Through Disa Gorge

Into the Heart of Table Mountain

Red Disas in Disa Gorge

Table Mountain's north facing side, (the Western Table) is its most visited. Accessed by cable car, the elevated views make it famous. Also memorable is the hike up. Routes up the front are steep ascents on sun-baked sandstone. Early mornings are a great time to do so.

On the other side of the mountain, reclusively set in its southern valley, is Disa Gorge. Hiking up it is less vertically challenging. It's also more shaded. The whole place feels softer. But don't mistake it for a mere stroll.

disa gorge.IMG_1579aa.JPG

Surrounded by steep and ancient rocky banks of ferns, mosses and flowers as well as trees, you reach deep into the mountain. In the late summer one can find walls dripping with red disas. Follow trails through Afromontane forest sometimes close up at canopy height, with the river bubbling below. This is the oldest intact forest on the mountain. Entry to hikers is restricted by the mountain's authorities.

view of Dia Gorge from Woodhead Dam wall


Get permit

Decide: hike up or down it? Next consideration is where-to-from-here?

If you've done the up hike you could spend the night at the Overseers Cottage.

A day hike could start from Constantia Nek, and head on up via Disa Gorge to Woodhead Dam. From there: a) go over and up to the upper cable station; b)alternatively, head back down via the jeep track to your start-point, or c) branch off to any of the western or eastern flanks' trails. Uber back to car.

One needs a permit to hike it. Only 12 day-hikers are allowed through.

A registered hiking guide or member of the MCSA is required to accompany permit holders.

It is also a fine place to do a silent hike/ non-verbal activity.

king protea

Woodhead dam wall and pump-house from Disa Gorge