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What are South Africa’s Twelve Apostles?

Did you know that there are at least two places in the world that have Twelve Apostles as a popular tourist attraction?

South Africa’s Twelve Apostles is a 6 km mountain range that is a prominent feature in any drive along the Cape Peninsula’s Atlantic Coast.

Australia’s Twelve Apostles are limestone stacks located on the coastline near Port Campbell.

Clifton 4th Beach Cape Town Twelve Apostles
The majestic Twelve Apostles above Clifton.

What’s in a name

The name of the Twelve Apostles is said to have been coined by British governor Sir Rufane Donkin in 1820.

From north to south, the buttresses are Kloof, Fountain, Porcupine, Jubilee, Barrier, Valken, Kasteel, Postern, Wood, Spring, Slangolie, Corridor, Separation, Victoria, Grove, Llandudno Peak, Llandudno Corridor, and Hout Bay Corner.

Twelve apostles cape town
Camps Bay Cape Town South Africa Twelve Apostles 1
The Twelve Apostles towering above Camps Bay.

An anomaly

Similar to Australia’s Twelve Apostles, the name is not an exact representation of the attraction.

There are well over twelve buttresses (Apostles) on the sea-facing side. It’s more a matter of seventeen or eighteen buttresses including St. Peter’s Peak, St. Luke’s Peak, and Judas Peak (named after Jesus’ disciples), depending on how you count them. But with such splendid scenery, who is counting anyway!?

Twelve Apostles Cape Town Pass
Victoria Road is a long road that stretches below the Twelve Apostles, from Sea point all the way to Hout Bay.

Best time to go

A clear day provides the best lighting and photo opportunities. Also, around sunset, the picturesque mountain range creates unforgettable memories.

Australia's Twelve Apostles

Australia's Twelve Apostles is a popular tourist attraction in Port Campbell.

Did You Know?

There are another famous Twelve Apostles. 

Suggested Read: Why Are Australia’s Twelve Apostles So Famous?

Plan your trip to South Africa's Twelve Apostles

 

Jan

Feb

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Apr

Ma

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

Avg. Temp. (°C)

20.9

20.9

19.9

17.7

15.2

13.5

12.8

13.1

14.6

16.1

18.3

19.6

Min. Temp. (°C)

15.6

15.6

14.5

12.5

10.4

8.9

7.9

8.4

9.7

11.1

13.2

14.5

Max. Temp. (°C)

26.2

26.3

25.4

22.9

20.1

18.1

17.7

17.9

19.6

21.2

23.4

24.8

Avg. Temp. (°F)

69.6

69.6

67.8

63.9

59.4

56.3

55.0

55.6

58.3

61.0

64.9

67.3

Min. Temp. (°F)

60.1

60.1

58.1

54.5

50.7

48.0

46.2

47.1

49.5

52.0

55.8

58.1

Max. Temp. (°F)

79.2

79.3

77.7

73.2

68.2

64.6

63.9

64.2

67.3

70.2

74.1

76.6

Precipitation / Rainfall (mm)

24

25

30

74

117

143

131

126

70

55

31

27

Travel Tips

  • Country: South Africa
  • Currency: ZAR
  • Language: Afrikaans, Xhosa & English
  • Time zone:  UTC+2 (SAST)
  • Driving side: left
  • Visa: A 90-day free visa is available to several countries

Map, location(s) & directions

Technically situated at the back of Table Mountain, South Africa’s Twelve Apostles Mountain Range extends from Table Mountain, above Camps Bay, in the direction of Hout Bay, to Llandudno.

International airport

Cape Town International Airport.

STAY FOR FREE accommodation program in South Africa

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  2. Book your stay at one of these establishments
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Where to stay

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The beach towns below the Twelve Apostles are scenic and cosmopolitan. It’s also in good reach of the hop-on-hop-off red bus, which comes highly recommended. You may want to look at staying in:

  • Bantry Bay
  • Camps Bay
  • Clifton
  • Sea Point
  • Three Anchor Bay

Things to do

  • Do the Cape Town Cycle Tour.
  • One of the best ways to see South Africa’s Twelve Apostles is on the hop-on-hop-off bus tour (the open-topped red bus tour) around Cape Town.
  • Stop for lunch or drinks at one of the many beach towns along the base of the mountains, such as Camps Bay or Clifton.
  • See the peaks from above on a helicopter tour of the coastline.
  • Self-guided hiking: If you want to experience the beauty of Table Mountain, without tough uphill’s then the Pipe Track hike is calling you. The Pipe Track trail is relatively flat with magnificent views of Camps Bay beach and the Twelve Apostles. Located at the base of Table Mountain, the trail winds its way along a contour path with spectacular photo opportunities and scenic pit-stops. A round trip can take up to four hours. That said, you can cut it short if need be.
  • Book a guided hiking tour for a challenging, yet rewarding, excursion.
  • For views without the climb, take the cable car to the top of Table Mountain and follow the reasonably easy trails along the top of the Twelve Apostles.
  • An approximate 30-minute drive along Victoria Road offers a breathtaking view of magnificent granite rock formations, towering cliff faces, deep ravines, ridges, and gorges. Furthermore, there are many scenic turnouts along the road for photo opportunities.