Leads up the dramatic chain of peaks extending behind the famous tabletop summit of Table Mountain. Sea and Cape Peninsula views on the ascent. Several routes of varying difficulty to choose from, all offering lots of nature, peace and quiet. Optional short detours to the historic Table Mountain reservoirs as well as natural rock labyrinths. Finishes on the famous tabletop summit.
Grade: A+ (with B and C variations)
Time: from 4 hours
Cost: R1300 per person
The Twelve Apostles is a chain of seaboard peaks extending behind the famous tabletop summit of Table Mountain. The peaks (each peak supposedly representing an Apostle, though there are actually 17) are considered part of Table Mountain. Many routes of all difficulty levels lead up the Apostles, some far off-the-beaten track, offering lots of nature and solitude; others involving lots of scrambling, narrow ledges and rugged terrain (bush / loose rock). The easiest and most popular route up the Apostles is Kasteelspoort, suitable for people with at least an average fitness level and moderate to low sense of adventure.
The route involves minimal scrambling and heights (narrow ledges), so you don’t need a good head for heights. However, it takes in a big chunk of the mountain, making it quite strenuous, packing about 30% more distance as well as uphill than India Venster. It offers several interesting asides, like the famous ‘diving board’ (a rock platform projecting over a big drop that makes for iconic photos), the historic Table Mountain reservoirs, a subterranean stream and a natural rock-labyrinth (accessible via a short detour). The route generally offers more peace and quiet – more nature – than India Venster, but less adventure and dramatic mountainscapes.
Kasteelspoort cons: If you’re unfit, you will take physical strain; and if you’re very adventurous, you will find the hiking a tad tedious. Kasteelspoort pros: the route covers a lot of Table Mountain, includes interesting asides and offers much nature and solitude. Superb sea and peninsula views on the ascent.
If you’re fit and adventurous, and you love being off-the-beaten track, then several other routes will appeal, like Porcupine Ravine, Blind Gully, Woody Buttress, Kasteels Gully, Spring Buttress and Oudekraal Ravine. These routes involve more rough terrain and some require a head for heights in addition. Rarely do you encounter other hikers. They take in the more pristine and remote parts of Table Mountain, offering a superlative experience to those who appreciate immersion in nature and want some challenge and adventure along the way. We extend all Twelve Apostles routes to finish on the famous tabletop summit of Table Mountain.