As amazing as climbing up Table Mountain can be, it shouldn’t be taken too lightly. There are challenges involved you want to be prepared for. And in light of enjoying the trip to its fullest, we’ve put together some top tips for Table Mountain hikes. These include tips on what to bring along, the typical safety precautions. So get out your Table Mountain trail map and start making some notes.
General Top Tips for Table Mountain Hikes
- Don’t underestimate the challenging aspects
Always assume that it’s going to require some manner of strain, even the easiest known route, Platteklip Gorge. Given that everyone’s opinion is subjective, thanks to different levels of fitness, you have to be open-minded. For example, starting the hike late on a warm day is going to be more challenging than early in the morning. There’s also a chance of the weather changing.
- Hike as soon as possible
If you’re planning on spending a few days in Cape Town and hiking Table Mountain is part of that plan, then do it first. The weather conditions on the mountain are different than within the city, especially where clouds and wind are concerned. This isn’t something you’re going to see on a Table Mountain trail map, so prepare for wind and clouds, even in the middle of summer. If you go early on and the weather isn’t playing along, you can come back the next day. If you wait till the last day you could lose out completely.
- Remember you’re hiking a mountain
This isn’t a relaxing stroll in a large garden. Instead, it’s a walk where you have to pace yourself and the sight seeing is much more exciting. In other words, bring enough water, a rain-jacket, sunscreen and warm layers. It can’t be stressed enough that the weather conditions can, and probably will, change quickly.
- Hire a good guide
Nothing is stopping you from attempting the Table Mountain hike alone, but do you really want to spend the whole time worrying about what comes next? A guide knows how to read the weather, they know the path and they know what to look for.
- Wear the right shoes
Wear sport or running shoes that are comfortable. Don’t go with sandals, because you will regret it.
- Get some exercise beforehand
If at all possible, take a few days to get into shape. Just walking a few kilometers to get the blood flowing will help to prepare you for the hike.
Some Quick Safety Tips
Alternative to Climbing up Table Mountain
There are many people who prefer either climbing up Table Mountain and coming back with the cableway, or the other way round. This requires a Table Mountain entrance fee, but it gives you the experience of both hiking and relaxing. There are other sections that require a Table Mountain entrance fee as well, such as the Silvermine Reserve, so get price updates before leaving.
Table Mountain Animals
Even though it doesn’t fall under our top tips for Table Mountain hikes, you’re probably wondering what type of animals you’ll get to see. You already know about the diverse fynbos species, but will there be snakes? Yes, there are several snake and lizard species, but they form only a small fraction of animal life on Table Mountain. Birds, dassies, mongooses, these are just some of creatures you’ll come into contact with.
A Hiking Trail for Every Fitness Level
There are many hiking trails to choose from, and each comes with its own fitness requirements. Speak to a guide and get a better understanding of what you’ll be getting into. Unlike most subjective opinions, a guide has a good idea of how people in general experience a certain trail.
We hope you found our top tips for Table Mountain hikes helpful and useful.