Nuts & Bolts
We’re eager to make your hike as memorable as possible. To manage expectations, please take the time to read the following:
- Table Mountain’s weather is notoriously unpredictable. Despite its location in sunny South Africa, the mountain gets more cloud and wind than you might imagine. We endeavour for you to hike in the best possible weather, and will always level with you at the outset if we think conditions are sub-optimal. But sometimes the weatherman gets it wrong and Mother Nature confound even our own expert predictions, resulting in a hike characterized by strong wind or thick cloud (or both). It’s not unusual for the weather to change dramatically overnight, or even in the course of the hike (four-seasons-in-a-day weather). This is why we always suggest that you book for early in your stay to allow for spare days in event of bad weather.
- If we have to reschedule due to bad weather, we will contact you by latest 8pm the evening prior. Unfortunately, we cannot guarantee availability on the same route, although we try our best to accommodate your choice of route.
- We hike up and take the cable car down. Strong wind closes the cableway, necessitating a hike-down: an extra 2 hours and R400 pp. In event of hike-down, Platteklip Gorge is the default route, it being the quickest and easiest way down. Cape Town experiences a lot of wind during summer (October to February), and the cableway is sensitive to wind.
- We hike at a leisurely pace, but not a crawl. If you suspect yourself to be a slow hiker, best to spend more on a private hike. This allows you to hike at your own pace without pressure from other group members. Same applies if you’re fit and fast: we can’t expect the whole group to streak up the mountain. Book a private hike and you’re well on your way to setting that personal best.
- It might happen that you overestimated your fitness level, or underestimated Table Mountain (you won’t be the first, nor the last). If you are much slower than the rest of the group, the guide will have to turn you back, usually no further than 30 minutes into the hike. It would be unfair to expect the whole group to hike at a much-reduced pace. We don’t like turning people back, but have to be fair to other group members – unless everyone is prepared to hike at a slow pace (we always check). Same story if the guide thinks you might not be able to complete the hike for reasons other than fitness e.g. fear of heights, impaired balance, injury, etc. During high season (October to April), both scenarios carry a 50% payment.
- Motivation, determination and enthusiasm amply compensate for whatever you might lack in fitness or ability. If you know yourself to be out of shape, you need to be prepared to push physically. Table Mountain is steep and the terrain is rugged. If you’re below-average fitness, you have to be up for a solid workout in order to earn the distinction and sense of achievement of having climbed the mountain.
- If you’re unsure why we start at the crack of dawn, it’s to beat the heat. Starting early optimizes the experience. Heat makes a hike tough and unpleasant – on some days downright excruciating. We also start early to beat the wind, which in summer tends to freshen around noon, closing the cableway and necessitating a hike-down (tough and unpleasant). Furthermore, the soft, dawn light allows for the best photography. Later in the day, the air often becomes hazy and the colours washed out, producing inferior photos. Then there’s the timing: an early start in summer sees you back at your hotel by around 10am, in time for breakfast and leaving the bulk of the day for sightseeing.
- Please note our basic cancellation policy:75% of the total cost payable in the event of (1) cancellation less than 24 hours before the pick-up / meeting time, for whatever reason other than bad weather, and (2) no-show or late arrival (10 minutes after meeting / pick-up time). Groups of three or more: members absent under the abovementioned conditions to pay 75%.We don’t like asking for this, especially if you cancel (or turn back) due to injury or illness, but it’s common practice in business and there are sound reasons why we subscribe to it. On-the-day payment means that we rely on your goodwill and understanding in the payment of a cancellation charge.
- Our pick-up service is a courtesy service. Our cars fit four people, so the first four to book for a given day are eligible for free pick-up and drop-off in the city area. If the guide’s car is already full, we will cover your Uber (within the city area) for pick-up; drop-off for your account. For groups of more than four people: we’re happy to sponsor an Uber to help with the transport (within the city area).
Since Table Mountain is such an iconic and enthralling landmark, why not make the most of it? Hike Table Mountain with an expert guide.