Hiking is a wonderful activity and gives you the liberty to truly walk amongst nature and take in the splendid views from higher sea levels. Table Mountain is a hiking haven with dozens of routes to choose from. Hiking on Table Mountain is becoming more and more popular popular over the years, both to locals and international visitors.
What is hiking exactly and where did it all begin?
In short, hiking is a vigorous some what’s challenging walk, ascending up a mountain and it can contain steps as well as flat and steep terrain. This has become part of excellent recreation culture as well as providing the hiker with great health benefits. There are many names for this activity including trekking & hiking (universal), rambling & hillwalking (England), bushwalking (Australia) and tramping (used in New Zealand). Other regions across the world may have their own version and name for hiking as we know it.
For as long as humans have been in existence, hiking has been part of life. Having to navigate ground, not only included flat terrain but also ascending to higher ground in order to get from one point to the next. Hiking was also often required to plot an area, and gave the individual the opportunity to look at an area from a higher vantage point.
The evolution of different ages leads to the appreciation of the ever-changing landscapes and nature surrounding it, which resulted in people wanting to go for walks to experience and explore first hand. The age of Romanticism or Romantic Movement began in the 18th century Europe and this is where artists, musicians and writers drew inspiration from nature and amazing landscapes. Needless to say this would lead to having to walk and “hike”. In this instance, walking was then no longer associated with poverty as it was during earlier years.
The first recorded ascend up Table Mountain was completed by Antonio de Saldanah, a Portuguese explorer in 1503. Many years later, the first woman by the name of Lady Anne Barnard, set foot up the mighty Table Mountain recorded in 1790, and it is said that she was accompanied by a team of slaves and 3 other gentlemen.
Legend has it, both Lady Bernard and Antonio de Saldanah made their trek up Table Mountain via the Platterklip Gorge, which is the easiest accessible walking route.
Conserving nature and being careful
While hiking involves people walking along trails, inadvertently, this could cause damage to the fragile state of some natural surroundings. Nature can also be damaged due to other species
causing it to become endangered, as well as natural elements like wild fires to name a few. Often conservation authorities take to establishing preservation methods to sustain these regions.
Hiking is always an adventurous and exciting pastime, not only do you get to enjoy envious views, but you should also be on the lookout for dangerous situations such as animals that may pose a threat due to their natural environment being disturbed. If lead by a Table Mountain hiking guide, you’ll be guided about what to lookout for and any challenges that you may face on the route.