Devil’s Peak

Devil’s Peak

Devil’s Peak, Cape Town. South Africa | Ryzhkov Sergey

Devil’s Peak, located in South Africa’s Western Cape, is one of the most iconic and visually striking natural landmarks in the region. Towering over the city of Cape Town, it is an integral part of the Cape Ranges, the extensive mountain range that stretches across this part of the country. Devil’s Peak boasts a distinctive, sharp summit that pierces the skyline and offers a stunning contrast against the backdrop of the sprawling urban landscape below.

The name Devil’s Peak is steeped in local folklore, with several legends associated with its origin. Regardless of its mysterious name, this peak has become a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers worldwide. It is renowned for its hiking trails, which meander up the slopes and offer panoramic vistas of Cape Town, Table Bay, and beyond.

Republic of South Africa. Cape Town (Kaapstad). Waterfront – Victoria Basin with historical buildings. Devil’s Peak and Table Mountain in the background | WitR

The Western Cape region of South Africa is blessed with diverse topography, from rugged coastlines to verdant vineyards, but it is the imposing silhouette of Devil’s Peak that truly encapsulates the area’s unparalleled natural beauty. The peak forms part of the Table Mountain National Park, a protected area that aims to conserve the unique Cape Floral Region.

The geographical importance of Devil’s Peak extends beyond its aesthetic appeal. It plays a key role in influencing Cape Town’s weather patterns. The peak acts as a formidable barrier against the southeast winds, often leading to cloud formations known locally as the “Table Cloth” over Table Mountain.

Devil’s Peak in South Africa’s Western Cape is more than just a component of the region’s scenic Cape Ranges. It is a testament to the area’s rich biodiversity, an influencer of local weather patterns and a beacon for outdoor adventurers. Its enduring allure lies in its intriguing mix of natural beauty, fascinating folklore, and ecological significance.

Great white shark, Carcharodon carcharias, with Table Mountain and Devil’s Peak in the background, False Bay, South Africa | Alessandro De Maddalena

Fast Facts

Country: South Africa

State/Province: Western Cape

Mountain Range: Cape Ranges

Parents: Cape Ranges

Elevation: 3,300 feet / 1,000 meters

Prominence: 974 feet / 297 meters

Isolation: 0.86 miles / 1.38 kilometers

Nearest Higher Neighbor (NHN): Table Mountain

Fun Fact: A wonderful variety of plant life grow around Devil’s Peak and surrounding mountains.

Mountain Routes: There are a number of easy routes for hikers, the most popular being from Rhodes Memorial to the King’s blockhouse. The easiest ascent route is from the Saddle.

Flora and Fauna

Devil’s Peak offers a rich abundance of flora and fauna that make it a biodiversity hotspot. The peak is part of the Table Mountain range and forms a dramatic backdrop to the city of Cape Town. Its unique ecosystem, shaped by the area’s Mediterranean-like climate and diverse soils, supports a wide range of plant and animal species, many of which are endemic to the region.

Elevated view of Table Mountain & Devils Peak taken from the summit of Cape Town’s third landmark mountain, Lions Head. | David Pickett

At Devil’s Peak, the flora is predominantly fynbos, a vegetation type unique to the Western Cape. This scrub-like vegetation is characterized by four main plant groups: proteas, ericas, restios and geophytes, each contributing to the vibrant tapestry of colors and textures adorning the mountain slopes. The rich floral diversity provides vital habitats and food sources for a variety of fauna. Among the several species inhabiting this area, some notable ones include the Table Mountain ghost frog, the Cape grysbok, and numerous bird species such as the black eagle and orange-breasted sunbird.

In addition to its natural beauty, Devil’s Peak plays a significant role in conservation. It falls within the Cape Floristic Region, a UNESCO World Heritage Site recognized for its extraordinary plant biodiversity. The region is home to over 9,000 vascular plant species, of which 69% are endemic. This makes it one of the richest areas for plants in the world when compared to its size.

Devil’s Peak in Cape Town, South Africa.

The fauna at Devil’s Peak also contributes to its ecological importance. The presence of predators such as caracals indicates a healthy ecosystem balance, while the diverse bird life adds to its ornithological significance. Various initiatives are in place to protect and conserve this remarkable biodiversity, emphasizing the ecological value of Devil’s Peak within South Africa’s Western Cape.

Devil’s Peak boasts a dynamic array of flora and fauna that reflect the unique environmental conditions of the Western Cape. The interaction between these elements creates a vibrant and resilient ecosystem that underlines the peak’s importance as a biodiversity hotspot.


Devil’s Peak is an extraordinary natural feature that offers a variety of impressive trails for hiking enthusiasts. The peak itself is part of the iconic Table Mountain range and its position provides an array of visually stunning trails that invite explorers to dive into the diverse beauty that South Africa’s Western Cape has to offer.

One of the most popular trails near Devil’s Peak is the Tafelberg Road to Devil’s Peak trail. This trail offers a moderate hike with amazing views of Cape Town and the surrounding areas. It’s a well-maintained trail that allows hikers to experience the unique flora and fauna that characterizes this part of South Africa.

Another notable trail is the Newlands Ravine to Devil’s Peak trail. This trail is slightly more challenging but rewards hikers with unparalleled panoramic views of both the city and the ocean. It winds its way up through a forested ravine before emerging onto the open mountain slopes, presenting an adventure that is as diverse as it is beautiful.

Devil’s Peak Sunrise seen from Lion’s Head | Ayrton DaSilva

The Mowbray Ridge to Devil’s Peak trail is a more demanding route, intended for experienced hikers. The trail requires careful navigation and a good level of fitness but offers an incredibly rewarding experience with breath-taking views across the Western Cape.

The trails near Devil’s Peak in South Africa’s Western Cape offer a variety of experiences to cater for all levels of hiking ability. Whether you’re a seasoned hiker looking for your next challenge or an amateur keen to explore the natural beauty of the Western Cape, these trails provide an opportunity to experience some of the most spectacular views and diverse landscapes that South Africa has to offer.

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