Cape Town: A Hike up Table Mountain

Cape Town is a beautiful city, located on the shore of Table Bay, and dominated by Table Mountain, Devil’s Peak and Lion’s Head. Since we arrived in Cape Town, we knew we wanted to climb Table Mountain. It’s a Cape Town landmark, and even has cable cars to bring the more sedentary to the peak and back.

We stayed in Cape Town for 4 days and based on weather forecasts and our schedule, the best day to hike to the top of Table Mountain was New Year’s Day. We had a couple days of cloudy skies, and since we wanted views, we waited for a clear day. And New Year’s Day delivered with the weather, so we started the New Year with an early morning walk up Table Mountain.

Table Mountain hike
Brian at the sign marking the start of our hike

We chose to take the most popular – and easiest – route, Platteklip Gorge, and it was busy even on New Year’s Day. There were people walking down as we were walking up the hill! We passed some people, and just as many passed us, on the 90 minute climb. The path itself wasn’t easy. It was mostly rocks, and sometimes it seemed like stairs, but often it was crumbly or slippery. I wore my hiking boots and ankle brace and was glad of it.  For the most part, it was mainly just very steep. The mountain is over 1000 meters high, and I definitely felt the elevation, so we took a few breaks for water and photos.

Table Mountain hike
One of the less steep parts of the walk up Table Mountain
Platteklip Gorge Trail, Table Mountain
Platteklip Gorge Trail, Table Mountain

The weather was a little crazy. It went from hot to cold really fast, because of the wind, which was blowing hard at the top. My very light jacket and shorts were not enough to keep me warm. The views were beautiful so we had to linger for more photos. We got to see a unique South African animal, a rock hyrax, more commonly known as a dassie. The oddest thing we learned about these cute little creatures is they are weirdly related to elephants!

Dassie South Africa
The dassie we saw at the top of Table Mountain, coming out of it’s hole
Elephant at Kruger Park
An elephant, from Kruger Park, shockingly close relative to the dassie.

A couple more photos we took from the top:

Table Mountain
Happy we made it to the top of Table Mountain
Table Mountain view
Table Mountain view from the top

This hike was a great start to our year, well worth it for the views and the feeling of accomplishment. We took the cable car down the mountain, followed by a long warm nap as a reward for our kickass start to 2018!