Springtime hiking on Table Mountain

There is no bad season to hike Table Mountain, only 3 good ones and one superb, the latter being spring. Here’s why:

Weather: Summer hiking can be oppressively hot and very windy; winter hiking, cold and wet. In spring (September to November) the weather is more temperate, often balmy and windless. Streams still trickle down the mountain from the winter rains.

Flora: Some parts of the mountain are ablaze with flowers, especially bulbous geophytes. Flowering species include sundew (an insectivore), purple watsonia, Protea species like the brown-beard sugarbush, sickleleaf conebush, Peninsula conebush and silvertree, the fragrant China flower, moraea (Iris), several Daisy species and grey stilbe. Also, the vegetation in general is green from the winter rains.

Grey stilbe

Views: The air is less hazy, the visibility clearer, colors more vivid. Spring falls within the Cape whale season, so hiking Table Mountain during this period offers whale-spotting as a bonus.

The only negatives are occasional days of heightened midge activity. They don’t lay eggs in your flesh, they don’t suck blood and they are slow to bite (rather, nip), but they can be annoying. Other than that, late spring sees the arrival of the Southeaster – that prevailing wind that buffets the Cape Peninsula over summer.

Springtime hiking on Table Mountain allows you to experience nature and the mountain in a benign mood (bar the odd day of midge activity!). Rarely are the conditions extreme, and there is much to engage the senses.

(c) www.hiketablemountain.co.za