An important factor to consider once you’ve decided to hike Table Mountain is how challenging you want it to be. In my experience, most people want views and scenic beauty above all with a bit of challenge thrown in, especially if this allows them to see more views and experience more of the mountain. The intention of hiking Table Mountain (as opposed to taking the cable car) in most cases suggests a willingness to accept challenge. But exactly how much challenge – and in what form – is for you and ideally an experienced mountain guide to figure out. Too little challenge and the hike will leave you bored; too much could traumatize you and ruin the experience. Many routes lead up Table Mountain, some of which can be combined and varied to increase or decrease their level of difficulty. A competent Table Mountain guide who knows all the routes and who possesses a keen eye for people’s needs and abilities will select a route that meets your requirements and abilities. There are so many variables, because each route has a character of its own and of course each person has his or her own nuances of character. The caprices of the weather can further complicate route-selection.
Table Mountain hiking ranges from gentle walks along a well-defined trail to exposed scrambling to trekking up steep and rugged terrain. Take the time to decide exactly how challenging you want to hike to be and where the challenge factor ranks in your list of requirements (views, topographical beauty, fitness, nature, birds, etc.).