Did You Know That Cape Town Has Its Very Own Tunnel System To Explore?

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Underground tunnel systems are often thought to be a European experience, where the cities are much older. Little do most people know that Cape Town used to be called ‘Little Amsterdam’ and had a canal system running through the city similar to that of the capital of the Netherlands. What’s even more exciting is the fact that you can explore these tunnels with a guide from Good Hope Adventures!

Back in the day, Table Mountain used to be an extraordinary source of water for the surrounding areas – the indigenous Khoi people didn’t call Cape Town ‘Camissa’, meaning ‘the place of sweet waters’, for nothing. When the Dutch colonisers settled in the Cape of Good Hope in 1652, they built the canals to channel fresh water straight into the ocean, thus creating a spot for passing ships to collect fresh and clean water. The canals were used for transport and became an essential water source for the city. They also provided those living in Cape Town with pleasant walkways. Later it was used for waste disposal and during the 1800s, they were bricked up, as the water had become toxic and posed a threat to public health and safety.

Some water still flows through these canals, but they lie mostly unused underneath the Mother City. Today, Cape Town uses rainwater and water from dams to keep the city’s water levels high enough to meet demands.

Today, you can explore these tunnels, which are surprisingly well ventilated and clean (minus the cockroaches!). You can book a tour on request with Good Hope Adventures. Dress appropriately with older clothes that can get dirty and shoes that have good grip on them. Remember to bring a torch with you for the 2 to 3 hours long tour. If you would like more info on the tour or would like to book one, you can do so here. Be sure to check out the other tours they offer – something else might tickle your fancy!

The starting point is only a 5-minute drive from Gardens Centre Holiday Apartments. If you are in need of directions, please ask our friendly team at reception who will be more than happy to help. Don’t forget to tag us in photos of your epic adventure – we love to see our guests exploring Cape Town and loving our city as much as we do!

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