Hiking table mountain is one of the experiences that cannot be missed if you visit Cape Town. Here I’ll share some essential tips to turn your hike up Table Mountain into a succes. Just in case your travel insurance doesn’t cover helicopter rescues…
Pick a Route
There are different routes you can choose when you hike Table Mountain, they range in difficulty and duration. The Platteklip Gorge route is the oldest route up and consists of stone steps. We used this route and got up Table Mountain in about 2 hours. It felt like a stairmaster work-out, although the views were much better than from the gym.
Another often recommended route starts from the Skeleton Gorge in the Kirstenbosch gardens. I scaled part of this route on my flip-flops the day before hiking Table Mountain. Needless to say, I was achy and complained the whole way up the mountain. No one warned me of the steps the come the next day…
There are plenty of other routes, including one that runs parallel to the Platteklip Gorge route but is meant for professional climbers only. Those signs telling you to turn around because there is danger ahead? They don’t lie.
Tips for a Successful Summit
Although this might sound like common sense, we saw plenty of people that weren’t properly prepared on the way up.
- Bring enough water, I finished over a litre on the way up.
- Apply and bring sunscreen, we spotted some nasty burns on top of the mountain.
- Bring snacks. Obviously.
- Don’t hike alone, sprained ankles and muggings do happen, so bring a friend.
- I was really happy I brought a jacket. Hiking makes you sweaty (duh) and in the shady parts it got fairly chilly. You don’t want to descend the mountain with a nasty cold.
- It’s possible to hike up and take the Cable Cart down. Highly recommended to save your knees from all the steps in the Platteklip Gorge.
- Don’t forget to enjoy the view on the way up. Some of the views while hiking Table Mountain were more impressive than the view from the top.
If you take my tips into considerations, hiking Table Mountain might turn out to be your favourite experience in Cape Town. Have you reached the top of Table Mountain successfully or are you planning to? Let me know in the comments, I’d love to hear from you!
P.S. Planning a trip to South Africa? You can read all about my experiences here.