Table Mountain is the majestic icon of Cape Town. It’s one of the biggest reasons why the Mother City gets so much exposure, and it’s a magnet for people in search of memorable sights. Instead of taking the cable car, why don’t you scale that ever elusive mountain with a hiking route? More specifically, why not try a Platteklip Gorge hike with Walk in Africa?
Some History and Interesting Facts Regarding the Platteklip Gorge Hike
Once you set out on the Platteklip Gorge hike route you will be walking in the footsteps of people like António de Saldanha. The first time a European was recorded ascending the trail in 1503, it was this guy who did it. He’s also the first European who docked in what is now known as Table Bay.
Platteklip Gorge is the most direct route to the top of the mountain, because it splits the cliffs of the main plateau. It doesn’t come without its challenges, but it’s very safe and it doesn’t take the whole day to reach the top. In fact, it’s one of the most popular hiking routes in Cape Town.
What to Expect from the Hike
As mentioned earlier, the Platteklip Gorge hiking route is the alternative to the cable car rides. For the people in the cable car the picture of Table Mountain is completed by the hikers at the bottom, wrapping their minds around how amazing the experience is. Provided that there are more plant species on Table Mountain than you’ll find in the entire UK, it’s only natural to expect a lot of inspirational sights. The diverse birdlife alone is worth the trip, but it’s definitely not the only reason why the hike is so incredible.
It all starts with a somewhat steep ascend, which is considered a good warm-up for the rest of the trip. For the most part it’s as effortless as you’ll get, which is a rare element where scaling large mountains is concerned. And the first thing you’ll notice on this trip is the refreshing air, along with a renewed lust for life.
The weather conditions will influence what you’ll be able to see. For example, if it’s a clear day then prepare to see Cape Town in all its glory. From the coastline to the city centers, you’ll have a view that no amount of money can ever buy. On days when mist dominates the air you can rest assured the atmosphere will substitute for the lack of visuals. It’s hard to put into words what it’s like to make your way up Table Mountain while the mist lightly decorates the cliffs, because it’s simply that amazing.
At the top of the mountain there is a restaurant where you can rest and regain your energy. There’s also a telescope from which you can look out on the Atlantic seaboard. If you don’t feel like taking the hike back, you can simply descend with the cable car.
We could try to paint a picture with as many creative words as possible, but there is simply no way to justify how wonderful this experience is going to be. We can tell you that it keeps getting more beautiful the higher you go, or that you’ll see things you never thought you would see in your life. But it’s something you have to live through in order to appreciate it.
Level of Difficulty
The requirements for hiking the Platteklip Gorge route are simple. Firstly, you need the right gear. Secondly, you don’t have to be a fitness junky to make the trip. It’s a straight-up walk without any scampering or climbing. Anybody with a modicum of fitness can manage this steep ascent, and it’s an experience the family can enjoy together. Nobody has to be excluded from the trip.
How Long will it Take
The average time it takes to ascend Table Mountain following the Platteklip Gorge hike route is about 2 hours and 30 minutes. This can vary with 30 minutes give or take, depending on the size of the group.
Who Will Enjoy it?
This is the type of hiking trail that everyone can appreciate, because it doesn’t require a high level of fitness and it can be done in under 3 hours. At the same time it provides an amazing sense of accomplishment. In other words, people with little time on their hands and big expectations in their hearts can easily fit this hiking trip into their holiday schedule.