Last year, when I was living in Dublin, Ireland, images of Cape Town on social media used to haunt me. There was one particular photo of people posing on a dramatic ledge (aka The Ledge) somewhere on Table Mountain with a city/sea vista below that just got to me. It looked so magnificent and I had never been. I too wanted to look slightly dangerous and cool with my feet dangling off The Ledge. A sense of freedom and empowerment with just a hint of risk.
After chatting to some of my hiking friends (Chris and Clare), I had directions to The Ledge on Kasteelspoort and on the same day my hiking buddy (Wes) and I decided to claim it. When we got to the top it was super misty which was clearly disappointing but we were optimistic that it would clear eventually.
So we walked on to the two nearby reservoirs (Woodhead and Hely-Hutchinson). The reservoirs were built in the 1897 and 1904, respectively, to deal with the increased demand for water supply. Apparently the reservoirs currently still supply about 5% of Cape Town’s water. I had not been there before and so obviously being a fish/mermaid I had to swim. Not having brought a swimming costume, I improvised…. 😉
Then we went back to The Ledge to try to wait for the mist to lift and get the super important Instagram worthy shots. We got some cool shots of us posing in the mist and it did lift. I also got a master class in posing and photography from Wes (the professional). We worked out that morning would probably be the best light for those shots on The Ledge although I can imagine sunset with the setting sun over the Atlantic seaboard must be magical.
The Kasteelspoort hike is a lot easier than Platteklip Gorge and is known as one of the easiest paths up Table Mountain. It took us less than 2 hours up and about an hour down. Bring snacks and lunch. A camera or camera phone. Plenty of water. Sunscreen, hat and sunglasses (the path is very exposed). And a sense of adventure. Thank you to Wes for being so keen to join me in this lastminute.com adventure and helping me tick off this from the list. Mission accomplished!
My hiking friend Chris has promised me an overnight sleepover with his crew in one of the huts on the mountain near Kasteelspoort. I posting it here on a public and social media forum to hold him accountable. Thanks Chris!
How to get there?
The Ledge is on Kasteelspoort on the Camps Bay side of Table Mountain. It can be accessed via a longer route on the pipe track from the Tafelberg Road side or via a shorter and more direct route at the Theresa Road Camps Bay pipe track entrance. You then head up the jeep track which connects to the pipe track and to the Kasteelspoort path. There is a dodgy little path up to the left quite soon on the jeep track or a more clearly marked and maintained path a bit further along. We got a bit lost but used the GPS on our phones to get back on track. Thank goodness for modern technology. The route is clearly marked with signs and little cement pillars with maps along the way. Once you get to the top of Kasteelspoort, there is another little cement pillar and you turn right to The Ledge. Otherwise carry on straight towards the reservoirs and follow the signs.