Newlands Ravine

Page Type Page Type: Route
Location Lat/Lon: 33.95474°S / 18.43844°E
Additional Information Route Type: hike (non-technical)
Additional Information Time Required: Half a day
Additional Information Difficulty: walk-up
Sign the Climber's Log


Start at the Parking lot of Rhodes memorial, easy to find from any road map of Cape Town.
If starting from the University of Cape Town take the path to the Memorial from just outside the Chemistry building, over the stile, and up the obvious path.

Route Description

From the parking lot of the Memorial walk up the well-worn track. After a few minutes you'll get to a jeep track. Don't turn into it, but follow the path up, slightly to your left. It soon turn right again, and in about 5 minutes reaches another jeep track. Once again, the path goes straight up, but becomes less obvious than before, and gets fairly steep at times.

Just as the path starts becoming indistinct, you emerge on a well worn track. As you turn right into it, you'll see a fence with a turn-stile just ahead. The King's Blockhouse is just ahead, but that's not on this route. Just before reaching the fence, you reach the Contour Path, into which you just about U-turn. You're now walking towards Newlands Forest.

After about 5 minutes on this new path you cross the First Waterfall Ravine, a reliable water source. 10-15 minutes later you come to the Second Waterfall Ravine, usually flowing, but not strictly perennial. Water is safe to drink, even if it is slightly orange - the colour comes from the Fynbos plants growing everywhere on the mountain, making all streams into Fynbos ice-tea. Later on you pass 2 steep gorges on your right, which I suggest you just pass and carry on to Newlands Ravine. At the bottom of the ravine is an antique metal plaque that used to say "Newland Ravine", but all writing has disappeared. Look out for some logs secured by stakes to serve as mekeshift steps. From the First Waterfall it should take you 20-30 minutes to reach the ravine.

If the Contour Path crosses a boulder scree slope, you've gone too far - backtrack a few hundred metres, and take the first path you see going up.

The first section of the ravine foes through the forest, but soon you come out into Fynbos, the natural vegetation of the Western Cape. Carry on zigzagging up the ravine, which gets pretty steep at times. Don't take shortcuts. The path is pretty obvious, and it takes apprximately 30 minutes to climb the ravine. Wath out for tahrs - Himalayan mountain goats that escaped from a local zoo many years ago.

Once on top of the ravine, you'll realize you're slightly above the saddle between Devil's Peak and Table Mountain, and the wrong (TM) side of it. Take the obvious path towards Devils' Peak (right). There is a fairly confusing network of paths and shortcuts in the saddle, so at every intersection simply take the one going in Devil's Peak direction. If you're coming back the same way, though, take care to look back often to find your route back.

Once on the right side of the saddle, you're faced with a bit of slog straight 300m up to the summit. There are 2 or 3 simple scramble, but nothing that requires any technical gear. When the path forks about 100m from the summit (which you won't see yet at the time), take a right. After walking around some outcrops you'll finally see the beacon on top of some rocks waiting for you, and a short scramble will take you up to it.

Essential Gear

This is a non-technical hike, so no rope or any gear required. Snow is found on this mountain approximately every 15 years, and by sno I mean a square foot of slush in some south-facing outcrop.
You will, however, need good boots, and no matter what the weather is, a raincoat and a sunhat - you might need one hour after the other.

Miscellaneous Info

If you have information about this route that doesn't pertain to any of the other sections, please add it here.



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