Skeleton Gorge (hike up Table Mountain)

The beautiful forest-like start and the beach-like finish to this hike makes this strenuous trail well worth the climb. It’s only about 3km, which sounds easy enough, but remember this is Table Mountain we’re talking about.

You start your hike in the abundant Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden (you’ll need to pay the regular entry fee) and climb up the back of Table Mountain. The first half is shaded and feels like you’re in a jungle somewhere far-off, but you’ll start seeing some spectacular views closer to the top. It’s a tough climb, but pack some snacks and enjoy a break on the aptly-named Breakfast Rock or relax on the “beach” at the reddish Hely-Hutchinson reservoir at the summit (please don’t swim here). It’s one of five reservoirs on the mountain and is a beautiful sight to behold.

From here it’s about an hour walk to the Table Mountain Cableway station if you want to spare your knees the trip down. Take the signs to Maclear’s Beacon and visit the big cairn that marks the highest point on Table Mountain (1 086 metres above sea level) on your way. Another option is to take Platteklip Gorge down, otherwise, head down Skeleton Gorge or Nursery Ravine to end up where you started.

Approximate time: 2- 4 one way hours one way depending on fitness and breaks.

Platteklip Gorge (hike up Table Mountain)

This zig-zag up the Table is the most popular route and feels a little like climbing stairs for an hour or two (or three, depending on fitness). It’s a beautiful trail and when the weather is good you’ll encounter many other hikers, so it’s a more social hike with great people-watching possibilities.

You’ll start the route on Tafelberg Road. Carry on driving after the Cableway station until you see the Platteklip sign and parking. When you start walking, keep left till you see the Platteklip turnoff. You’ll zig-zag your way up to a ravine and just when you feel like you’ve had enough you’ll emerge at the top. From there you take the route to the right and then you’ll be at the top of Table Mountain, where you can walk to the Cableway and restaurant with ease.

Approximate time: 1.5 – 3 hours one way depending on fitness and breaks.

Table Mountain Cable Car

Consisting of layers of Table Mountain Sandstone and Cape Granite formed by igneous and glacial action 520 million years ago, Table Mountain is at least 6 times older than the Himalayas, making it one of the oldest mountains in the world.

The cable cars have a carrying capacity of 65 people, transporting approximately 800 people per hour.

Similar rotating cable cars are in use at Mount Titlis in Switzerland and in Palm Springs, USA. The base of the cable cars have built-in water tanks carrying 3 000 litres of water used for ballast in the windy season and to supply fresh water for visitors. The cables are attached to counter weights, each weighing 134 tonnes.

The cable cars are round to provide a 360° view, and to be aerodynamic in high winds (which means a smoother ride for you).

Table Mountain

Whether it is covered in a blanket of moody clouds or showing off against a crisp cloudless blue sky, Table Mountain is always spectacular.

Cape Town locals are pretty fond of the mountain that looms over their city… and with good reason! Table Mountain, which is home to the richest, yet smallest floral kingdom on earth, was voted one of the New Seven Wonders of the World in 2011.

Flanked by Devil’s Peak and Lion’s Head, Table Mountain makes up the northern end of the Cape Fold Mountain range. It’s hard to imagine, but the mountain’s distinctive flat top – a three-kilometre level plateau – was once the bottom of a valley! The mountain was given its name — Taboa do Cabo (Table of the Cape) — by Antonio de Saldahna after he climbed up Platteklip Gorge in 1503.

Legend has it that the tablecloth of clouds that pours over the mountain when the southeaster blows is the result of a smoking contest between the devil and a retired sea captain called Jan van Hunks.

Table Mountain Cable Car
Consisting of layers of Table Mountain Sandstone and Cape Granite formed by igneous and glacial action 520 million years ago, Table Mountain is at least…
Platteklip Gorge (hike up Table Mountain)
This zig-zag up the Table is the most popular route and feels a little like climbing stairs for an hour or two (or three, depending…
Skeleton Gorge (hike up Table Mountain)
The beautiful forest-like start and the beach-like finish to this hike makes this strenuous trail well worth the climb. It’s only about 3km, which sounds…