But of course, a trip to Cape Town isn’t complete without a visit to the top of Table Mountain.
The plan was to hike the India Venster Trail up Table Mountain. And I guess for people like us who don’t really do extensive planning and who for the most part play it by ear, we ended up being at the starting point of the Platteklip Gorge trail. Legends.
There are numerous hiking routes up Table Mountain so I suggest you do inform yourself properly before starting the hike, as well as check the weather forecast. It was raining the day we hiked up and I was wearing running shoes. Again, legends.
The Pipe Track: 1.5 – 3 hours one way, depending on fitness and how far you walk. Map here.
Platteklip Gorge: 1.5 – 3 hours one way depending on fitness and breaks. Map here.
Woodstock Caves: 1.5 – 2 hours one way starting from Tafelberg Road, 2 – 3 hours one way starting from Rhodes Memorial. Map here.
Skeleton Gorge: 2- 4 one way hours one way depending on fitness and breaks. Map here.
Kasteelspoort: 2 – 4 hours one way. Map here.
As it was already past early morning, we decided to just give it a go. The Platteklip Gorge track is about 1km walk from the cable car. I recommend having your car parked by the cable car station if you plan to take it going down.
The Platteklip Gorge route is the most common and direct route to the top of Table Mountain. Some would argue it’s a boring trail. Don’t be fooled though, with it being the shortest means it’s the steepest as well. We were unaware how steep the trail actually was. There were literally no flat nor downhill sections. I’d say you’re more likely to run out of breath in the first 20-30 minutes. Prepare for neverending steep rock steps. And I mean pulling yourself up onto, essentially crawling, as the steep rise is high. Taking little breaks is a must to give yourself a captive time to marvel at the surrounding landscapes.
As we get to our final steps, the air began feeling cooler but I sure had that sense of fulfillment for finally reaching the top in less than 1.5 hours. And again. Legends.
Kidding aside, the view from the top was spectacular. As someone who’s a great sucker for killer views that make you feel like the entire world lies under your feet, I found this spot, resting at the edge, to sit on and simply take in the view.
The area around the cable car station was packed full of tourists. Mostly are those who took the cable car going up.
With everything taking into account, I would say the hike wasn’t really a difficult one. I guess, you just have to take your time if you really are not that fit enough. Otherwise, if you are not keen to hike, the easiest way to get to the top and back down again is via the Table Mountain cable car, which we did for only R151 (one-way going down). It was actually pretty cool as it rotates giving you a 360-degree view.
For anyone on the more adventurous side, I’d certainly suggest climbing up as opposed to taking the aerial cableway. And whichever trail you desire to take, the important thing is you take the time to enjoy the mountain air, take in the beautiful scenery and enjoy the company of the loved one that accompanies you!