Explore these historic tunnels, with their impressive architecture, as they not only take you underneath the Mother City but also transport you back in time.
Built between 1652 and the 1895, the city’s underground tunnels were intended to divert tonnes of mountain water into the ocean. They were later used for transporting sewerage before they were arched over and forgotten about around 1895, until quite recently when they were opened up to the public.
Now they form part of an exciting and popular historical tour, which makes for one of Cape Town’s more unique experiences.
The long and the short of it
There are two route options:
Heritage and Adventure Tunnel & Dungeon Tour (shorter) An easy to moderate circular route, which takes you below the Castle. It’s suitable for group and individual tours. From R250 per person.
Adventure Tour (longer) A moderate to demanding tour, starting at the top of town and ending at the Castle. This route is suitable only for group bookings, with a maximum of 16 persons and a minimum of 10 participants. From R350 per person. This is a seasonal tour, which depends on water levels. Participants have to fulfil a fitness test.
Both routes start at the Castle of Good Hope where visitors meet in the car park. A maximum of 20 people are allowed into the tunnels at one time, and the minimum age requirement is 10. Visitors are accompanied underground by a qualified tour guide and a professional rescue medic. Visitors will receive a permit and a hard hat.
Since the tunnels are very dark, it’s advisable to bring a torch or headlight with you (or buy one on site for R80). Tours take between one and three hours, and end at the Castle of Good Hope or below the slopes of Table Mountain.
Please note The tunnels can be slippery and you will need to climb up and down vertical ladders, up to three meters long, so a reasonable amount of fitness is required. If you are not steady on your feet, it’s not advisable to take this tour, due to the confined spaces, slipperiness and ladders. If you suffer from claustrophobia, asthma, a bronchial illness or angina, you should avoid this activity, as the confined spaces and underground atmosphere can bring these on. It’s also not advisable for women at any stage of pregnancy. Make sure you wear comfortable, closed sports shoes or gumboots, and shorts, trousers or jeans with a long-sleeved shirt.
Pre-booking is essential and must be done at least two weeks in advance. Individual tours take place between September and May, weather-permitting, while private group tour bookings are available daily throughout the year depending on availability, with scheduled tunnel tours on weekends.(After hours and sunset tours available on request.) Please enquire via email.