Hiking Up Table Mountain, Cape Town

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Table Mountain is one of the oldest mountains on earth. It lies at the northern end of the Cape Fold Mountain range. This flat-topped mountain reaches 1,086 meters above sea level, making it the most distinguishing feature of the city. Not only it is one of the greatest formations of its kind, but it’s also South Africa’s most photographed attraction and serves as the welcoming icon for travelers from all over the world. With its imposing features, Table Mountain is visible kilometers away, offering a scenic backdrop from various points across the city.

The mountain looks majestic and remarkable on days with cloudless blue skies. But it looks even more dramatic when a blanket of clouds cover the table top. According to legends, the clouds, which are called the “tablecloth”, is a result of a smoking contest between the devil and a retired sea captain called Jan van Hunks. The scientific explanation for the cloud formation over the top of Table Mountain? It’s an orographic cloud as a result of the forced lifting of air by the earth’s topography.

Table Mountain is not only beautiful to look at. At the top of the mountain, it offers stunning panoramic views of the Cape Peninsula. Its picturesque views, combined with its rich fauna and flora, makes it the perfect Cape Town getaway.

Take a Guided Table Mountain Hike

You can decide to figure out the hike up the mountain on your own. But an experienced mountain guide will offer you an enhanced experience. Also, you are guaranteed that you climb a route that is suitable to your hiking experience and fitness level.

Why You Should Use a Qualified Guide to Hike Table Mountain

Because Table Mountain is so easily accessible, people assume that it’s an effortless hike. But every year hikers misjudge it and injure themselves, get stuck, or even lose their lives. The unpredictable weather plays a big factor in this, as well as the challenging terrain.

They put up the cableway for a good reason, trekking up the mountain can be very treacherous. Add to that the unpredictable weather, and you can get into trouble very easily while making your way to the summit.

Your competent mountain guide will not only make sure that you safely reach the top. They will also teach you more about the mountain and its interesting fauna and flora, plus share fascinating facts about the geology and history. The guide also knows the mountain like the back of their hand, and will make sure that you see the best views.

Hiking Routes to Choose From

Unlike other hiking companies, Hike Table Mountain offers hikes up all Table Mountain routes. There are literally thousands of ways to hike and climb up the mountain. You can mix and match these at your leisure to never get bored with the mountain.

The hiking routes length and difficulty vary. From well-trodden paths with rock steps, to scampering over rugged bushy terrain. Once your guide has gauged your hiking skills and fitness level, they will be able to offer you the most suitable personalized option.

The grading system for the mountain is based on technical difficulty. The A-route is only walking, B-route requires a bit of scrambling as well. And the C-route involves demanding scrambling, and sometimes rope work.

Platteklip Gorge

R850 per person (two people) | R800 per person (groups of 3+)

Grade: A

Duration: 2.5 to 3 hours

This is the easiest, oldest, and most direct route to the top. It meanders up a well-constructed trail on the mountain’s epic front face. Expect to be awed by the imposing cliffs looming over you. You can also extend the hike, meandering across the length of the mountain to the highest point. (Extra 1.5 hours and R350 per person)

Skeleton Gorge to Table Mountain Summit

R1200 per person

Grade: A+

Duration: 3.5 hours to the Maclear’s Beacon (add 45 minutes to the top cable station)

This route is not available from 1 December to 31 January, due to the Botanical Gardens only opening at 8am. It is too hot in the summer to start this hike so late. The route follows a lush jungle-like ravine before emerging on the mountain slopes at the top. You can also make a little detour to stop at the “beach” on the mountain, at the historic reservoirs. Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens entrance fee of R70 per person is excluded.

12 Apostles to Table Mountain Summit

R1200 per person

Grade: A+ (with B and C variations)

Duration: from 4 hours

Travel up the extended side of the mountain and take in spectacular views of the sea and Peninsula. You can include detours to the reservoirs or the natural rock labyrinths. There are a few different routes to choose from, depending on your hiking skills. It finishes on the table-top summit.

India Venster

R900 per person

Grade: B

Duration: 3.5 hours

It’s one of the most popular half-day routes to the summit. Hike up the side of the formidable mountain and take in the spectacular views of the city and sea. The route involves a substantial amount of scrambling and exposure to heights. These challenging conditions are about 15% of the hike. So it’s a good choice for more adventurous hikers.

Llandudno Ravine

R1500 per person (two people) | R1200 per person (groups of 3+)

Grade: A+ (with B and C variations)

Duration: 4.5 hours (round trip; no cable car option)

This one traverses across the southernmost extremity of the mountain range. It includes breath taking viewpoints. The route is a bit quieter than the other popular mountain ascends, so you can enjoy the solitude of connecting with nature. You can enjoy a different vantage point of the mountain top, with expansive views of the whole mountain.


R1900 per person (two people) | R1600 per person (groups of 3+)

Grade: B+

Duration: 6 hours to Maclear’s Beacon

This is one of the most challenging and wildest routes up the mountain, perfect for adventurers. It follows an off-the-beaten track route through jungle-like ravines. It involves extensive scrambling and lots of heights. There’s only a faint trail across the rugged terrain. Here you can truly feel part of the wild beauty of Table Mountain!

Summit Stroll

R950 per person (two people) | R800 per person (groups of 3+)

Grade: A

Duration: 3.5 hours

This is a nice leisure hike option. If you just want enjoy the awe inspiring views without breaking too much of a sweat, this hike is for you. You travel up and down with the cable car and meander across the length of the world-famous mountain top, to the highest point of the mountain. Then loop back to the cable car station, along the exhilarating front-edge of the “Table”. A lot of the hike meanders over level terrain. Cable car fee of R190 per person is excluded.

Extra: with every hike option you can request a wholesome lunch of a sandwich, dried fruit & nuts, an energy bar plus water at R200 per person.

Book Your Guided Table Mountain Hike Now

The Hike Table Mountain team is passionate about hiking and the mountain. It’s their official office. These professional mountain guides will provide you with the ultimate hiking experience. Not only do they offer the popular hiking routes, they also specialize in the off-the-beaten track options.

They only focus on hiking and climbing in the Cape Peninsula, including Table Mountain to Cape Point. This means that you are guaranteed a comprehensive hiking experience. The hiking company has successfully escorted thousands of people up the mountain.

Once you have given them information about your hiking requirements and abilities, they will create the ideal hiking experience for you. The guides are qualified and accredited Mountain Guides. They cater for all fitness levels and hiking experience.

Visit hiketablemountain.co.za for more information.

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