Hiking Table Mountain

Table Mountain offers one of South Africa’s most lively scenery and it is the most popular hiking spot in the country.

There are over 350 walking routes and more than 1000 climbing routes up Table Mountain, from casual strollers to the more experienced ones. Plus the Cable Car to help you get down!


The easier trails include the Constantiaberg, the Silvermine, or the Cape of Good Hope while the more difficult trails are the Platteklip Gorge, Nursery Ravine, or Skeleton Gorge.

Do not underestimate the Mountain. Every year tourists have to be rescued. Take a map (available at any bookshop), whistle, water, food, sensible footwear and extra clothes – if the wind rises the temperature can drop rapidly! It can also be drastically colder on top – be prepared! Program the Table Mountain Rescue number into your cell phone – 021 948 9900.

Its proximity to the city makes many people feel safe in the park, but it should be kept in mind that the area is wild nonetheless, and climbing it can be especially dangerous. Plenty of hiking trails commence from Camps Bay.

The national park is very well marked but if you are inexperienced you may want to hike with a group. You will have more fun and be safer if you have a specialist walking or climbing guide.

Hiking the Table Mountain National Park is mostly free except for some areas where conservation fees are to be paid like the Kirstenbosch Garden, Cape Point, or Boulders.

The Bookshops (such as Exclusive Books) carry walking sections and there are excellent books such as Mike Lundy’s ‘Day Walks in the Cape’.

Walks on Table Mountain

Lion's Head

Lion’s Head is a perrenial favourite, and to be highly recommended, as it is relatively short but dramatic. Simply drive a few hundred metres along Signal Hill road and then take the path rising from the car park.

Platteklip Gorge

The easiest and most direct walking route to the top of Table Mountain is Platteklip Gorge. It starts about a mile beyond the cable car station. Allow one and a half hours. It is NOT the most interesting route, but it is the quickest, although very strenuous.

The Pipe Track

There is a beautiful and easy contour path above Camps Bay called the Pipe Track, which starts at Kloof Nek. This is a flat path with lovely views. Come back the way you came. It is possible to ascend the mountain from this side – but go with someone who knows the way, and expect a long walk once you are on top.

Some more walking routes

More interesting walks start from Kirstenbosch up Nursery Ravine or Skeleton Gorge. You can go up one and down the other, or head on to the Cable Car station – but this is a long way.

Another route begins at Constantia Nek. There are gentle contour routes through to Kirstenbosch. If you head up to the dams and along the top, allow a full day to reach the cable car station. This is wonderful – but quite strenuous.

Other Walks on the Peninsula

If you are at Cape Point drive to Olifantsbos and walk along the beach. Just beyond the wreck of the Thomas T Tucker you will see a dead tree marking the circular route back to the car park – superb walk, allow 3 hours.

Hout Bay has some walks – ask at info on the Main Road. Constantia has Cecilia Forest, Die Hell (ironically named) and a wonderful ‘green trail’ running across the area.

There are gentle and scenic walks at Silvermine – drive to the top of Ou Kaapseweg (on the way to Noordhoek/ Fish Hoek) and you will see the turnings off the road.

Cape Town Beach Walks

There are some great beaches for long wanders in Cape Town.

Clifton: start at 4th beach car park, down the steps onto the beach and keeping walking via the steps over the rocks to 1st beach, then climb up to the road and back to the car park. Impressive.

Noordhoek: really get away from it all on the long, deep and deserted beach at Noordhoek, you can walk all the way to Kommetijie.

Hout Bay: a picturesque walk along a busier stretch of beach. Walk from Mariner’s Wharf at the harbour to the Leopard statue near Chapman’s Peak drive.

Muizenberg: a 32km long beach, with warmer water, the favourite beach of Cecil John Rhodes.