510m: from 210m to 720m
Constantia Nek circle parking lot (opposite Constantia Nek Harbour House)
+/- 3 hours (depending on your fitness and experience level)
The Constantia Corner hike starts at the Constantia Nek circle parking lot (opposite Constantia Nek Harbour House).
Constantia Corner is a very popular route up the south-east corner of Table Mountain. The beautiful Constantia Corner hiking trail is an all-around enjoyable hike filled with stunning views of Hout Bay, the Constantia Valley, Orange Kloof, and the city of Cape Town.
Despite its stunning surrounding scenery, Constantia Corner is not as easy-going as many might think. But it sure is exciting! You can expect a few short steep sections along the route that require you to use all fours – making this trail quite a fun and thrilling full body hiking adventure.
The Constantia Corner hiking trail has a south aspect which supports an incredible display of indigenous Cape fynbos, especially in spring. This route also passes the famous Camel Rock – giving you the opportunity to discover some of Table Mountain’s hidden gems along the way.
The Constantia Corner hike starts at the Constantia Nek circle parking lot (opposite Constantia Nek Harbour House). From there you will walk up a tarred road that will lead you up the mountain. The tarred road turns into a gravel path after a few hundred meters after which you will see a footpath leading off to your left. Head up the stepped footpath until you re-join the jeep track further up the mountain. Once you reach the jeep track, head left to where the jeep track ends.
At the end of the road you should see another footpath leading off into the fynbos. Continue to follow this path until you reach a fork in the route. At the fork, head right and continue making your way up the mountain. It might seem confusing at first, but if you follow the directions you will be just fine!
As you head up the mountain, the trail will take you around the ridge on the Hout Bay side all the way to the top. Here you’ll be able to enjoy magnificent views over Orange Kloof and Hout Bay. Once you’ve taken a moment to admire the beauty in front of you, it’s time to gear up for some hard hiking graft! The next section of the trail is pretty challenging and includes a few short, but very steep climbs, with each climb getting steeper the higher you go. Stay focused, be careful and don’t rush it – Just take it one steep climb at a time!
When you finally make it to the top of the ridge the path levels out and heads North towards De Villiers Dam. This is the perfect place to stop for a bit as it has tons of great spots to catch your breath, relax and have a bite to eat after all your hard work. Once you’ve recharged your hiking batteries, continue the path that leads you through a large gap in the rocks, with shady overhangs on both sides, and down into a small valley.
About 200m beyond this spot and 100m after one has passed a shallow nek you will find one of Constantia Corner’s coolest hidden gems – the famous Camel Rock – which, of course, resembles the shape of a camel. After passing the Camel Rock, the rest of the trail is fairly level. This gives you the opportunity to take it easy, fully appreciate your surroundings, explore a bit, and admire all the beautiful views around you – trust us, there’s plenty!
After a few hundred meters the trail will lead you right to the edge of De Villiers Dam with The Overseer’s cottage in the distance on the right. As you continue, the path will re-join with the concrete jeep track which you can follow back down to the parking lot where you started your Constantia Corner hiking adventure. Besides the Jeep Track, there are a range of return routes from here. While the quickest route is back down the Jeep Track, there are a range of other thrilling routes through Cecelia forest, including Cecelia Ravine, Cecelia Ridge, and several paths through the forest.
TIPS FOR HIKING CONSTANTIA CORNER
- It is important to be fully prepared for your hike. Wear good hiking shoes and proper hiking attire as well as take plenty of water, sunblock, a hat, and something warm along. Cape Town is notorious for its unpredictable weather – even if it looks like a sunny day, take that jacket with you anyway.
- While Constantia Corner offers hikers an epic climb and a spectacular view, hikers should always take extra care when navigating the route, especially during and after heavy rainfall as surfaces may become incredibly wet and slippery.
- If you are planning on taking a cable car down Table Mountain after your ascending hike, it is vital that you plan and time your hike appropriately / properly to avoid missing the last cable car – Ultimately leaving you stranded.
- While Constantia Corner is a fairly challenging hiking trail, requiring stamina and focus to reach the summit, be sure to take a moment (or a few) to enjoy and revel in the sheer excitement and beyond incredible nature of the experience as well as admire the untamed natural beauty and abundance of indigenous flora you’ll find along your route – You are hiking in the glorious Table Mountain National Park after all!
KNOW WHAT TO DO IN AN EMERGENCY
In the event of an injury, threatening weather conditions or an emergency, stay in one place and find a spot that offers some form of shelter. In the case of an injury, do not move the injured person unless they are in a dangerous position. Don’t leave the injured person alone or unattended. If possible, send two people for help (depending on the number of people you’re hiking with), while someone remains behind to supervise. When you do go looking for emergency help or assistance, make sure you take detailed notes of where the injured person is, as well as look out for landmarks to navigate your way back to the spot.
In the case of a snakebite (Table Mountain National Park is home to prolific wildlife and reptile species), immobilise the person immediately and lay them flat on their back. Do not give them any food or water. Get help and most important keep the victim as calm as possible – one of the top factors in the progression of snakebite symptoms is shock and adrenaline.
In the event of contact with the blister bush (a plant resembling common celery) cover the area from sunlight. This will avoid skin irritations and the eruption of blisters.
If you get lost anywhere along your hiking route, stop, and retrace your steps. If you can’t find your original path, move down broad, open slopes. If conditions become more threatening as you go, revert to taking shelter and seeking help.
IMPORTANT EMERGENY NUMBERS
Visitors are urged to take all the necessary safety precautions when hiking or exploring secluded areas. Your safety should always be top priority. Those venturing into the Table Mountain National Park should have the following emergency numbers on hand:
- Emergencies: 021 480 7700
- Table Mountain National Park: 021 957 4700
- Wilderness Search and Rescue: 021 937 0300
@safetymountain is also an incredibly useful resource for hikers. This free safety tracking service allows you to notify local trackers of your contact details, intended route and travel time via WhatsApp. You are also able to provide hourly updates on your progress as well as notify trackers when you are safely off the mountain.