Grab the backpack and lace up those boots for awesome views and solitude above the hustle & bustle of the city.
For guests keen on burning off those mounting vacation calories, summiting Table Mountain on foot is an unforgettable experience. There are dozens of exhilarating hiking routes to choose from, each with their own highlights and unique challenges. They vary in length, technical aspects, scenery and overall experience and your preferred route should be selected with all of these factors in mind.
From a steep two-hour zig-zagging ascent to the top, to a full day expedition beginning at the renowned Kirstenbosch Gardens, passing through landscapes punctuated by King Proteas and ending at the upper Cableway, this mountain offers a route for all hikers, from expert to novice. Your expert hiking guide will accompany you, keeping you on the trail and providing interesting information on the fauna and flora encountered on one of the planet’s oldest mountains. Options include:
Kirstenbosch to the Cableway
Ascend through beautiful indigenous Cape Afro-Montane forest until we have reached the eastern summit. We follow the Smut’s Track path, offering panoramic views of the city below, to Maclear’s Beacon, the highest point on Table Mountain, built by the celebrated 19th-century Irish-born astronomer who became Her Majesty’s astronomer at the Cape of Good Hope in 1833. Here, we stop for lunch, affording ample time to absorb the vistas of Table Bay and the city below, before you continue walking west along the Table. to the Upper Cable Station, to board the revolving cable car for a breath-taking mountain descent (weather permitting).
The ‘sugarloaf’ peak alongside the main Table Mountain offers some of the best views in the Cape. A short steep ascent with magnificent 360 degree views from the top. There are 2 routes possible. One following an exciting scrambling route with the assistance of chains. The other avoids the chains and is a less exciting but still a steep route. Allow approx. 45 mins to an hour for the ascent and 40 mins for the return.
For those who wish to hike up Table Mountain instead of taking the cable car, the Platteklip Gorge route is the most direct route, but be warned it is also arguably the most challenging one. Do not be misled by the 3km distance from bottom to top. The distance may sound short, but the hike is a physically demanding “moderate to tough” route that takes between one and three hours to complete. The hike is suitable for older children who are in peak physical condition. Although the path is easy to negotiate, it is quite steep and should be tackled at an easy pace, affording hikers time to appreciate the flora, fauna and scenic views.