If you simply want to explore the iconic tabletop summit and get all-round views with minimal exertion, then this option is for you. We take the cable car to the summit and traverse the length of the famous tabletop to the highest point on the mountain, from where we loop back to the upper station along the exhilarating front edge of the ‘Table’. Level terrain for much of the way.
Time: 3.5 hours
Cost: R950 per person
The Summit Stroll option involves taking the cable car to the summit and hiking across the length of the famous tabletop summit before looping back to the upper station for a cable car descent. Geared towards those averse to hiking and in particular uphill, or nursing some sort of injury, or not keen to break a sweat, or just simply out of shape but still keen to see and experience more than the average cable-car-goer, the Summit Stroll provides much more views and nature than you would get from wandering around the upper cable station precinct, like the majority of visitors.
From the upper station, we head east along the back edge of the “Table”, aiming for Maclear’s Beacon, highest point on Table Mountain. The trickle of hikers and cable-car-goers who make it this far are quickly left behind as we continue to the eastern edge of the “Table”, rarely visited by people. Here, in stark contrast to the bustle on the western edge where the upper station is located, you can get a real sense of how much nature still exists on Table Mountain despite its proximity to a city. From there, we head across to the dramatic front edge of the mountain and trace the cliff edge all the way back to the upper station, completing a near circumambulation of the famous Table.
The Summit Stroll offer panoramic views, far more views than you get from remaining around the upper cable station. It also takes you away from the crowds and into nature, where you can get a real sense of the mountain. You learn about all facets of the mountain: its formation, the fascinating fauna and flora, mountain lore and legends as well as history. The hike mostly leads across level terrain and along a well-defined trail, but you do need some balance to negotiate a short descent along the way as well as dealing with the rocky trail. From April to September, the hike can be done late afternoon, allowing one to enjoy sunset from the summit (except certain weeks, when the last cable car descends just before sunset); heat or strong wind from October to March usually makes it impractical as an afternoon hike.