A beautiful mountain reminiscent of a table due to its flat surface is an iconic image of Cape Town. The views revealed from the top are truly incredible. No matter whether it's a clear day or slightly cloudy, you'll be sure to discover wonderful landscapes. Tourists often use the cableway that operates year-round, but there are also a variety of scenic hiking routes up, which are definitely worthwhile.
Platteklip Gorge is the safest and most popular route, which means it can be quite crowded, especially in summer. It is less scenic than those that ascend in the open. However, you can get to the top in less than an hour, which means you'll have plenty of time to enjoy the views.
Another safe and easy route is Kasteelspoort. Unlike Platteklip Gorge, it's less crowded and more time-consuming. The trail winds across isolated valleys, featuring Table Mountain reservoirs and mountain huts, before leading to the back end of the mountain.
The India Venster route winds below the cableway, so you can show off your hiking skills to those riding up. This is not a simple hike, however, as it involves some scrambling and climbing. It has also had its share of accidents. Moderately experienced hikers who follow the route without wandering off the trail have nothing to worry about, though. The most attractive feature of the current route is that it heads up the front face of Table Mountain.
Kloof Corner is one of the most demanding, but also greatly rewarding routes. It overlooks a range of landmarks including Lion’s Head, the Atlantic Seaboard, 12 Apostles and the Cape Town City Bowl. It may appear too dramatic to first-time hikers.
Another scenic trail is Mowbray Ridge. This one summits the jagged Devil’s Peak rather than Table Mountain itself. However, you'll be able to enjoy great views of Lion's Head and explore some old fortifications en route. This route is demanding and requires a fair level of fitness.
Although there are no seasonal limits, we recommend hiking the Table Mountain in spring (September–November) and autumn (March–May), as winter brings more rains and fogs, and summer months are too hot and most crowded.
What are some popular Table Mountain hiking routes that are not crowded?
While tourists often take the busy Platteklip Gorge route, Kasteelspoort is a popular alternative that is less crowded. It takes longer to reach the peak, but the stunning views of the mountain huts and Table Mountain reservoirs make it worthwhile. Hikers with moderate or advanced hiking skills may also consider the equally scenic Kloof Corner and India Venster routes. Show more
How long does a typical Platteklip Gorge hike take?
The Platteklip Gorge route is the easiest and safest way to reach the Table Mountain summit. Hikers can complete it in less than an hour, despite crowds. While it may not be the most scenic path, it boasts stunning panoramic views of Cape Town. Those seeking a more scenic climb may want to consider Kasteelspoort or other routes that take longer but provide breathtaking views. Show more
What are the landmarks that hikers will see during the Kloof Corner hike?
From the Kloof Corner trail, experienced hikers can enjoy breathtaking views of the Atlantic Seaboard, Cape Town City Bowl, Lion's Head, and the 12 Apostles. One of the more challenging routes, the Kloof Corner trail is perfect for those seeking a thrill. With its stunning scenery and an exciting hike, the trail promises to be one of the most rewarding Table Mountain hikes available. Show more
Is the India Venster hike challenging? What precautions should hikers take to stay safe during the hike?
Hiking the India Venster route requires moderate to advanced skills and can be challenging due to scrambling and climbing on the trail. Adventure-seekers are guaranteed an unforgettable experience on one of the mountain's most thrilling hiking routes. Always stay on the track and follow the recommended route as hiking off-trail can be risky. Despite the dangers, the ascent up Table Mountain's front face is a highlight of any visit to the mountain. Show more
When is the ideal time to hike Table Mountain, and why?
Although hiking Table Mountain is possible year-round, hiking in the spring (September to November) and fall (March to May) is ideal. The mountain is often foggy throughout the winter, and hiking it may not be pleasurable. Similarly, the summer months can be too hot for comfortable hiking, and there are usually more tourists. For the most beautiful landscapes and pleasant hiking conditions, visiting Table Mountain in the spring or fall is recommended. Show more