You don’t really want to fly halfway round the world and spent at least half a day of your valuable time, and energy, hiking Table Mountain and not get the most out of it. Below are ways of optimizing the experience and ensuring that you remember it for the right reasons:
– Plan to hike early in your stay to allow for spare days in the event of bad weather. And even then, don’t expect perfect weather. Table Mountain gats a lot of wind and cloud, and often these unwanted elements show up unannounced.
– Pack enough water, warms, food and sun protection. And wear proper shoes. These will help you stay safe and comfortable on the mountain, allowing you to fully savour the surroundings and soak up the views.
– If you’re in Cape Town October to April, make an early start. It’s very true when it comes to Table Mountain hikes that early bird gets the worm: early hiker gets the best experience. Starting out at sunrise ensures that you beat the heat and get the photogenic early-morning light.
– Be mentally prepared for getting tired, breaking a sweat and extending yourself physically and / or mentally. Table Mountain might overlook a city, and offers a cableway to the top, but it’s still very much a mountain, featuring capricious weather and rugged terrain.
– Choose the right route for you. Route selection can make or break the experience. More or less 40 Table Mountain hiking routes exist, leading up from all side, all of them providing a different experience in terms of views, topography and challenge. View preferences, fitness level and sense of adventure are the major factors dictating route choice.
Making use of a competent mountain guide is perhaps the most convenient and sure-fire way of maximizing your Table Mountain hike. Safety and convenience aside, you also learn about the mountain: its fauna, flora, geology and history.
By hiking Table Mountain, you get to experience a singular and iconic landmark up close and personal. Its triple status as a National Park, World Heritage Site and New 7 Wonder of Nature is amply justified, so why skimp on optimizing your experience of it?