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Visitor Info - Hiking Table Mountain
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Emergency numbers

  • Police (SAPS):  10111 
  • Police (using a mobile phone):  112
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  • National Tourism Information and Safety Line:  083 123 2345 


The Cableway may close at any time due to strong winds. Do not rely on the Cableway being open when you get to the top. Always leave enough time and light to walk down again.

  • Never climb alone. Four is the ideal party.
  • Choose your route according to the ability, fitness and experience of the party.
  • Go with somebody who genuinely knows the way, or use a map, guidebook, or description of the route from a person who has climbed it before. Allow plenty of time to get up and down in daylight.
  • Stick to recognised routes on well-used paths. Heed signs warning of danger and do not take short cuts or negotiate unknown ravines.
  • Tell someone exactly where you are going (up and down routes and expected time of return) and stick to this plan.
  • Every party should have a leader. Keep together and travel at the pace of the slowest. Never split up and go in different directions.
  • Always go prepared for bad weather and take proper weatherproof and windproof clothing. Carry everything in a rucksack to keep arms and hands free.
  • Always watch the weather and time and turn back as soon as bad weather threatens, or if the route is no longer easy to follow.
  • Stay put in the event of trouble. Don't try to force your way down in darkness or mist. Find shelter, especially from the wind.
  • If you get lost or find yourself in an area that looks unsafe, retrace your steps. Do not push on into the unknown. If you can't find the path you left, look for a safe route - preferably down broad, open slopes - making sure at all times that you can retrace your steps.
Table Mountain Hiking
About 3km (but distance here is irrelevant)
Between one hour for the super-fit to three hours for the slow
Moderate to tough, depending on fitness and weather

Older children yes, but it is demanding
Always take plenty of your own water, especially in summer

Hiking Table Mountain

Unless you are planning to walk down again (which is tough on the knees!) - remember to take money for the cableway. But before setting out on your hike, check that it is in fact operating.

About the path

This path is well constructed with stone steps and anti-erosion gabions (wire baskets filled with rocks), and is not difficult to negotiate at any point. But it is steep and the best way to tackle Platteklip is slowly - don't try to rush it and frequent stops will also give you the chance to look back at the great view of Cape Town and Table Bay below. To get to the start, leave your car at the parking area 1.5km past the Lower Cableway Station, opposite a huge retaining wall of gabions. The path starts on a modest incline with a series of big stone steps through a shaded area of Rooiels and other indigenous trees, alongside the stream that becomes a torrent after heavy rain. After 10 to 20 minutes, you will reach Breakfast Rock at the junction with the Contour Path, marked by a signpost - in summer this is your last chance for any decent shade until you get close to the top,so make the most of this opportunity. Turn left here, follow the Contour Path for about 100 metres along a very stony section, and then turn right at the next intersection also clearly marked. From here on it's a steady climb. The path is built in a series of zig-zags to make the climb easier, although there are a few steeper sections. Please don't take any of the short-cuts, however tempting they may look - they cause serious erosion. Eventually the gorge starts narrowing and you get the first welcome confirmation that the end is in sight. Finally, you reach the massive boulders that mark the top, with only a short set of stone steps left to negotiate. This last section of the gorge is dramatic, confirming Peter Mundy's 1634 description: "...wonderous steep, the rocks on each side like monstrous walls." At the top of the gorge, turn right for the Upper Cableway Station: the path here is unmistakable, with a series of poles and chains to help the easy ascent up the small rock face at the edge of the Western Table. The path leads directly towards the Cableway station. This part of the walk will take about 15 minutes, although its worth spending longer exploring the 21 excellent interpretive plaques on the network of paths around the cableway station.

Getting Down

Unless you are planning to walk down again - which is tough on the knees! - remember to take money for the cableway. But before setting out on your hike, check that it is in fact operatin
Don't underestimate Platteklip Gorge, which can be extremely hot and/or very windy. The temperature at the top can be much lower than on Tafelberg Road, with an icy wind blowing, even in January and February. Always take enough water, a hat, sunblock and warm, windproof clothing with you - even on hot summer days!

Reproduced courtesy of Mountains in the Sea - Table Mountain to Cape Point: An interpretive guide to the Table Mountain National Park. Produced for SA National Parks by John Yeld and Martine Barker.
The book is available from the Cableway, at selected book stores and from the Table Mountain National Parks headquarters in Westlake, Cape Town.

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