Table Mountain guided hikes and walks
Times shown in the brackets () is the total time including transfers
Start time for walks: October to May 6.00am / June to September 7.00am
Lions Head Hike
Rise with the Lion! 3 hours (3 1/2 hours)
Tackle this exciting and spectacular route to experience the panoramic view of the sunrise over the city of Cape Town. Admire the Atlantic seaboard and watch majestic Table Mountain come to light while seeing the sun appear from above the Hottentots Holland Mountains. Some scrambling along a couple of ladders to be scaled and some exposure to height, but worth it all when you reach the summit.
Platteklip Gorge Hike
(Front Table) 3 hours (4 hours). Platteklip Gorge including Maclears Beacon (Front Table): 4 hours (5 hours)
Hike the route of the original explorers to the top of the Front Table.
The trail offers spectacular views all the way to the top with Devil’s Peak and Lion’s Head flanking the mountain on either side. Take time to marvel at the views over Table Bay, Robben Island, Signal Hill and the City of Cape Town while also admiring the fynbos (the indigenous vegetation) and the awesome rock face of the gorge. At the top of the gorge a short 10 minute walk takes one to the cableway where plenty of time is allowed to take in the unrivalled panorama in all directions – look down on the beaches of Clifton and Camps Bay and south over the Cape Peninsula and the majestic Twelve Apostles.
There are normally a few friendly dassies (rock hyrax) to photograph before we take a ride down in the revolving cable car back to our start point. Allow 3- 4 hours for this route.
Skeleton Gorge Hike
Via Maclear`s Beacon, to the Front Table (Back and Front Tables): 5 hours (6 hours)
This point to point walk across Table Mountain starts from Kirstenbosch Gardens.
An easy stroll through the gardens takes us to the steeper ascent of the gorge. Once in the gorge we are surrounded by magnificent indigenous forest which provides us with welcome shade. We walk close to the stream to the half way point where there are a couple of ladders to tackle and a rockfall to scramble over. Nearing the top the trees thin out allowing us views over False Bay and the Constantia Valley all the way to the Hottentot Holland Mountains. Breakfast rock signals the top of the gorge and from here we hike along the eastern flank of the mountain to Maclear’s Beacon, the highest point. Here there are spectacular views over the whole of the Table Mountain chain all the way to Cape Point.
See typical mountain fynbos, some interesting rock formations and maybe a sunbird or even a sugarbird. At the beacon, Table Bay, Robben Island and Devil’s Peak take us by surprise as we realise we have crossed the mountain. Here we take a well earned break before walking across the Central Table with the City of Town, Lion’s Head and Signal Hill soon coming into view . An hour from the beacon we arrive at the cableway station with still plenty of time to visit the various viewing platforms and look for a dassie. Then we make our way down in the revolving car to Tafelberg Rd.
Via Valley of the Red Gods to Front Table (Back and Front Tables): 4 hours (5 hours)
This scenic route starts from Camps Bay and ascends on the western or Twelve Apostles side of Table Mountain.
Admire the majestic ‘Apostles’ before starting the more serious hike up the gorge. Stop to take in the panorama of the Atlantic Ocean, palm lined beach of Camps Bay, Lion’s Head and Robben Island.
On reaching the top discover the old cableway and railway and pose if you dare for a dramatic photo shot.
We now make our way to the Front Table – still a way up passing through the Valley of the Red Gods and Valley of Isolation. Take time to admire the intricate rock formations, pristine fynbos and breathtaking views. Arriving opposite Fountain Peak between the Central and Western Tables we are now at the top and have earned well deserved break before catching the cableway down.
Circular walk to Maclear’s Beacon: 2 – 3 hours (4 hours)
For those not wanting to exert themselves this is a good option to explore the quieter parts of Table Mountain without the effort.
Ascend by cableway and hike to Maclears Beacon, the highest point, with its incredible panoramic views.. Admire the unusual landscape and look down on the lower Back Table with its 5 reservoirs stretching all the way to Cape Point.
The return route is closer to the edge with views over the city, Robben Island and Table Bay. Marvel at the intricate rock formations and with luck see a Rock Kestrel hovering overhead. Spend some time at the various viewpoints before descending by cableway.
This route may be extended to Echo Valley with some descent and ascent – additional time 1 hour.
Silvermine Nature Reserve Hike
Silvermine Nature Reserve 4 hours
Explore the less frequented Silvermine Nature Reserve, South of Table Mountain. Hike to Noordhoek Peak to experience panoramic views over Kommetjie’s Long Beach, Hout Bay and look over the Cape Peninsula and False Bay all the way to Cape Point. Admire the tranquil Silvermine reservoir and Constantia Valley winelands and see a variety of fynbos that are always in abundance. This circular route offers a great hiking experience for all.