Of all the guided Table Mountain hikes, India Venster is arguably the best half-day route around. It offers everything the hiker could ask for: a good workout and spectacular views in all directions. In this regard it is a clear winner, with views of the City, the Atlantic Ocean and the Cape peninsula mountains all the way down to the tip of Cape Point. As a guided hike it allows inexperienced hikes the opportunity to step out of their comfort zone and do some exciting rock scrambling. Under the supervision of an experienced mountain guide, one can achieve the great feeling of satisfaction that comes from conquering a mountain and one’s fears, at the same time.
The India Venster hike starts near the Lower Cable Station, making it easy to access. Although this is convenient, it can also be dangerous, as inexperienced hikers often find themselves stuck on steep technical terrain after wandering onto the route. Using the services of an experienced guide takes away the stress of route-finding, and makes a Table Mountain walk a much more rewarding experience.
The first section of this walk up Table Mountain consists of steep steps which serve as a great warm up, as they really get the heart and lungs going! After crossing the Contour Path, the India Venster route follows Venster Ravine to the top of Venster Buttress, from where one gets a spectacular view of the upper section of India Ravine. These features are what give the route its name.
A guided hike up Table Mountain will give one more than just the security of going the right way, but also a wealth of information about the flora, fauna, geology and history of Table Mountain and Cape Town. This is one of the major benefits of using an experienced and knowledgeable guide when undertaking one of the Table Mountain walks. The other major benefit of having a guide becomes apparent as the route reaches the top of India Ravine, and the technical scrambling sections begin. With the guide showing how to deal with the tricky moves needed to ascend the steep sections, hikers can have the confidence to accomplish far more than they expected. This is where Table Mountain hiking feels more like real mountaineering!
The India Venster route traverses around to the western side of Table Mountain, with glorious views down onto Camp’s Bay beach, the 12 Apostles and the Atlantic Ocean. It continues right around to the southern side, where after about 4 hours the table top is reached. It is then just an easy stroll across to the cableway. All these factors add up to make India Venster on of the best Table Mountain hiking routes.