Table Mountain is Cape Town's most famous landmark and is officially one of the New7Wonders of Nature.
The mountain is named for its flat top which is often covered by cloud, forming the "table cloth".
It is flanked by Devil's Peak to the east and by Lion's Head and Signal Hill to the north.
Devil's Peak to the left and Lion's Head to the right of the mountain.
What makes the mountain so impressive, is that it rises virtually straight out of the ocean to a height of 1 087m (at Maclear's Beacon - the highest point).
The two ways to reach the summit, is to either walk, or to use the Rotair Aerial Cable cars.
The new Rotair Cable Car nearing the upper station. Image: tablemountain.net
The old car.
The oldest, easiest and most direct route to the summit and therefore also the most popular, so expect company along the way. Follows a well-constructed path up an imposing ravine on the north face, featuring dramatic rock-formations in its upper reaches. Tops out near the upper cable station. Extension: from the ravine head, traverse the entire tabletop to Maclear’s Beacon, highest point on the mountain.
Skeleton Gorge to Maclear's beacon
Follows a ravine carpeted with indigenous forest before breaking out onto slopes of fragrant fynbos (indigenous shrub) to eventually gain Maclear’s Beacon, highest point on the mountain and the Cape Peninsula.
A 15-minute detour en route leads to a ‘beach’ at the historic reservoirs. A great and deservedly popular route taking in a variety of floral zones and a full range of views.
Twelve Apostle's to Table Mountain Summit
Explores the chain of peaks extending south of Table Mountain proper along the Atlantic coast. Leads up one of many ravines dissecting this bastion of the mountain, passing superb viewpoints, a subterranean stream, the reservoirs, rock labyrinths and sculpted rock-formations.
A visit to the little Waterworks museum makes for an interesting aside. Lots of variation possible.
This sensational route leads up directly under the cables of the cable car before skirting around to the back of the mountain. One of the finest half-day options on the mountain. A short detour leads to an exhilarating traverse through cliffside caves.
Suitable for, but not restricted to the more adventurous. Dramatic topography and varied hiking.
A delightful route up the south-western extremity of the Table Mountain massif, topping out near some of the best viewpoints on the mountain. Lots of solitude on this one, so ample opportunity to connect with nature. On some days, all you hear are the distant crash of waves, the clicking of frogs, the burble of a stream and the chirping of birds – all at the same time.
Arguably the wildest route and this one’s for the true adventurers out there. Enter a lost world of gloomy ravines, Afro-montane forest and geological drama. Only a faint trail for much of the way, this route provides an unrivalled wilderness experience on a remote sector of the mountain. Not for the faint-hearted or unfit.
Although not as high as Table Mountain, this prominent little peak commands panoramic views that will leave you breathless. Route circles the peak before following an exposed ridge to the summit. Available as a sunrise or sunset hike, the latter with drinks and snacks – a truly memorable experience.
Source: Hike Table Mountain
The Hoerikwaggo Trail
The Hoerikwaggo Trail, is a 5 day, 4 night hiking trail traversing 75km through the Table Mountain National Park (TMNP). Hoerikwaggo is a Khoisan name given to Table Mountain by the nomadic Khoi people who hunted and gathered on these mountains.
Linking Cape Point to Table Mountain, the trail was constructed by previously unemployed people from the townships of the Cape Peninsula with a great emphasis on leaving little or no environmental impact on the earth.
Hikers pass through peaks, forests, beaches and restricted conservation areas of TMNP, while journeying through the smallest and most diverse of the world’s floral kingdoms.
Along the trail, hikers are also exposed to breathtaking views, and the flora and fauna unique to the Western Cape.
Always pack something warm, as it might be much colder at the top of Table Mountain than at the bottom.
Visit the Aerial Cableway website to confirm whether they are open, as trips are weather dependant.
NB!! - When you hear the hooter, return to the top station immediately as unfavourable weather conditions are approaching - the Upper Cable Station will be closing.
Visit between 14h00 and 16h00 when there is typically a lull in visitors – you’ll spend very little time in the queue and have more than adequate time at the top.
021 424 8181
Tour Operators for available for guided walks on the mountain:
16 January - 31 January: 08h00 - 20h00
1 February - 28 February: 08h00 - 19h30
1 March - 31 March: 08h00 - 18h30
1 April - 30 April: 08h00 - 17h30
1 May - 15 September: 08h30 - 17h00
16 September - 31 October: 08h00 - 18h00
1 November - 30 November: 08h00 - 19h00
1 December - 15 December: 08h00 - 20h30
16 December - 15 January: 08h00 - 21h00
Table Mountain Cafe
Dine at Table mountain Cafe. The menu include pizzas, gourmet burgers and a section with traditional South African food. Light meals are also available from the deli.
Shop at the Top
The Shop at the top offers a wide selection of items ranging from handmade jewelry and local crafts to chocolates and teaspoons.
Practical items such as sun block, beanies and batteries are also available.
Free short guided walks depart daily at 10:00 and 12:00 from the Upper Cable Station