For centuries, until the advent of steel ships, sailing boats coming around the Cape of Good Hope would anchor in Hout (wood or forest) Bay, if they needed to undergo any repairs. The forest is still there, although depleted of its largest yellowwood, stinkwood, ironwood and other forest giants, but the upper tract of the forest in Orange Kloof is today the oldest unburned area of natural vegetation in the region.

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Looming high above the growing settlement of Hout Bay, Orange Kloof is an extensive natural amphitheatre where the hub-bub of urban life seems to be a world away. It rings with the calls of nightjars, thrushes and sunbirds, the tinkling of the Disa Stream and wind in the leaves. And you, and just a select few, can enjoy this wonderland of rich forest and fynbos by booking to spend a night in the Orange Kloof Tented Camp.

The area has the highest conservation status and the only people allowed into the reserve are the maximum of 12 who have booked into the camp, conservationists and horse riders with permits. This one and five other camps were built as overnighting camps on the Hoerikwaggo Hiking Trail that runs from the foot of Table Mountain all the way to Cape Point.

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The hiking trail was closed following devastating fires on the mountain in early 2015. However, making a success out of failure, the Table Mountain National Park authority has opened up Orange Kloof and the other camps for overnight accommodation. The camps have double tent-huts and fully equipped kitchens, but you have to bring everything else including firewood if  you want to braai. Bedding is provided at a cost.

It’s the best accommodation in town, if you like the country. See more on https://www.sanparks.org/parks/table_mountain/tourism/accommodation.php