Is hiking Table Mountain family-friendly? – 17 October 2017

For a vacation family-outing with a difference, you might want to consider hiking Table Mountain. It’s a sure way to rid exuberant kids of pent-up energy after a few days of travelling, museums, shopping and vehicle-bound tours. So what age restrictions apply?  And what routes are suitable for kids?

We’ve had kids as young as 5-years-old hike up Platteklip Gorge (quickest and eaisest route) with minimal assistance. If your kids are adventurous, active and okay with heights, then I suggest India Venster, one of the best half-day Table Mountain hikes. It’s far more interesting and exciting than Platteklip, oand offer much better views, but it’s more technical, involving scrambling and narrow ledges (nothing extreme). I’ve had many 6-year-olds on India Venster (the youngest, 5 and half), and they all loved it – even more than the parents. In fact, it’s not unusual for kids to enjoy the route more than their parents. But it’s not for all kids, in the same way as it’s not suitable for all adults. But generally, kids enjoy scrambling much more than the tedium of mere slope-slogging. Needless to say, we conduct hikes up routes of this nature under the strictest supervision.

If you don’t like the idea of narrow ledges, and you’re kids are energetic and active, then Kasteelspoort on the 12 Apostles is a great option. It’s more strenuous than both Platteklip and India Venster, but involves minimal heights with easier scrambling. We guided a 10-year-old boy with his father up there a week ago and the boy couldn’t stop gushing about the cloud- and rock-formations. He reached the summit animated and exuberant, and stoutly declared it his best experience ever. The views on Kasteelspoort are superb, and the route offers much nature, peace and quiet.

Parents with kids younger than 5-years-old need a carry-pack, as the father will have to carry the child at times. It follows that the father needs to be of a decent fitness level in order to shoulder the extra weight. If you have kids in this age group, we suggest you book a private hike. This will allow you to get the best out of your Table Mountain hiking experience.

Unsure if your kids can make it up the mountain? Your kid’s enthusiasm and excitement at the idea of hiking Table Mountain counts for a lot. In fact, it’s a vital ingredient to ensure an enjoyable hike for all. Otherwise, tell us how active, sporty, adventurous and energetic your kids are and we will provide you with options. Table Mountain hikes can also be structured towards special needs and preferences.

Hiking Table Mountain with your kids is an ideal activity for active-minded families and those wanting to introduce their children to nature in an exotic and dramatic setting, providing unique experiences that will remain for many years.

(c) www.hiketablemountain.co.za