Table Mountain Hiking
Presenting Down South Safaris Table Mountain hiking
Safely enjoy the more adventurous hikes on Table Mountain National Park
Meeting at the base of the Cable car we hike up to the contour path before branching off onto one of several routes. Table Mountain generally involves an altitude gain of 720m and mostly on uneven paths or steps. Most hikes are about a 2&1/2 hour walking and 4-5 hour duration. This can be considered a half day.
Leads on from the buttress immediately below the cable car, offering magnificent views of the mountain, the city with the cable car whizzing overhead at Koffieklip (coffee rock).
The viewpoint window 1/3rd the way up is a notable stopping point and some challenging sections with “staples” and chains to facilitate your ascent. Whilst ropes are not required for this hike, We always carry one with and are prepared to use it principally to offer additional confidence to those that want it.
Ascending to Africa Ledge, we meet up with several other trails.
Notably, this being the start point of my “most exciting hike on Table mountain” Whilst inherently safe, I’ve put this one together to create the environment incorporating all your phobias into one morning!
A very much more challenging hike than India Venster with two sections I feel requiring the use of a safety rope to ensure safety during the ascent with the 15m drop As such this cannot be considered a scramble but in actuality is a climb. The jaw-dropping view in the notch over Kloof corner is the absolute highlight. Truth be told, this is not a hike but requires advanced scrambling/ climbing with exposure. This meets up at the level of Africa ledge and we then proceed along Fountain ledge to the upper cable car station.
Fountain Ledge affords a breathtakingly beautiful vista of the Atlantic seaboard and differentiates India Venster from the slog up Platteklip gorge.
Table Mountain hikes End at the Upper cable car station.
Guests will be required to buy their cable car return ticket unless the cable car is not running in which case we will hike down Platteklip gorge.
Please note that the Cable car frequently does not run owing to wind conditions and the expectation is that one will hike down the Platteklip gorge route, this is usually an additional 2 hours. We accept no liability for this whatsoever. Additionally each year in July the cable car is closed for its annual maintenance.
There are alternative hikes up on top of table mountain:
The circular walk to Maclears Beacon is certainly a worthwhile 1&1/2 hour addition.
In February there’s the opportunity to view the red & blue Disas (Orchids) commonly seen secreted away in the mountain.
The Full Traverse
from Kirstenbosch up Skeleton or Nursery gorges past the dams over to Macleans beacon and down Platteklip or the cable car. An energizing 17-kilometer hike offering a smorgasbord of views.
There are many hikes up the Western buttresses, but less popular with guests owing to the transport complication resulting from the Cable Car being quite a distance from the start point.
A rare opportunity to walk in the Orange Kloof nature reserve restricted to 12 people a day opens up from time to time, Hells Gates is a beautiful waterfall filled in and out hike, whilst Disa Gorge offers an energetic immersion into the old indigenous hardwood forest ending up at the dams.
There are many ways up Lions head away from the excitement of the motorway hiking path, and the congestion of the stables ladders and chains but there really is nothing quite as refreshing as the view and breeze from Lions head watching the sunrise behind Table mountain.
What to take:
At least 1.5 liters of water
The weather can vary from a sunny 30° to zero visibility 0˚ at the summit in one day – be prepared for both irrespective of the time of year.
At least 1.5 liters water per person (repetition intended)
Fully charged phone & camera, head torch, sun-hat, sunscreen, decent wind, and waterproof jacket, a UV rated long sleeve shirt, light fleece and your choice of trousers or shorts – With me, they’re likely to get dirty with all the clambering around.
A decent selection of snacks and a flask of your favorite something warm. Koffieklip warrants a strong coffee and the guides don’t share theirs!
Typically we will meet outside the curio shops at the Lower cable car station on Tafelberg road most hikes commence from there and is within easy access of Most public transport facilities.