Photo Caption: Who has explored the secret tunnels running under #tablemountain?
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Photo by @hendrikoosthuizen
Hidden beneath the streets of Cape Town is one of the oldest catchment system in South Africa. The underground tunnels of Cape Town began as canals that transported millions of liters of fresh spring water from Table Mountain directly out into the sea.
The indigenous Khoi people called Cape Town “Camissa” which means ‘the place of sweet waters’. There used to be four rivers and 36 springs coming from the mountain and running through the city, supplying the entire population with clean water. In 1652 the Dutch colonizers built the canals to channel a large amount of fresh water straight into the ocean. These canals became an essential network for transport and an important water source. After many years of effective and efficient use, the waterways were extensively used for waste disposal. They were eventually covered up with bricks in the 1800’s for being toxic and dangerous to the public.
Today, most of these old canals lie unused beneath the City even though mountain and spring waters still flow through them into the sea. Cape Town uses only 15% of the water running through this water system and relies on rainwater and distant dams to meet the city’s demands for water.
Spicing Up The Old
Despite being abandoned and unutilized, the tunnels are becoming a popular tourist site. Locals and tourists find joy in exploring the old efficient water system now tucked away underneath the city. You might be wondering how gruesome it is to spend an hour or two in these tunnels. But they are surprisingly clean and well ventilated.
Yes, there is a faint musty smell in some places and high probability of seeing groups of cockroaches. But exploring these forgotten tunnels is worth a try. The rumbling sound of cars and motorcycles overhead echo through the tunnels as you explore them.
So, come and discover these historic underground tunnels of Cape Town. Book your tour now with Good Hope Adventures.