Game Reserves in Western CapeDeer Park
Where? Table Mountain National Park, Vredehoek, Cape Town
Questions? +27 (0)21 712-7471
One may be forgiven for thinking that Deer Park is the little children's park attached to the Deer Park Café at the top end of Deerpark Drive West.
But actually this is Rocklands Road Park, the fenced, community-maintained public park. Deer Park proper is up the hill on the opposite end of the same road, in Vredehoek, towards the mountain.
It is a huge park at the foot of Table Mountain that merges seamlessly with the greater Table Mountain National Park (TMNP), of which it is part. Once in the park there are any number of trails you can follow – easy, circular paths, or more adventurous routes up Devils Peak or to Woodstock Cave.
This network of gravel roads continues up the steep slopes of Table Mountain, connecting at various points to the Tafelberg Contour path. The alternative trail to Platteklip Gorge starts here too.
What you probably won't know is that there is an historical wash house dating back to the days when women washed clothes on the banks of the streams off Table Mountain, in the park (Table Mountain National park keep the exact street address close to their chests).
Back then, Buitenkant Street was known as Slaves' Walk, used by slaves to take washing to the washerwomen at Platteklip Wash House, on the slopes of the mountain.
You can hire the wash house as accommodation, although it's more popular for small weddings and events as it sleeps 24 people. Contact TMNP for details.
For most people who visit Deer Park the paths are for walking dogs, mountain biking, or trail running. But it is the scenery that steals the show – the combination of indigenous plants, fynbos and the mountain in the backdrop, with the city fanned out before you, is unsurpassed.
And for those who don't want to exercise at all, the lawns are littered with concrete tables and chairs perfect for sitting and drinking in the views, or reading a book in the shade of a tree.
The aforementioned Deer Park Café makes an excellent end to your bout of activity, particularly if you have children, who spill out into Rocklands Park with little effort.