Arguably the most iconic destination in the Cape, Table Mountain National Park presents a myriad of outdoor adventures for you to explore during your stay in the Mother City. Whether you are interested in exploring this New 7 Wonder of Nature on foot, by air or car – there is an option for almost every liking.
Walk among fauna and flora:
Table Mountain is home to a number of walking trails – from short, non-strenuous walks to more advanced hiking routes. A few of the most popular routes include:
– Platteklip Gorge
One of the better known routes on Table Mountain, Platteklip Gorge is on the front face of the mountain, with its starting point on Tafelberg Road, just a few meters away from the Lower Aerial Cableway Station. This hiking trail will take approximately 2,5 hours to reach the top of Table Mountain (depending largely on fitness levels).
Image courtesy of Robyn Munt
Once atop, take a short walk to the highest point on the Cape Peninsula, Maclear’s Beacon, and stroll among the magnificent trails and view-points. The Table Mountain Café is also a great stop for breakfast, lunch, or a light refreshment, before descending back down the mountain, either by foot or in the Table Mountain Aerial Cableway.
Important to note is that the weather on Table Mountain changes very quickly. It is therefore advisable to wear appropriate hiking gear including a warm, all-weather jacket, no matter what the weather predictions for the day are, as the conditions at the top of the mountain can change instantaneously.
– Lion’s Head
Lion’s Head is one of the most popular hiking routes in the City – and is perfectly suited to most fitness levels. With two options to accommodate all types of physiques – a slightly longer but less strenuous foot path and a more strenuous but shorter route up a chain-ladder – Lion’s Head boasts incredible panoramic views from its peak.
This mountain hike is also extremely popular for full-moon walks and early sunrise hikes. This 2,5 hour route (up and down, depending on fitness levels) is best undertaken with appropriate hiking gear and at cooler times of day.
– Elephant’s Eye
Affectionately named after the cave’s appearance from ground-level, which creates the illusion of the eye of an elephant, Elephant’s Eye is a popular route for families of all ages and fitness levels.
Image courtesy of brettliveshere
Accessible from the lower levels of the Tokai Pine Plantation within the national park (albeit currently closed owing to a devastating vegetation fire in March 2015 which destroyed much of the natural area), or from Gate 1 at the Silvermine Reserve section of the park. The latter route is a less strenuous option that offers majestic views of the City, exceptional vistas and wafting scents of indigenous fynbos.
– Cape of Good Hope
The Cape of Good Hope section of the Table Mountain National Park is the most South-Western point on the African continent. This section of the national park is home to a number of indigenous wildlife, including Eland, Bontebok, Cape Grysbok, Klipspringers, Chacma baboons, Cape Clawless Otters and a variety of other small mammals and bird life. There are a number of easy walking routes perfect for the whole family, as well as guided tours on arrangement. Whilst exploring this section, one should also visit the Cape Point lighthouse, Two Oceans Restaurant and the Cape of Good Hope Visitors Centre for a full day outing.
There are also a number of other routes across the mountain range, which span from Signal Hill in the City Bowl, to Cape Point at the very south of the Peninsula. These include the Jeep Track (starting at Constantia Nek), The Pipetrack (combing the rear- and side-scapes of Table Mountain’s façade with breath-taking views of the 12 Apostles mountain range and Camps Bay beach), Skeleton Gorge and Nursary Ravine (accessed via Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens in Newlands), Silvermine River Walk and the Disa River walk through the Afromontane Forrest in Orangekloof, Hout Bay. For more information on these hikes, please visit www.tmnp.co.za.
Take a peninsula drive:
If exploring the mountain on foot is not your idea of a fun day out, it is also possible to take in the beauty of Table Mountain by car. Driving around the entire mountain range will take just a few hours – but be sure to factor in enough time for various stops along the way at some incredible look-out points (including the world famous look-out on Chapmans’ Peak drive).
Image courtesy of pvcdesigns
A simple guide to Cape Town can be obtained from your closest Cape Town Tourism Visitors Centre or from our Concierge Desk. A popular choice is also the City Sightseeing Hop-on hop-off red bus tour, which chauffeurs you around town to all the well-known tourist destinations.
Get a bird’s eye view:
Another great way to truly see the majestic Table Mountain National Park is from above – with a birds’ eye view of our natural landscape. The more adventurous can paraglide off Lion’s Head or Signal Hill, or if you prefer, enjoy a helicopter tour departing from the V&A Waterfront.
Whatever your preferences may be to explore the famous Table Mountain National Park, ask our Concierge Desk on the ground floor of Pepperclub Hotel & Spa for information on the options, and to assist in making the necessary tour arrangements and bookings to ensure your stay in Cape Town is a truly memorable experience.
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