CapeTownMagazine.com

Hiking up Devil’s Peak

Unwrapping Cape Town with you.
Also engage with our other channels
to find something you don't want to miss.
 
www.capetownmagazine.com/subscribe
CapeTownMag
CapeTownMagazine.com
capetownmag

Hiking up Devil’s Peak

An adventure

Last updated: 28 August 2017

“Stop nagging, woman,” mumbles Jan van Hunks striding up the mountain away from his dwelling. Soon his wife’s words are carried away on the wind, and finally, the ex-pirate has some peace to smoke his pipe. He had only taken one deep puff, when he sees a stranger approaching.

“Spare some tobacco?” asks the man. And soon they start bragging about their pipe-smoking prowess; this leads to a contest.

Finally, after several days, Van Hunks wins. Unfortunately, the stranger is the devil. With that, thunder rolls across the sky, and a zag of lighting scorches Van Hunk off the face of the earth.

Next time the south-easter blows, look out for the blanket of cloud that covers Table Mountain, legend has it: Van Hunks and the devil are at it again.

They see me hiking

It’s a bright, slightly windy morning. The weather man predicted sunny skies; so I’m clad in shorts, a T-shirt, and my new Hi-Tecs: V-lite Total Terrain Lace. We’re beginning the hike on the Table Mountain side. The pull of this hike is the panoramic view.

What to bring

- Something warm. No matter how scorching the day promises to be, you will hit wind pockets. And the top can be chilly.
- Hat and sunglasses. Think short, scrubby fynbos; you’ll be at the mercy of the elements.
- Hiking shoes. Flip flops just won’t do, neither will sneakers. The terrain is rocky and steep.
- The obvious. Bring water, a flask of tea, or anything that you like to drink. And a snack for the summit: we recommend fruit and sarmies.
- Get snap happy, the 360° view demands it, but bring the lightest camera possible.
- Children from age 10 and up.

Routes

You can reach the saddle from three routes, ranging from moderate to difficult. Ascend from Tafelberg Road on the city side, up Newlands Ravine from Newlands Forest, or the upper contour path from Mowbray Ridge and Minor Peak.

Tafelberg Road
Moderate

Drive towards Table Mountain; carry on straight past the cableway for roughly three kilometres. You’ll see a space to park.

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.

If it’s been raining recently, expect to see some small waterfalls. The path can be rough, and often quite steep: so wear shoes with grip.The wind can be extreme at parts: watch out for fly-away hats.

Duration: 4 hours for the regular person, this includes a half hour break at the top, budget 2 hours for the super-fit.

Mowbray Ridge
Difficult

Park at Rhodes Memorial, and follow signs to the Kings Block House, from there climb up Mowbray Ridge before moving along Knife’s Edge. Keep going to the minor summit of Devils Peak.

Our advice, if you’re not an experienced climber, is to go with someone who has done the route before, as it can be tricky as well as steep. Also there are sections with sharp drop-offs: some may find the exposure to the height intimidating.

Duration: 2-4 hours, depending on how quickly you can traverse the tricky terrain.

Newlands Ravine
Moderate

This route also begins at the Rhodes Memorial parking lot. Head towards the steps in the far-left corner, climb these, and continue towards a T-junction, here you’ll turn right,
keep going, and just before you reach the turn-stile turn left, and you’ll find yourself on the Contour Path. The Newlands Ravine can be a bit of a slog, so make sure to rest for a few minutes before attempting it.

The joy of this walk is the forest scenery; the fragrant shade is a big plus on hot days too.

Duration: 4 hours, or much longer if you decide to picnic under the trees.

What to look out for

Flora: Nature conservationist, Farrah Feldman, shared her pick of fynbos: “The vegetation is really special. Peninsula Shale Renosterveld, which is critically endangered, is endemic to the Cape Peninsula—so it grows nowhere else on earth. Urban expansion has now restricted this vegetation even further and it is only found in two locations: Devils Peak and Signal Hill.”

Fitting for the devil’s mountain: another bloom to look out for are the star-shaped sticky flowers called drosera cistiflora or snotrosie. “They’re carnivorous plants,” says Farrah. “So they're quite odd and special.” (Find them close to water.)

Trivia: A site of great beauty, and of great tragedy. On 26 May 1971, an aircraft crashed into Devil's Peak, killing all 11 on board. The impact was heard throughout the city. If you look closely, the scars in the ground can still be seen today.

By Malu Lambert

*Sponsored by Hi-Tec

Keen to bring Rover along? You’ll need a permit, and it couldn’t be easier, go here for all the information on My Activity Permit. 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
October 2019
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 31

Open_Gardens_Constantia_2Discover A Private Garden With A Cup Of ...

Open Gardens Constantia is back in 2019, and this time they’re water-wise

Marianne Wine EstateStay at Marianne Wine Estate for 20% ...

There are plenty of accommodation options at this winery that sits between Stellenbosch ...

statements_5Fugard Classic “Statements” ...

Catch this stellar performance about forbidden love

Turn up 2Step Back Durban, It’s Cape Town’s ...

Find Out What Makes Gqom So Popular at This Elsie’s River Rager

CT_International_Boat_Show_1South Africa’s Premier Boating & ...

See the world’s finest yachts, join water activities and family fun over three days

VaseWhat Could Be Prettier Than A Room Full ...

An exhibition full of flowers in vases created by Cape Town’s top ceramicists

a4_arts_foundationZanele Muholi Wants You To See The ...

And it’s free at the A4 Arts Foundation

Land_RewovenSee This Fascinating Interpretation of ...

Artist MJ Lourens pairs his modern landscapes with Pierneef’s, plus there’s cheese ...

gindulge1Get To Know Your Gins At This Mid-week ...

Make your October Wednesdays about food trucks, kids activities, desserts and gin at ...

rodan_kane_hartRodan Kane Hart: Making the Most of ...

An expansive gallery and pristine outdoor landscape showcase a free exhibition by a young ...

William_Kentridge_2A Monumental Exhibition To Open At The ...

The iconic South African artist’s largest exhibition in Africa in over a decade

rotterdamUltimate Bachelorette Party: The Girls ...

Three days of gin pairings, massages and pool (or fireside bar) parties on a private ...

goudini8Get Married At Goudini Spa And Stay in ...

It’s a 6-sleeper with panoramic views of the Breedkloof valley.

Kinky BootsSmash-Hit Kinky Boots Extended To 2020 ...

With music by Cyndi Lauper, several Tonys and a Laurence Olivier Award

kiff_kombis_wine_beer_2019Buckle Up For A Beer Safari

Sample the best that Cape Town’s booming craft beer industry has to offer (and let ...

onomo_tacoTacos and Sangria at a Friday Fiesta ...

Tuck in while you soak in the atmosphere of the city centre

ghost_walksWalk With Ghosts In A Haunted Village ...

Discover the mysterious Lavender Lady, an unsinkable coffin, butchering barbers, exhumed ...

OX Seals 04Smile: You Get 10% Off Seal Snorkelling ...

Up close with wild Cape fur seals in small, intimate excursions that are super special, ...

devonvalenew2Share A Double Brandy Special At ...

Enjoy a true South African sundowner at this picturesque venue just outside of ...

moyo_eden15Draughts for R25, R39 Cocktails Every ...

You, a couple friends, sitting at the Corona surfboard tables with your feet in the ...

La Paris_Bistro3Farm-Fresh Fare and Live Music Fridays ...

What an awesome vibe: Top Franschhoek chefs’ lunch favourite is now open till late (one ...

Wine FliesA Wine Tour Like No Other With Wine ...

Experience the best wines the Western Cape has to offer, all while having fun with Wine ...

Glowing Rooms 3Get a Great Saving on 3D Mini-Golf with ...

Pay a special rate for entrance into SA’s first 3D space-themed glow-in-the-dark ...

Om Revolution vinyasa poseHave an Outdoor Yoga Experience with ...

Embrace your inner yogi outdoors

asamisOverload On Asami’s Sushi And Noodles

Get sushi and noodle specials three days a week

galileo_meyThe Galileo Open Air Cinema Friday ...

Get your dose of classics, dramas, action movies and more at these outdoor summertime ...

hq friday feels HQ Friday Feels: Dinner and Dancing on ...

Chill jazzy beats while you enjoy dinner, then the dance floor opens at 9pm till late

Park Inn_Rooftop1Friday Night Live DJ on the Rooftop at ...

Forget the traffic: watch the sun set to cool SA house vibes with after-work sundowners ...

Coco Safar Dinner NEW 2Indulge In Dinner and Dessert At Coco ...

And now they have added couture alcoholic cocktails to the menu at this all-day cafe

Vergenoegd_duckrun1Cheer On The Ducks At Vergenoegd Löw

Bring the kids along to experience the Duck Parade

pepperclubPepper Club Hotel Movie and Dinner

Movies and Dinner – the perfect couple…

WeatherGiveawaysTravel Tips