Devil's Peak




A small, rather peaceful city bowl suburb positioned between Vredehoek and Table Mountain’s right shoulder peak from which it gets its name.  How the Peak got its name is however a much more interesting story altogether.


According to legend, Devil’s Peak got its name from a Dutch pirate called Jan Van Hunks.  Every day Van Hunks would walk from his house up the slopes of Table Mountain to a solitary spot where he could enjoy the view and smoke his beloved pipe.  One day Van Hunks was met on the mountain by a mysterious stranger.  They started talking and soon discovered that they were both avid pipe smokers.  When the stranger implied that he could easily smoke more than Van Hunks, Van Hunks challenged him to a pipe smoking competition, the result of which was large clouds of smoke rolling down the mountain to be seen all the way from the Cape Town Castle.


As the day progressed, the clouds grew bigger and bigger until the whole of the top of Table Mountain was covered.  When Van Hunks’s opponent finally started to flag, his disguise dropped and Van Hunks realised that he was no-one other than the Devil himself!  He was most pleased that he had beaten the devil in a smoking contest, but the devil was not very pleased that he had been beaten by a human.  With a crash of thunder both men disappeared in a puff of smoke.  And it is said that whenever the South-easter wind blows and the mountain is covered by the so-called “tablecloth” of cloud, it is Van Hunks and the devil - smoking once again.


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