Hiking on Table Mountain

Hike Cape Town’s iconic Table Mountain, one of the New Seven Wonders of the World.

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Older than the Andes, the Alps, the Himalayas and the Rockies, Table Mountain puts a twist on the saying, ‘age before beauty’.

It’s also shrouded in legend, for when the ‘tablecloth’ cloud circles above, it’s said that it’s the result of a smoking duel between pirate Van Hunks and the devil. Believe what you will, Table Mountain is still a must-see in South Africa.

It looms large over Cape Town, so you can enjoy an easy day trip or venture further on multi-day hikes into Table Mountain National Park. But what makes hiking around this area so special is the sheer spectrum of biodiversity you’ll encounter so close to a city.

It sits within the Cape Floral Kingdom where over 9,000 species of plants grow, including the famous fynbos, which carpet the shrubland. Walk through forested ravines and up onto exposed plateaus where views over Cape Town, Robben Island and Table Bay will steal your attention.

Create your own itinerary with our hand-picked range of hiking trips with local guides.

Table Mountain National Park

With Table Mountain as its star, the surrounding national park is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It stretches all the way down from Cape Point to Cape Town, taking in the breath-taking beauty of the Cape of Good Hope and beaches colonised by African penguins.

You can hike for a day, overnight or over a few days – whatever you feel like. There are different routes of varying levels to choose from that all take in a fraction of the park’s flora and fauna, including antelope, zebra, baboons and humpback whales from August to October. It’s one mighty backdrop.

Twelve Apostles

This one-day hike up to the top of Table Mountain is one of the most popular for good reason. You can get up to the summit and down comfortably within a day, and have plenty of time to snap the views from the top.

It begins by walking along the historic Pipe Track with a diversion to grab a great photo from the Springboard Rock and ends with a slight scramble to the summit. Along the way, you’ll have the Atlantic Ocean in the distance the entire time. Once you’re there, take the cable car back down to save your knees, or time it right to catch the South African sunset.

Skeleton Gorge

If you’re looking for a more challenging way to reach the top of Table Mountain, then Skeleton Gorge will indulge. You’ll hike up the eastern side of the mountain, starting in the famed Kirstenbosch Botanic Gardens and gradually wind your way through lush forested ravines to the highest point at Maclear’s Beacon.

You’ll firstly feel as if you’re walking through a tropical jungle, then eventually emerge onto the open Table Mountain massif with some scrambling needed to get you there. The rain from June to August makes the path wet and slippery, but you’ll be compensated with waterfalls and cascades.

Instead of coastal views, you’ll have inland scenery and a jungle-like setting.