Table Mountain Hiking
Table Mountain Hiking
Make a hike on Table Mountain part of your Cape Town hiking experience. Providing one of the world’s most recognisable skylines and easily accessible via the cable car, Table Mountain is visited by tens of thousands of people a year, marvelling at both the views and the audacity of its location right in the centre of Cape Town.
The vast majority of visitors to Table Mountain however never go beyond the cable car area and the flat-as-a-pancake Western Table, but Table Mountain’s flat-topped appearance hides a pleasant secret – there is another world up there, waiting to be explored.
Table Mountain hiking is all about discovering the many faces of this iconic destination. More than a dozen paths wind their way up to the top through shady forest or fynbos covered slopes; some are relatively easy and popular with hikers, others are tough scrambles and are virtually unknown. The routes are varied but all take between one and two hours to reach the top.
And then the fun starts.
Remember that flat, crowded part of Table Mountain? That’s but a tiny portion of this 57km² wonderland – the rest of it is a beautiful mix of craggy peaks, plunging valleys, wetlands and waterfalls, tucked-away forests and extravagant shows of flowering plants. A network of well-maintained trails covers Table Mountain, making for easy access and straight-forward hiking, and there are many little-used and demanding paths that make Table Mountain hiking as challenging as you want.
The constantly changing environment of Table Mountain means that no part of it is quite the same: different rainfall patterns, soil types and varying exposure to sun and wind means the Table Mountain hiker can be walking through dense indigenous forest the one moment, and arid, almost desert-like scrub the next. The range of plant life is incredible, and although the August – December period is best for flowers, there is always something in bloom at any time of year.
And there are animals too – Table Mountain is home to a number of endemic fynbos birds as well as many reptiles and small mammals, including porcupine, klipspringer, dassie and carcal. Buzzards, kestrels and ravens patrol overhead, and lucky hikers may even catch a glimpse of a black eagle.
Table Mountain hiking – it’s where the wilderness meets the city.