely advisable to take a break and look back the way you have come. The views of Lions Head, Robben Island and the city are amazing, as is the view of the way you have come.


The Pipe Track Table Mountain

The Pipe Track continues around Table Mountain

The path continues for another 15 minutes before the path splits. Left will take you up Corridor Ravine and on the back of Table Mountain whilst straight ahead will take you even further around the mountain until going up the steep Oedekraal ravine. If you are not looking for a strenuous hike, here is the best place to turn around and retrace your steps.

For more information on hiking on Table Mountain click here.