Table Mountain Trail – Cape Town

The Table Mountain Trail provides one of the rare opportunities to spend the night in comfort, high up on the slopes of Table Mountain. The Overseers Cottage, situated on the ‘Back’ Table of the Mountain is a fully serviced overnight facility where we gather around the fire to enjoy a traditional South African ‘braai’ (barbeque). It is a two day / one night hike that starts in the world renowned Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens and finishes at the lower cable station, after visiting the top of Table Mountain.

For a full description and itinerary ….

Description

Day 1

After collection from your accommodation** in Cape Town you meet your guide/s in Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens on the eastern side of the mountain at 09h00. Enjoy a leisurely walk through the Gardens until you reach the contour path, where the mountain hike begins. Our standard route up Skeleton Gorge is a zig-zag uphill path through a shady forested ravine, with a short climb up a series of wooden ladders to reach a sloping rock band. There is an easy scramble through this section to reach join the path to the top. There are a few alternative routes however and your mountain guide will select the appropriate option, according to the group’s ability and the weather. The walk to Overseers Cottage is approximately 2 – 3 hours, but we often take indirect routes, exploring the mountain paths and enjoying our pack lunch in this pristine environment.

Whatever route is decided, we reach the Overseers Cottage in time for, a hot shower and to enjoy pre-dinner drinks while overlooking False Bay and the distant mountain ranges, or Orangekloof and Hout Bay on the other side. Then it is time for a South African braai (barbecue) or potjiekos (cast-iron pot-on-the-fire) stew, which is served around the fire – either under the stars, or inside on cooler evenings.

Day 2

After a leisurely breakfast you will set off along the historic Smuts Track towards Skeleton Gorge and Nursery Ravine and Echo Valley, on your way to Maclears Beacon and the highest point of the mountain. The pace is easy as you enjoy the interesting rock formations, the spectacular views and the wide variety of fynbos species, including proteas, ericas, restios and many others. A lunch spot is chosen to take best advantage of prevailing weather conditions and then it is on to the top of Platteklip Gorge and the Western Table en route to the cable station. The final challenge is the walk off the Table, down the steep, but well defined Platteklip Gorge route. Weather permitting, there is an optional alternative of taking the easy way down with t a ride in the cable car.

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