Table Mountain hiking: Which route is best for me? – 9 February 2020

Route selection can make or break your Table Mountain hiking experience. There’s no shortage of routes to choose from, and equally no shortage of online blogs and articles asserting the best route, so choosing the most suitable route can seem bewildering.

To help you with route selection, I’ve compiled a quick-reference to routes that detail preferences and minimum requirements needed for an optimal experience.

Platteklip Gorge:

  • Low to moderate fitness required. If low, willingness to push physically
  • No head for heights required
  • Little to no appreciation of nature
  • Little to no sense of adventure
  • Want to reach summit with the least amount of effort and challenge
  • Quickest and easiest route, but least scenic and exciting

India Venster:

  • Moderate fitness required
  • Decent head for heights required. If averse to heights, willingness to step outside comfort zone
  • Moderate to high sense of adventure
  • Some appreciation of nature
  • Want a more authentic and deeper experience of the mountain
  • Arguably the best half-day route

12 Apostles / Skeleton Gorge:

  • Moderate to good fitness required
  • No head for heights required. Not suitable if terrified of heights
  • Medium to high interest in nature
  • Low to medium sense of adventure
  • Want a more authentic and deeper experience of the mountain
  • If you want sea views on the ascent, 12 Apostles; if jungle setting / inland views, Skeleton Gorge
  • Both excellent routes that takes in a lot of the mountain

Llandudno Ravine:

  • Moderate fitness required
  • Moderate sense of adventure
  • High appreciation of nature
  • Want an authentic and deeper experience of Table Mountain
  • Excellent route off the beaten track, superb views, but with the only drawback of not reaching the famous tabletop summit
  • Best done as a second Table Mountain hike

Hiddingh-Ascension:

  • Very good to excellent fitness required
  • High sense of adventure
  • Good head for heights. If moderate, then willingness to step outside comfort zone
  • High appreciation of nature
  • Want an authentic and deeper experience of the mountain
  • Hiking experience along rugged terrain advantageous but not essential
  • Similar routes with different views and setting: Blind Gully, Spring Buttress, Grotto-Cairn Traverse, Left Face B
  • One of the most challenging / adventurous routes up Table Mountain

The above reference is by no means definitive, but should at the very least be of assistance in narrowing down options. If still at a loss, contact us and we will gladly help out.

There is no “best” Table Mountain hiking route. What’s fun for one person is boring or terrifying or gruelling for another. For most, it’s not about only completing a route, but also enjoying it. Most of us like a challenge, but some like a little challenge, others a big challenge; some like to be challenged physically, others mentally. Due consideration should be given to the weakest member in your group: you might be fine on a certain route, but your partner or a family member might struggle.

Table Mountain hikes offer enough diversity to keep everyone happy. Differences in terrain, views, flora, topography and even mood allow for a multitude of variations and permutations.

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