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: the mountain gets more cloud and wind than you might imagine despite its location in sunny South Africa. We do our utmost to ensure you hike the mountain in the best possible weather, and we level with you at the outset if we think conditions are going to be sub-optimal. But sometimes the weatherman gets it wrong and we find ourselves in thick cloud or strong wind (or both). It’s not unusual for the weather to change dramatically overnight or even over the course of a hike. This is why we always advise you to book early in your stay to allow for spare days in the event of bad weather.
- If we have to reschedule your hike due to bad weather, we will contact you by 8pm latest the evening prior. Unfortunately, we cannot guarantee availability on the same route, although we try our best to accommodate your route of choice.
- We hike up and take the cableway down. Strong wind closes the cableway, necessitating a hike-down (an extra 2 hours and R300 pp). If we hike down, Platteklip Gorge is the route of choice, being the quickest and easiest route down the mountain. Cape Town gets a lot of wind, especially in summer (November 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 so you can 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, as it would be unfair to expect the whole group to hike at a much-reduced pace. We really don’t like turning people back, but we have to be fair to other group members, unless everyone is prepared to hike at a slower pace—we always check. Same story if the guide thinks you might not be able to complete the hike for reasons other than fitness: we will likely turn you back, more for safety reasons than out of consideration for other group members. During high season (November to March), both scenarios carry a 50% payment.
- Motivation, determination and enthusiasm amply compensate for whatever you might lack in fitness. If you know yourself to be out of shape, then you need to be prepared to push yourself physically. Table Mountain is steep and rugged. If you’re below-average fitness, then you have to be up for a solid workout in order to earn the distinction and sense of achievement from climbing the mountain.
- If you’re not sure why we start hikes at the crack of dawn, it’s to beat the heat. Heat makes the hike tough and unpleasant – on some days, excruciating. We also start early to beat the wind, which in summer tends to strengthen around noon, closing the cableway and resulting in a hike-down: tough and unpleasant as well. Also, the soft, dawn light makes for the best photography. But not only that: an early start usually sees you back at your hotel in time for breakfast, leaving the bulk of the day for sightseeing.
- Please note our basic cancellation policy: 75% of 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 pick-up / meeting time). Groups of 3 or more: members absent under the abovementioned conditions to pay 50%. We don’t like asking for this, especially if you cancel (or turn back) due to illness or injury, but it’s common practice in business and there are sound reasons why we subscribe to it. And on-the-day payment means that we rely on your goodwill and understanding in the payment of cancellation fees.
- Our pick-up service is a courtesy service. Our cars fit 4 people, so the first 4 to book for a given day get free pick-up and drop-off in the city area. If the guide’s car is already full, we will arrange taxi pick-up for you at no extra cost within the city area; drop-off for your account. For groups of 5 or more: we’re happy to sponsor a taxi to help with pick-up and drop-off (within the city area).