A hike to the top of Table Mountain.

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It was a perfect day in a month of October. Me and some friends opted to hike to the top of Table Mountain in an early morning. We actually intended to hike during sunset. Unfortunately, the so-called “tablecloth” was an obstacle. Its a layer of clouds that usually appear on top of Table Mountain every late afternoon. After given an advice by one of the staff at the hostel, we decided to do it before midday. Hiking during sunset was too dangerous since we could get lost and a risk of hypothermia while at the summit.

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Cloud formations on Table Mountain. The famous “tablecloth”.

 

Getting there

The cableway is no doubt the easiest way to get to the summit (for the lazy people:D). We decided to take it on the way down just to spare our knees.

I have been told by a local that there are countless paths that could lead me to the top of the mountain. It’s either a hike or a climb, depending on the route. We all chosed the Platteklip Gorge. It was a moderate hike in terms of difficulty level, most popular and most direct route. The walk from the starting point to the top lasted for two and a half hours. The route has a well-constructed path all the way.

Other popular routes are the “Skeleton Gorge” which involves climbing up ladders & through shady forest, and the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens. The longest one and often used as the downward route would be the “Nursery Ravine”.

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While on top….

It’s true that animal life exists up there. The mountain is home to lizards (the only one we saw during our hike), mongoose, porcupines and snakes as well as Rose’s ghost frog/Table Mountain ghost frog. Supposedly a common mammal would be rock hyrax or the dassie, which are declining rapidly. As for the flora, the most common is the highly endemic fynbos (delicate bush). It is a scrubby vegetation that is particular to the Cape and is abundant on the mountain slopes.

The plateau of the mountain is flat and easy to get around. The views are different from every angle. All of them were absolutely breathtaking. We also walked the back part of the mountain, which gave us a different perspective. The whole scenery is extremely beautiful and it kind of reminded me of one of those scenes in Game of Thrones.

I nearly forgot to mention that the top cableway station also has a restaurant and a souvenir shop. This area is too crowded in my opnion. Dehydrated, we filled our emtpy bottles with water and had lunch on Table Mountain Cafe. And after a little bit of shopping for postcards & fridge magnets, we took the cableway down. Ending the day by relaxing back at the hostel.

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Table mountain (1088m) is one of the most famous landmarks on the planet. Standing as a great vertical escarpment overlooking Cape Town. Extending its seemingly protective flanks in the form of Lion’s Head on one side and Devil’s Peak on the other, to cradle the city at the very tip of Africa and giving a panoramic picture of incomparable beauty. So stunning this perfect mountain in this perfect setting that it has been voted as one of the New Seven Wonders of Nature.

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Without the mountain, Cape Town would have simply not exist as we know it. Her presence dictates the city’s climate, which in turn makes Table Mountain a unique and exceptional floral paradise. She dominates the city skyline just as does the Corcovado Mountain in Rio de Janeiro & the Eiffel Tower in Paris.

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On our way down.

Some interesting facts:

  • The first horse ridden to the top of the mountain was in 1798.
  • In 1955, a return cableway ticket cost only R1 for adults and 50c for children.
  • The speed record for running Platteklip Gorge is 27 minutes up and 11 minutes down.
  • Its possible to see 200km to the Cedeberg mountains from the summit on a clear day.
  • The front of Table Mountain was first illuminated in 1947 during the visit by Britain’s Royal family.
  • Around 70% of the plants found on the mountain are endemic.
  • The rocks are over 600 million years old, making it one of the oldest mountains in the world.

 

What to bring during the trek

  • Camera
  • A light fleece.
  • A good pair of hiking shoes.
  • A waterproof top.
  • Head torch.
  • A hat and sunscreen.

Table Mountain is not as friendly and docile as it looks from a distance. It is relatively huge and demands respect and proper experience and preparation.

 

 

20 thoughts on “A hike to the top of Table Mountain.

  1. Wow, that first picture with the mountain covered with clouds is breathtaking and enough to convince us for the trek. But would you think climbing the mountain and standing amidst the cloud would be a nice idea 😉 Trekking with lizards and snakes around sounds bit scary!

  2. Danjuma says:

    Breathtaking images from your experience and you sure had loads of fun from it all, and these are amazing facts you listed out about the mountain.

  3. Sona Sethi says:

    I just completed a trek to Mt. Batur, a volcanic peak in Indonesia and I can completely relate to your experience. When I do visit South Africa, I will definitely look out for the Table Mountain. The list of what to bring to the trek is very exhaustive with the water bottles included. 🙂

  4. Ana says:

    Looks like you had an amazing time trekking to Table Mountain! Your pictures are amazing! Thanks for sharing your adventure with us!

  5. I guess that some of the problems of having a mountain so close to the city is that there will be many people there at all times. In any case, your pictures were great and I will visit too when I go to Cape Town!

  6. Blair Villanueva says:

    as a fashion blogger, I’m picturing myself standing in that cliff (and hope not to unbalance, lol) wearing a free-flowing dress, laid back hair, and spreading my arms like “Geez, I know the world!” lol

  7. Liana says:

    Wow, it seems like an amazing trek! The photos are amazing!

  8. I think you should do a video of your next trip to the Table Mountain. I had read about it in my class but your article has forced me to give respect to this plateau. The views are breathtaking and equally surprising is the presence of a cafe on the top.
    Wow

  9. Sheri says:

    Lovely post with such detailed information. I am not a very sporty type so I often miss out on lovely hikes and treks but I love to see posts and read stories about people courageous enough to do this. Fantastic!

  10. Komang Ayu says:

    very nice view on your picture. but a little creepy. looks like being in a place that is very high. how are you going there?

  11. Tae says:

    I’ve never heard of this place, but I have to go!!! That first picture with the cloud is amazing. Sounds like a great experience 🙂

  12. Amazing pictures from the top and as well the cloud formations on Table Mountain is breathtaking! Great adventure you went on right there!

  13. Vyjay says:

    This looks like an exciting hike to the top of table mountain. Really loved your pictures which capture the beautiful landscape so well. I am sure you had an exciting experience.

  14. Table Mountain really is beautiful! I took the cableway so I guess I’m lazy! But I’m impressed that you hiked. I agree that it looks like something out of Game of Thrones. I did see a dassi in SA, but not on top Table Mountain unfortunately.

  15. This looks really steep and rocky. I guess one would have to take loads of precautions to get there in one piece.

  16. This view is unbelievable! Sounds like a great hike indeed. And thank you for the interesting information I’ve learned a lot.

  17. Miriam Ernst says:

    Lovely pictures. I do consider hiking as one of the best ways to explore places so full of nature, you can really appreciate the amazing landscapes.

  18. Lisa says:

    My kind of travel…hiking and more hiking! This place looks fabulous, i would love to visit. Your pictures are great, they capture the layout perfectly!

  19. Lisa says:

    As an avid hiker I would love to do this one! We love the more challenging hikes. Your pictures definitely show the challenge and the beauty. Hope to visit one day looks like a great adventure.

  20. Kori Jerald says:

    What’s up it’s me Fiona, I am also visiting this web site regularly, this web page is truly nice and the users are genuinely sharing good thoughts.

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