Quote of the week – March week #4: Valley of the Red Gods

“For the Red Gods call me out and I must go.”

Rudyard Kipling – ‘The Feet of the Young Men’ (1897)

So what does that have to do with Table Mountain hiking? Nothing, except for a single thread of detail: There is a hollow on Table Mountain called Valley of the Red Gods, located on the 12 Apostles at the head of Jubilee Ravine. It’s a peaceful place seldom disturbed by the presence of hikers and can quite easily be accessed via the Diagonal or Kasteelspoort routes. Its evocative name adds to its charm. Who named it so and when? It is said that many years ago a member of the Mountain Club of South Africa quoted the line from Kipling’s poem when he tried to explain to his companions his need to be alone. The name stuck and to this day one can still find peace and solitude in this secluded hollow – another gem to look out for when hiking Table Mountain. Exactly who the Red Gods are lies beyond the scope of this blog post…

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