Hiking in one of the most beautiful

river gorges on Table Mountain

Orange Kloof is an area on the Hout Bay side of Table Mountain. It is the only area on Table Mountain where access is restricted and a permit is required.

Although there are obviously other paths into Orange Kloof, from Hout Bay or Table Mountain itself, the main entry point is at the top of Constantia Nek. Instead of following the road up the Constantia side you go straight into the deep Kloof on the Hout Bay side.  Initially you follow a wide track with many blue gums and other alien trees linging the sides. However shortly after taking a right fork  the pristine Afromotane forest of the mountain begins to dominate. The entire Table Mountain chain is pristine with clean running water and once you are away from the carparks very uncrowded. However Orange Kloof really does feel special. . Huge old and knarled trunks tower and twist over your head. Only indigenous trees here, yellowwoods, rooi els, assegaaibos to name a few.

The forest of Orange Kloof

The forest of Orange Kloof

Passing the first river which crosses the road the next path leading off the jeep track leads up Disa Gorge. Initially steep and quite open you after about half an hours climb it is well worth taking  a detour to see the “Woodhead tunnel” A remnant from the early 1900’s, when the 5 dams on Table Mountain provided Cape Town residents with most of their water. Here a tunnel goes right through the mountain emerging at Slangolie ravine, above Camps Bay. 
The Woodhead Tunnel

The Orange Kloof entrance to the Woodhead tunnel

Back on the main path the gorge now narrows and climbs above the clear stream tumbling down the gorge. Ancient trees covered in lichen line the route which is spectacular in its beauty.
Disa gorge

Hiking up Disa Gorge

Finally the path emerges at the foot of the De Villiers dam on the top of Table Mountain herself. The size of the all is quite remarkable. The path leads up the left hand side of the gorge to bring you onto the back of Table Mountain.

The Woodhead reservoir wall

The huge dam wall dominates the last section of the hike

 Truly this is one of the most beautiful hikes on Table Mountain, when the clouds set in. For once the views just don’t seem important. The river, forest and waterfalls provide all the beauty.

Join Ridgway Ramblers for a hike in this secluded and beautiful part of the mountain. Contact Binny on binnyridgway@gmail.com