The Twelve Apostles Mountain Range serves as the backdrop to Table Mountain, boasting one of the most picturesque coastal areas globally.
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The range stretches approximately from Kloof Nek, situated between Table Mountain and Lion’s Head, to Hout Bay. Victoria Road runs the entire length of the mountain range, offering a view of the Atlantic Ocean on one side and the stunning ridges, ravines, and gorges of the Twelve Apostles on the other.
Despite the name, the series of mountains actually comprises 18 peaks, although the exact count depends on how one defines a peak. The popular theory suggests that if one counts only the buttresses, which may consist of a few peaks, one gets to the number 12.
Each peak in the range has a unique name, arranged from north to south: Kloof, Fountain, Porcupine, Jubilee, Barrier, Valken, Kasteel, Postern, Wood, Spring, Slangolie, Corridor, Separation, Victoria, Grove, Llandudno Peak, Llandudno Corridor, and Hout Bay Corner.
Kasteels Buttress and Postern Buttress were named after their resemblance to a castle, the latter being named after the lesser or back entrance to a castle.
Before 1795, when the Cape was still under Dutch rule, the peaks of the mountain range known as the Apostles had different names. They were referred to as Kasteelbergen (Castle Mountains) and Gewelbergen (Gable Mountains). Among the peaks, only two were named after apostles – Judas Peak, located at the southernmost tip, and St. Paul, which was the most impressive of all the Apostles.
Take a drive along Victoria Road. The road hugs the Twelve Apostles Mountain Range and offers remarkable views of Cape Town. Depending on the time of day, you may be lucky enough to witness a Cape Town sunset disappear into the ocean on the Atlantic seaboard, creating a remarkable driving experience just before dusk.
Picture: Nigel Riley