Hiking

Hiking

There are so many excellent hikes that it is impossible to mention them all.

Table Mountain:

Hiking on Table Mountain is great, especially if the weather is good. See the following websites for info: www.hikecapetown.co.za, www.tablemountainwalks.co.za or www.firstascent.co.za. Just please let us know before you leave so that we do not worry and if you get lost, we know in which direction to send out the search party! Other than that, do have fun… carry lots of water, sunscreen, and a hat. Of course you know that sturdy boots are a must, and you should be reasonably fit.

Here are a few of the best hikes:

Table Mountain quick ascent

Go up Platteklip Gorge. It starts about 1km past the bottom Cableway station. Depending on fitness, allow 2 hours to reach the upper Cableway station. A good alternative, once you have reached the top of the gorge and if you have the time, is to walk to Maclears Beacon, a flat walk albeit along a path with precipitous drops.

Table Mountain 5-6 hours ascent

Drive or take a taxi to Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens. Walk up Skeleton Gorge (steep with ladders), and then onto Maclears Beacon. Instead of going to the Cableway you can make a circular tour returning via Echo Valley, the Valley of Isolation and Nursery Ravine (very, very steep). You will see a few people at Maclears Beacon, but not many. Alternatively, you can walk to the Cableway and hope the cable car is operating.

The cableway does not operate in windy conditions so allow extra time for the descent (just in case). Also, the weather is prone to change with alarming speed, so even if it is a sunny day, take warm clothing, plenty of water (more on hot days) and, if you have one, a mobile phone. Just in case something happens and you need to call for help on the mountain, the Mountain Rescue number is 021 937 0300 or 10177.
Lion’s Head

This is one the world’s great walks, heavily populated by Capetonians. Although 300 meters lower than Table Mountain, it offers spectacular views as the path winds it’s way around the mountain three times. It is not for the faint hearted and features ladders and chains. Allow yourself 2 hours to do a round trip.

Others (just as spectacular)

For those that are really into their walks, there are also excellent trails at Cape Point and Jonkershoek Nature Reserve near Stellenbosch, (which also has a secret waterfall that few people know about).

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