Hike up Table Mountain

Hike up Table Mountain

This is a step-by-step guide on how to hike up Table Mountain in Cape Town, South Africa. It outlines the most key factors to consider before, during and after an upcoming hike. Hopefully, you will find it useful.

It is important to know exactly what you are doing when hiking Table Mountain. One can’t just show up and hike; you must know how to do it effectively. This will ensure that you survive the adventure and get the most out of your hiking experience. Planning and preparation are essential before a Table Mountain hike.

How to hike up Table Mountain in Cape Town

Step 1: Make safety a priority

First and foremost, be safe on the mountain. Hiking up Table Mountain can be dangerous if you don’t know where you are going or what you are getting into. What are you getting into? In general, a potentially dangerous hike up a large mountain. Save emergency numbers on your cell phone (see Table Mountain hike time information) and prepare for all possible situations. Emergencies can happen.

Step 2: Select a suitable route

Select a Table Mountain route that is appropriate for yourself and your hiking group. There are dozens of hiking routes on Table Mountain, each offering something different. Some routes are only suitable for advanced hikers. There are many factors to take into consideration when selecting a hiking route up Table Mountain. These include terrain, duration and your tolerance/intolerance for heights.

Step 3: Research your route

Researching your hiking route goes hand in hand with selecting your hiking route. Many hiking routes up Table Mountain present exposure to heights and edges, with a lot of them requiring climbing to complete. Some routes are longer than others, while some are steeper and some are more dangerous. Do not underestimate your hiking route; adequate research is advisable for any Table Mountain hike.

Step 4: Check the weather

A hike up Table Mountain in bad weather conditions is not only uncomfortable but also it can be hazardous. For this reason, hikers should regularly access weather forecasts. Make provisions for dealing with unexpected poor weather on your Table Mountain hike. Remember, the sun shining does not necessarily mean that it’s a good time to hike Table Mountain. There are various aspects to contemplate before hiking.

Table Mountain weather
Table Mountain has relatively unpredictable weather but hikers should always plan around weather forecast.

Step 5: Team up

Never hike alone. This is the number one rule on a hike up Table Mountain (or any other mountain). Fatalities can occur on hikes, so do not take the chance. Instead, get in touch with a local Table Mountain hiking company to join a hike. Alternatively, take a friend or join a Table Mountain hiking club. These approaches are significantly safer. Besides, it’s often better to share an adventurous experience with people.

Step 6: Take supplies

Water is very much a necessity during the entire hike. Do not hike without it. You’ll want to take snacks with you, as well, for energy. Take a warm clothing layer for the summit, as it gets cold, even in summer. There is a shop at the top of Table Mountain where hikers can purchase things. However, the shop is not always open due to weather-related cable car closure, so take supplies (based on weather forecast).

Step 7: Time your hike

You may find that some hikes on Table Mountain Cape Town start later in the morning. Others may commence at the crack of dawn in the summer due to extreme temperatures and direct sunlight later on. Determine the best time to start your hike up Table Mountain through careful planning. Time your Table Mountain hike accurately if you set off in the afternoon, especially. You don’t want to get stuck hiking in the dark.

Step 8: Arrange transport

Table Mountain hiking routes generally have different starting points. That is, there are different locations from where hikers will begin to hike their selected route. Some routes start and finish at different locations and after the hike you may need to get back to where you started. Be sure to have transport arrangements in place to get back to the start point after the Table Mountain hike if you are leaving your vehicle there.

Hiking Table Mountain
The finish at the bottom of Platteklip Gorge.

Getting down after hiking Table Mountain

Knowing how to hike up Table Mountain is great. You also need to know how to get back down, though. Some of Table Mountain’s hiking routes are safe enough to hike up but not always necessarily safe to hike down.

When you summit on Table Mountain, a popular way to get down is via the Table Mountain cable car. You can purchase tickets at the top after completing your hike. Note that the cable car closes when winds are vigorous, so prepare to hike back down if you were planning on catching a ride. Platteklip Gorge is the default descent option on days when the cableway closes. This is because it is the safest and easiest way down.

Using a Table Mountain guide

If you’ve never hiked Table Mountain, then doing it with a guide from a reputable hiking company is a good idea. They can take you up more exciting routes and reveal the most beautiful parts of the mountain.

Overall, you are going to have a much better hiking experience with hiking tour companies, as long as they are reputable. They do all the Table Mountain hike planning for individuals. They also pair you up with the most suitable hike for your hiking group. It is not wise to hike up Table Mountain for your first time without a guide or an experienced hiker who knows the route well. It could be the last thing that you do.

Interested in a guided Table Mountain hike? Hike Addicts in Cape Town is a leading hiking tour company that specialises in hikes up and around Table Mountain. View our hikes on our website or get in touch here.