The reservoirs on Table


“The full day guided hike on Table Mountain was one of the highlights of my trip to Cape Town. I had no idea how big the mountain was and how much there is to see! “

Few visitors to Cape Town realise that Table Mountain is home to 5 reservoirs. Built between 1896 and 1907 they were for some time the main water supply of Cape Town. Of course in recent years the requirements of Cape Town have outstripped the water available on the mountain but they still provide a picturesque destination for a hike. On weekends many local people make the trek onto the Back Table from Constantia Nek or Camps Bay to enjoy the peace and relaxation that sitting beside a body of water always provides.

Relaxing by De Villiers dam on Table Mountain

The winter of 2010 was a very dry one with the result that visitors to the mountain during the summer of 2010/2011 were met with very low and even empty dams by the end of the season. Although not as pretty to look at it was nevertheless interesting to see the bleached rocks and to walk right accross the middle of the dam.

No water in the Hely-Hutchinson reservoir

But May and June of 2011 have provided a good bit of rain so I am happy to be able to report that there is water on Table Mountain again. So next time you are in Cape Town take the opportunity to get up the mountain and spend some time relaxing beside one of them. You cannot believe you are in the middle of a large and cosmopolitan city. The only sounds are of birds and lapping water.