Western Cape Tourist AttractionsTwelve Apostles
Where? Between Bakoven and Oudekraal on the Atlantic Seaboard, Cape Town
Victoria Road runs between Sea Point and Hout Bay. It is an incredible drive connecting Camps Bay, Clifton, Oudekraal, Llandudno and Hout Bay, one which visitors and Capetonians enjoy whilst exploring Cape Town.
The stretch between Bakoven and Oudekraal is dominated by a series of mountains known as the Twelve Apostles, after Jesus' disciples, which is a bit of an anomaly because there are actually seventeen or eighteen buttresses, depending how you count them, not twelve (not that anyone is counting, given the scenery).
And each buttress has a name - Kloof, Fountain, Porcupine, Jubilee, Barrier, Valken, Kasteel, Postern, Wood, Spring, Slangolie, Corridor, Separation, Victoria, Grove, Llandudno Peak, Llandudno Corridor and Hout Bay Corner.
There is more to naming these than meets the eye, however, as it depends how you count the mountains – a peak together with a buttress, or a buttress on its own? SANParks determines that they have been named as buttresses, rather than peaks.
When the Cape was under the Dutch (before 1795) this group of mountains was known as Kasteelbergen or Castle Mountains and Gewelbergen (Gable Mountains).
Together they form a scenic stretch of mountain. Although not as high as the Table, they are arguably more impressive, their crags, ravines, gullies and ridges an invitation to explore. Which is why some of the best hiking in Cape Town combs happens here.
The portion of Victoria Road between Bakoven and Oudekraal remains undeveloped (apart from the Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa, where you can also eat at the restaurant, but book ahead).
Viewed from the air the mountain massif looks something like a molar tooth, connected at one end to Table Mountain (the crown) and the Twelve Apostles and suburban buttresses forming the two roots
One of the best ways to see the Twelve Apostles is on the hop-on-hop-off bus tour (the open-topped red bus tour) around Cape Town.