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TTable Mountain towers majestically over the city of Cape Town, exuding a powerful and inviting presence. Adventurers will revel in reaching this powerful giant’s summit on foot. If you’re looking for a moderately challenging hike up Table Mountain instead of taking the cable car, the Platteklip Gorge route is your best bet.
The Platteklip Gorge hiking route starts a few metres to the right of the lower cableway station as you face the mountain from the car park. The entire route is clearly signposted and is quite popular to hike so you’ll definitely have company. The first section of the Table Mountain hike is a steep, straight ascent that provides a great warm-up for hikers. Cable car passengers going up the mountain often look down on hikers with admiration and wave encouragingly through the windows as they enjoy their own effortless journey upwards.
On clear days the Platteklip Gorge route presents hikers with excellent views of the Cape Town coastline, city centre and southern suburbs. On misty days, the mystical element of the ascent serves as adequate compensation for the lack of panoramic scenery.
There are more plant species on Table Mountain than there are in the entire United Kingdom, and hikers are likely to encounter fauna in the form of rock hyraxes, colourful lizards and a variety of birdlife. The highest point on Table Mountain (1 086m above sea level) can be reached on foot, although it is advisable to avoid this section in bad weather.
AAt the upper cable station there is a restaurant, a café and a curio shop. A telescope allows for enhanced views of the Atlantic seaboard. Return tickets for the cable car can be purchased online or at the upper cable station for those whose legs are too weary for the hike back down. Please note that the cable car does not operate in inclement weather so always check their website to see if it’s running.
Travel tips & Planning info
Who to contact
For guided hikes and more information on trails up Table Mountain contact Hike Table Mountain.
How to get here
The Platteklip Gorge hike starts from the lower cableway station at Table Mountain, less than 3km from the Cape Town city centre.
Best time to visit
The route is open all year, but If you prefer the heat, climb Table Mountain between November and April.
Around the area
What to pack
Bear in mind that the temperature on top of Table Mountain can be up to 6 degrees colder than at the bottom. During summer (October to April) a plentiful supply of water is essential, while waterproof clothing will most likely be necessary during winter (April to October).
Where to stay
There are a number of accommodation options ranging from backpackers to 5 star hotels around Table Mountain. Check out Gardens and Cape Town City Centre.
What to eat
Once you reach the summit, there are a variety of options, from casual dining to more formal restaurants. Table Mountain Café serves breakfast and lunch and kiosks have snacks and drinks for sale. The Wi-Fi Lounge offers free Wi-Fi and a delectable high tea experience. For high tea reservations email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Table Mountain Cableway Official Website
- ￼Cape Town Tourism Official Website