About Molteno Reservoir

The Molteno Reservoir is a 200 000 kilolitre water storage facility just above De Waal Park in Oranjezicht. It’s the city’s oldest water reservoir and still in service. It’s also rather pretty; the locals walk their dogs here, or jog around its perimeter where it lies surrounded by palm trees; set in amongst a series of Victorian houses that date back to when Cape Town was a small colony.

Did you know? The Molteno Reservoir is an historical landmark open to the public, built between 1877 and 1881, and named for the city’s first prime minister - John Molteno.

Latest news is that the City of Cape Town are playing with the idea of a water heritage route that will include establishing a museum at the reservoir, restoring the now rather tired building that used to house the Graaff Electric Lighting Works back in 1895 - Cape Town’s first power station.

Cape Town, back then, got its water by way of a mountain stream off Table Mountain that flowed through the city in canals, or grachts (the reason for Buitengracht, Kaizergracht and Adderley street, built to cover the canals when they became ‘dangerous to public health’ because they were used as dumping grounds).

With the expansion and growth of Cape Town the government decided to build the dam. Interestingly, for the first two years after its completion in 1880 the dam stood empty due to unusually low levels of winter rain. When the drought finally broke, the dam filled beyond its capacity, buckling the eastern wall and sending a wave of water down through the city.

It took a further four years to repair the dam which then kept the city in water for decades, until the 20th century far outgrew its capacity. Molteno dam still supplies water to parts of the city centre including the Company’s Garden.

Interestingly the Molteno spring (one of 20 springs that flow through the city bowl off the mountain) forms part of a series of natural waterways known collectively as Camissa - the original Khoi name for Cape Town that means ‘sweet waters’.

Need to Know

WhereMolteno Reservoir, Oranjezicht, City Bowl, Cape Town, South Africa

WhenDaylight hours.

OvernightStay in Oranjezicht Accommodation, Cape Town


Please note, business details can change. While we endeavour to ensure all information provided by the service provider is correct at the time of publication, we do not assume any liability caused by errors or changes, such as price, cost, time, and location. Please check with the provider that the activity/business is still offered as described, before making any travel plans.


If this is your attraction, you can let us know if anything on this page is outdated or contains inaccuracies, by email. We regret, we do not have any other information, please contact the provider if you have questions.

In the vicinity

Hotels & other accommodation options in Oranjezicht

Things to do in the area

Accommodation convenient to Molteno Reservoir

FIND / South Africa Accommodation / Western Cape Accommodation / Cape Town Accommodation / City Bowl Accommodation / Oranjezicht Accommodation

Oranjezicht as a destination

Want to stay overnight?


When would you like to stay?
Choose dates

Number of Guests

Why book with SA-Venues.com
  • Your card is safe with us; strictest card verification in the industry and we don't store card numbers.
  • No airy fairy service fees; you save!
  • We care. Service with integrity.
  • Multiple payment methods:
    credit card, SID instant EFT, bank transfer.
  • All Oranjezicht property owners / managers are verified (our experience protects you from online fraud).
  • Secure your booking
Our Payment Protection Guarantee only applies if your deposit payment is made via SA-Venues.com
South Africa. Explore. Experience. Stay

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