Have you seen a red disa?
The red disa ( Disa uniflora) is the symbol of the Western Cape and it’s in bloom from December to March. We asked Dominic Chabon, aka The Fynbos Guy, about which hikes to do on Table Mountain if you want to see this special flower.
The easy option: Disa uniflora is an orchid that grows in the high mountains next to streams and wetlands. Start at Constantia Nek and walk up the concrete road to the top. Go past the Overseer’s Cottage and bear right onto Smuts’ Track, which runs along the eastern side of the mountain. Continue past Nursery Ravine and Skeleton Gorge until you get to Window Stream in Window Gorge, where there are usually lots of disas. Then you can retrace your steps or continue along Smuts’ Track to Maclear’s Beacon and the cableway station. If you’re up for a challenge: Park your car in Theresa Avenue in Camps Bay and hike up Kasteelpoort. Red disas grow in the stream in the final section of the ravine. Or hike up Skeleton Gorge from Kirstenbosch. There are usually disas at the top of the trail. Return via Nursery Ravine. Both these routes are steep and you should set aside at least half a day. For the connoisseur: The Myburgh’s Waterfall Ravine Trail is the best place on Table Mountain to see disas, but it’s a difficult route. It starts in Hout Bay and returns via Llandudno Ravine, but it’s not marked clearly and requires some scrambling. The Disa Stream Gorge and Aqueduct trails are equally impressive but tricky to find. I’d recommend you do all three of these trails with a guide.