Hike up and down Table Mountain

Today marks the annual closure of the cableway and this year the closure is for a longer period than normal. The cableway will reopen on August 29th. So from now until then be prepared to hike both ways – and this does make a significant difference not only to the length of time it takes but also to the degree of difficulty.

Many people think that the hike down will be the easy part but then discover despite gravity the hike down Platteklip Gorge is anything but easy. It is not technical but the many many rock steps and uneven terrain can test the most able of mountain goats! Its hard for most people, make no mistake and requires a strong pair of legs, good balance and overall fitness.

The closure although well advertised escapes some people who may be on a once off visit to Cape Town and end up disappointed. However if you aren’t fit and are unaccustomed to hiking a strenuous route like this rather tackle the easier route up Lions Head or a stroll along the contour path. Sure its not the top of Table Mountain but it will make for a more enjoyable experience and not one you would rather forget!


  1. You say the hike down Platteklip Gorge is a ‘strenuous route.’ I’m in my 50s & do the occasional mountain hike with some weekly gym sessions. Should I wait for the cable car to resume at the end of the month, or rather consider the less strenuous Lions Head hike?

    • Hi Chris
      Best I describe the hike down Table Mountain – its steep and all rocks steps, there is uneven terrain and some if not many of the steps are high. if you are accustomed to this kind of descent then I think you will be fine. However if your descents are gradual, like on a jeep track then perhaps not. If you can wait for the cableway to open all the better, it is just one more week away. I think then your hike up Table Mountain (without the down) will be a lot more enjoyable.

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