Things To Do in ConstantiaOrange Kloof Hike
Where? Start and finish in the Constantia Nek parking area in Constantia, Cape Town.
When? Best during daylight hours.
How? Call +27 (0)21 689-4441
How much? Free
Start: Constantia Nek parking area
Finish: where you started
Duration: 8 km, roughly 5 hours, but you can adapt the hike to suit your group
Fitness: you need a good pair of boots and a fair fitness as there is quite a climb back out of the kloof at the end
Our tip: according to the Mountain Club of South Africa you can only book your permits for Orange Kloof via phone (+27 (0)21 689 4441) at least two weeks in advance
Map: we advise booking a guide
Orange Kloof is a beautiful protected area above Hout Bay on the south end of Table Mountain. One needs a permit to hike it and one enters it via Constantia Nek parking lot, through the gates on the left, at the bottom.
The reason for this areaís protection is the Afromontane forest. The beautiful forest of Orange Kloof deserves to be explored.
Only one group at a time is allowed into the kloof daily, and you can stay overnight by booking into the tented camp that forms part of the Hoerikwaggo trail. This tented camp is absolutely gorgeous and worth an overnight stay just to experience it.
The permanent structure tents with canvas interiors are completely weatherproof and have luxuriously thick mattresses for camping sites. More about it here.
There are a couple of trails through Orange Kloof and it is best done with a guide, but the most popular trail is up Disa Gorge, where the forest is at its best. It is a circular trail that takes one behind Table Mountain to the source of the Disa River, and then to the top end of Hout Bay.
In its entirety the circuit is 8 km. But you can cut the bit to Hellís Gate rambling through the forest instead.
It isnít the route that sells Orange Kloof as a hiking destination so much as the beauty of the area, the complete quiet as you initially dip down at quite a steep incline into the valley and leave all sign of civilisation behind you, and the access to spring flowers (if you can, try and time your hike for this time of year).
You soon reach the outskirts of Hout Bay, which is the first sign of any people or houses. You can then veer right into the afromontane forest - an absolute treat as it is full of yellowwoods, brackets, fynbos, rocks and a myriad river crossings.
Try and include the river pools, a wonderful end to the hike if youíve children along.