CapeTownMagazine.com

Deer Park

For Moments of Joy. Follow our social channels
for useful news, daily local champions
 
+27(0)72 350 2062
Ideas Cartel - 113 Loop Street
www.capetownmagazine.com/subscribe
excitement@capetownmagazine.com
CapeTownMag
CapeTownMagazine.com
capetownmag

Deer Park

Exploring an abundance of nature on the edge of the city

This nature reserve is not five minutes away from the city, no, it’s on the very edge, so arguably, it’s a mere second away. As a born-and-bred Capetonian, Deer Park holds many memories for me; picnicking as a toddler, exploring as a teenager, are just some.

The nature is truly abundant, from scrubby fynbos and carpeting succulents to statuesque trees and leafy paths: a microcosm of the greater Table Mountain National Park.

I may have my own personal history with the park; but it pales in comparison to the rich heritage of runaway slaves, who found asylum (and hiding places) in the canopies of trees. There isn’t a lot on record about these forest dwellers; their survival in the mountains is stuff of lore. Another mystery is the shrine of Muslim spiritual leader Sayed Abdul Haq, not much is known about him, just that he was a member of the Qadariah Tariqa. We found his marble grave close to a running stream; and on the small path to get there, we noticed small strips of maroon cloth strung on bushes. There are at least five other graves in the area, but none as noticeable as this one.

Heritage and history aside, another thing that makes this green belt special is the view; the city on the one side, and Table Mountain rising like a craggy tidal wave on the other.

It’s a dog’s life

There are a variety of walks you can take, from easy meanders to the more challenging climbs. We decide on a moderate hike, so with feet shod in V-Lite Altitude Ultra Luxe WPi Hi-Tecs we set off.

The proximity to the city makes this a favourite for dog walkers; and a pleasure for dog spotters. On our walk we see a cornucopia of canine specimens: shuffling Scottish Terriers, gambolling mutts, and gormless bulldogs, to mention a few. We pass a man half-running to keep up with his pack of miss-matched hounds, over his shoulder he tells us he’s a dog-walker, and does this every day.

 What to bring

  • Hat, sunblock, water; there’s plenty of shade, but it’s good to come prepared.
  • Hiking shoes; you can come in flip flops if you aren’t planning to wander too far, there are wooden paths to explore.
  • Picnic; there are designated picnic spots (with inspiring city views), or you could find a tree to commandeer. 
  • Mountain bikes; there are some great trails.
  • Swimming costumes; paddle in bathtub-sized mountain pools.
  • There are bathroom facilities. 
  • Your best friend; as mentioned above this is hound heaven.
  • Children of all ages.

Routes

Circular*
Easy

Follow the path from the parking lot, start on the wooden walkways then head onto the mountain gravel. The path will naturally curve by the ‘dam’, it’s really more of a splash pool these days—or, to be frank, a doggie bath. Chill out here, and then continue on your way, you’ll now find yourself out of the sun and into a tunnel of trees. This leads to a beautiful mountain road with views of Devil’s Peak and Table Mountain, and soon you’ll find yourself at the beginning again.

Duration: 40 minutes.

Tafelberg Road*
Moderate

Begin on the same route as the Circular one, but instead of following the curve, head straight up the incline to Tafelberg Road. Once there, if you’ve still got energy, head up Platteklip Gorge.

Duration: one hour, depending on fitness levels.

**not official trail names

Link up to these routes from Deer Park

Devils Peak
Moderate

We recommend this route for its outstanding views: Table Mountain, Lions Head, City Bowl, Table Bay, Robben Island, and Northern Suburbs, all laid out for your peepers. Read more about this hike.

Woodstock Cave
Moderate
At the end of the tarred section, walk a further 100 metres on the dirt road and you will see a metal gate with stone pillars. The hike up to the cave begins a few steps before this gate; it is a little bit hidden. The route zigzags its way slowly up the slope and will bring you to Woodstock Cave’s mouth. Read more about this hike.

Tip: You can stay over in heart of Deer Park at The Wash House, which is part of the original historical Wash House complex where Cape Town’s washer women plied their trade in the mid to late 19th century. This house is built on the slopes of Table Mountain and was carefully restored to blend seamlessly with its natural surroundings.

Another tip: One of Cape Town’s favourite pizza places is a stone’s throw away from the park. Treat yourself at Woodlands Eatery after your walk.

Text by Malu Lambert and photographs by Lindsay Callaghan

*Sponsored by Hi-Tec

---

Walk a personal pilgrimage to slow down and take a break from a busy life during the Cape Camino.

---

Check out our Facebook album of the hike, and follow us on Twitter to find out where (and what) we’ll be hiking next. Plus, subscribe to our weekly newsletter for a seven day weather forecast.

Cape Town Events Calendar
September 2022
SUN MON TUE WED THU FRI SAT
1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28 29 30

Elvis BrewElvis Blue’s “lekka” padstal on ...

Elvis Brew in George has the closest viewing deck for large aircraft in SA

Sweet River Brewery ingredientsBook out this distillery for your next ...

Make your own at Distillers Union + get beer and pizza at Sweet River Brewery

HintHunt escape planGet over the midweek hump with a ...

Launch a torpedo, escape prison, solve a murder – all in your lunch hour

Taj Jiva SpaJiva Spa Special: 3 massages x 30 mins ...

Select 3 treatments from 7 options, from head massage to deluxe pedicure

Bombay BrasserieBombay Brasserie offers sumptuous ...

Taste 7 unique dishes (+ a surprise) at Taj Cape Town’s signature eatery

Blue Train ParkKids Party Idea: Take a ride on the ...

BOOK Now and let the outdoor adventure begin!

scootours-teambuilding-cape-town Ride Monster wheels in the Winelands ...

Scootours' Flow Trail is an adrenaline rush with berms, rollers, and a bush tunnel

Breathwork Africa foundation3+ ways to get your breath back and ...

Classes, courses, retreats on conscious breathing run by the trainers leading the global ...

The Blue Room interiorLive jazz at The Blue Room

Dine, drink cocktails while top local muzos jam at this moody new bar

Taj kids bedHere’s an unbeatable deal: Kids stay ...

You’ll get 2 interleading rooms, 1 harbour + canal cruise and royal treatment

Oasis Association Claremont coffee shopDo Good

3 ways to support Oasis: shop, donate or take your recycling there

Leopard's Leap FamilyLeopards Leap serves succulent ...

Family-style lunches are its speciality, plus there’s a big lawn for kids to play on

White Shark Cage Diving - BoatSpectacular rates on shark-cage diving ...

Where conservation meets adventure. FREE Buff + ask for current CapeTownMag specials

Ficks CocktailsFicks: the best sundowner pinchos bar ...

Pair wine, cocktails and mocktails with pinchos and a spectacular sea view

La Motte Tasting RoomVirtual and on-site wine tastings at ...

Or do this specialised La Motte wine-tasting virtually

Festival of YellowThe Festival of Yellow, celebrating the ...

Every year they lighten the mood and brighten the province

Klein Roosboom tasting caveTaste wine in a cave

Boutique winery with 6 six cosy tasting nooks. Plus platters, picnics + trails

Irma Stern Museum artHere’s what’s on at the Irma Stern ...

Celebrate 50 years with art workshops, walkabouts and discussions

Canto Wines champagne + macarons tasting3 unusual pairings at this Durbanville ...

From MCC to tonic tastings: there’s something at Canto for the whole family

GiveawaysTravel Tips