Dams on Table Mountain

Lakes / Dams / Landmarks / Miscellaneous in or near Constantia, Constantia Valley in Cape Town, South Africa.

Western Cape Tourist AttractionsDams on Table Mountain

Where? The Five Dams atop Table Mountain, on Table Mountain, Cape Town

Overnight? Stay in Constantia, in Western Cape

There are five dams on top of the table top, accessible via a number of hikes up the mountain.

The dams - The Woodhead, Hely-Hutchinson, De Villiers, Alexandria and Victoria - are all on the mountain’s back table, the first of which was built as early as 1890, as the demand for water in the city increased.

Up until the 1880s all who lived in Cape Town were dependent on one stream of water (Disa River) that flowed off the mountain. With the increased demand for water engineers of the city built a tunnel through the Twelve Apostles that allowed them to catch water from the Disa River and transport it via a huge duct, known today as the ‘pipe track’, right to a central repository - the Molteno Reservoir, just above De Waal Park in Oranjezicht.

But the city’s demands easily outstripped the supply from this viaduct and reservoir and before long engineers had to come up with another plan. And so they dammed the Disa River.

Woodhead Reservoir, Table Mountain’s first dam, was a lot of hard work involving a series of porters who literally carried all the building materials for the dam walls up Kasteelpoort Ravine, aided a little later, as the lunacy of the venture became clear, by a steam-driven cable car.

Hely-Hutchinson soon followed as, despite Woodhead Dam’s completion in 1897, demand still outstripped supply. It’s a particularly well-known dam because of the pretty white, sandy beach on its eastern shoreline (reached via Skeleton Gorge).

At more-or-less the same time, the southern suburbs headed up the mountain to build their own dams close to the overseer’s cottage - Victoria, Alexandra and De Villiers, completed by 1907.

The pretty dams contribute only 5% of the city’s water. Most of Cape Town’s water comes from the Steenbras, Berg River and Theewaterskloof dams, east of the city.

Best way up to explore the dams: starting at Constantia Nek along the Bridal path to the top

Tip: the water in the dams is untreated and no swimming is allowed.

Why not overnight? Find Accommodation in Constantia

Bellevue Studio

Self Catering

Bellevue Studio

Bellevue Studio is a lovely self catering apartment attached to the main house with a separate entrance and secure ... more

The Constantia Stables

Bed & Breakfast

The Constantia Stables

B&B accommodation in beautifully renovated stable buildings, set in an indigenous garden and located on the ... more

Summit Place

Self Catering

Summit Place

Summit Place provides self catering accommodation in spacious, fully equipped units. Breakfast is available by ... more

Feedback?

Please let us know if anything on this page is outdated or contains inaccuracies. Click here to send us feedback if this is your attraction.

©Unauthorised use of the
photos is strictly prohibited.

SA-Venues.com has been assisting travellers with their South Africa travel plans since 1999, and is the largest online travel guide for South Africa available in both English and German.

SA-Venues.com © 1999-2017. All Rights Reserved. Find and book hotels and accommodation in South Africa. Sitemap