Photo of the week – December week 4: Hiking Table Mountain up the Southern Apostles

View south from midway up Spring Buttress

View south from midway up Spring Buttress

Table Mountain hikes very greatly in terms of the kind of views they offer. You’d think that a mountain next to a city offers only views across a concrete jungle bristling with apartment and office blocks, or across sprawling suburbs laced with highways. While the views on some Table Mountain hiking routes might include these scenes, there are many routes where civilization feels a thousand miles away. Most of these routes are located on the southern segment of the 12 Apostles, a chain of peak extending behind the famous tabletop summit of Table Mountain. If you appreciate pristine nature and perfect solitude on a hike, then hiking Table Mountain up the southern Apostles will delight you. Routes like Spring Buttress, Woody Ravine and Oudekraal Ravine offer exceptional scenery off-the-beaten track. Several sensational viewpoints exist on this part of the mountain, but they’re not obvious to find. Gaining the iconic tabletop summit of Table Mountain from this section of the mountain involves a solid 2 to 3 hours’ hike, but the way is sprinkled with interesting topographical asides.

Table Mountain hiking offers lots of variety in views, topography, vegetation and atmosphere as well as adventure. Well-known routes like Platteklip Gorge and Skeleton Gorge are only a fraction of what Table Mountain hiking is all about. For unspoilt nature, no other area on Table Mountain can compete with the southern Apostles. Here, the mountain falls away to the ocean with hardly any sign of civilization. Table Mountain hikes up the southern Apostles offer the nature lover a treasure trove of experiences and impressions.

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