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TTable Mountain in Cape Town is not only one of the most majestic and scenic mountains in the world, it also offers a number of excellent cycling paths and biking trails for travellers who like to get off the beaten track. Best of all, it’s just a short ride from the city centre.
If you aren’t able to bring your own set of wheels to Cape Town, there are a number of cycling stores in the city centre that offer mountain bike rental. There are also guided cycling tours of Table Mountain available through companies such as Downhill Adventures.
Table Mountain lies in the centre of Cape Town, and cyclists certainly won’t need to ask for directions at the start of the journey. Cycle up Kloofnek Road and follow the signs to the Table Mountain Cableway.
Once you’re at the lower Cableway station you can veer off the tar road on the path known as the Rollercoaster. From here there are a number of routes to choose from along the face of the mountain.
If you follow the Rollercoaster route, you will pass through a quarry and end up at the blockhouse that was built by the British in 1796. From here you can cycle down to the Rhodes Memorial and explore the southern suburbs by bicycle.
If you prefer to stay on tarred roads, you can follow Tafelberg Road along the base of Table Mountain, which has some excellent views over the city and coastline.
There are more than 1 500 species of plants on Table Mountain, with fynbos being the most dominant species. Wildlife you may encounter include hyraxes (dassies), mongoose, porcupines, tortoises, frogs and various species of birds and reptiles.
Be aware that snakes are pretty active during the summer months (October to April). Around 20 species of snake have been identified on Table Mountain so you should avoid cycling through long grass and exercise basic caution when stopping for breaks.
Bicycles are not allowed on top of Table Mountain, but you can hike or take the cable car on a separate trip if you wish to reach the summit.
There are also some excellent mountain biking paths on Signal Hill, just down the road from Table Mountain.
TTravel tips & planning info
Who to contact
Table Mountain National Park
Tel: +27 (0)21 712 0527
How to get here
From the Cape Town city centre, head up Kloofnek Road towards Table Mountain.
Best time to visit
August and September are probably the best months because streams and waterfalls are at their fullest and fynbos is in its prime. Beware the Cape's winter rainfall.
What will it cost?
Use of the cycling paths is free of charge. Bicycle rental is available from around R400 per day.
What to pack
There are no water points along the trails, so take plenty with you.
Things to do
Cape Peninsula walks and hikes; Table Mountain walks and hikes, or a cable car ride to the top of the mountain; birdwatching at Rondevlei and Rietvlei Nature Reserves.
Where to stay
The options in Cape Town are endless.