Different sides of Table Mountain offer different views, so it’s worth considering what type of views you fancy when deciding on a route. Hiking Table Mountain from the front (north) – it’s iconic side – offers city views on the ascent, which includes Lion’s Head and Table Bay. Up sides include dramatic topography, aerial views of the city and the thrill of tackling Table Mountain head-on. Down sides include the hum of the city traffic and a suburban feel that diminishes the feeling of being out in nature. Table Mountain hikes from the east offer a jungle setting on the ascent with inland views further up. Some people have an affinity for jungles; others find them dull and claustrophobic. Hiking Table Mountain from the west provides sea views on the ascent. Some routes take in more than one side, like India Venster and Kloof Corner. A few routes offer a bit of jungle on the ascent with sea views further up.
It’s important to bear the above in mind when choosing a route. Table Mountain hikes vary greatly in character, and views on the ascent is a major component in the distinguishing features of a route. For example, if you prefer sea views while hiking Table Mountain, a route like the much-touted Skeleton Gorge is bound to disappoint, as you only get sea views at the end of the hike, when you reach the upper cable station, with its buildings, walkways and crowds. Another reason why it’s wise to make use of a competent Table Mountain guide.
There are several considerations that go into selecting a route, and the type of views you will have along the way is an important one. To a degree, views are a personal choice: some respond more to certain landscapes than others. Table Mountain hiking offers many types of views, not the least of which is views back onto the mountain – often overlooked.