Archives for Uncategorized

Cape Town hiking: drought and security concerns – 20 April 2018

Cape Town’s water crisis has received worldwide coverage, most of it sketching a bleak picture. Questions like ‘Will we be able to buy bottled water?’ from aspiring visitors is indicative of the depth of doom-and-gloom news the media has been doling out to the public. Sure, Cape Town is in the throes of a severe drought, but apart from being concious of water consumption, life
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Table Mountain hiking routes: Which is best? – 8 June 2017

About 65 hiking routes lead up Table Mountain, each unique in terms of views, difficulty, terrain, vegetation or atmosphere. Differences might be restricted to only one of the aforementioned aspects, but often include more than one, and in some cases, all. For most, views dictate route choice rather than difficulty, to their consternation. Others blindly defer to the recommendations or reviews of others. In my opinion, the
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Table Mountain hiking routes: Frustration Gorge – 4 June 2017

Frustration Gorge is a delightful route off-the-beaten track that leads up from Orange Kloof, a lush, secluded valley with restricted entrance located at the back of Table Mountain. The route follows a ravine choked with Afro-montane forest, a type of forest reminiscent of tropical jungle, and involves some B-grade scrambling with only one bit mildly exposed to heights. As far as Table Mountain hikes go, Frustration
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Hiking Table Mountain – Plan B: 16 November 2016

Summer in Cape Town sees the arrival of the Southeaster, a gale-force wind that tears across the Cape Peninsula from November to around February, often for days on end. Sometimes referred to as the ‘Cape Doctor’, the Southeaster affects Table Mountain hiking as much as your hair-do. The mountain gets the brunt of the wind, forcing the moisture-laden air to higher altitudes where it condenses
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Table Mountain hiking: connecting with nature – 20 October 2015

A common misconception about Table Mountain is its perceived lack of wildness due to the proximity of a city and a cableway to the summit. In reality, Table Mountain still contains a lot of wilderness despite the concrete jungle at its foot. The mountain is an island of nature, and the upper cable station an island of civilization within an island of nature. Much of the
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Photo of the month – August 2015: Table Mountain hiking on the Twelve Apostles

Extending behind the famous and iconic tabletop summit of Table Mountain, the Twelve Apostles offers some of the best Table Mountain hikes. This chain of more or less 17 seaboard peaks and buttresses contain many routes that cover many types of terrain and levels of challenge. Spring Buttress is a big, convoluted mass containing several routes and much variation. Features include the imposing amphitheatre of sheer rock on the north side,
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Table Mountain hiking: what’s with the weather – 30 July 2015

Cape Town enjoys a Mediterranean climate, which means wet, cool winters and dry, hot summers. But Table Mountain makes it less predictable than that. The presence of a mountain, along with its proximity to the coast, creates micro-climates that are notoriously difficult to predict. Cape Town, and certainly Table Mountain, are known to experience four seasons in a day. The weather changes quickly and often drastically. Weather affects the
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Table Mountain hiking: what's with the weather – 30 July 2015

Cape Town enjoys a Mediterranean climate, which means wet, cool winters and dry, hot summers. But Table Mountain makes it less predictable than that. The presence of a mountain, along with its proximity to the coast, creates micro-climates that are notoriously difficult to predict. Cape Town, and certainly Table Mountain, are known to experience four seasons in a day. The weather changes quickly and often drastically. Weather affects the
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Table Mountain hiking around Grootkop – 23 June 2015

Once known as the Gable Mountains, and also the Castle Mountains, the Twelve Apostles extend behind the famous and iconic tabletop summit of Table Mountain. This chain of peaks – most with their own buttresses – are considered part of Table Mountain and offers some of the best hiking on the Cape Peninsula. No less than eighteen peaks comprise the Apostles, though some count only sixteen or
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It's a jungle out there: hiking Table Mountain's lush eastern slopes – 28 February 2015

Table Mountain’s typical shrubby vegetation and bare rock faces does not hint at its lush eastern and southern sides. Afro-montane forest carpets the lower slopes on those sides, extending up ravines. ‘Forest’ is misleading, as it resembles equatorial jungle, complete with vines trailing down from the canopy, branches draped with beard-like lichen and boulders covered in moss. Several Table Mountain hikes offer jungle settings at
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