Table Mountain hiking via the Twelve Apostles – 7 January 2016

The Twelve Apostles is a chain of peaks extending behind the famous tabletop summit of Table Mountain. Considered part of Table Mountain, it actually consists of 17 peaks (though some count only 16, others 18 – the exact number remains elusive). This bastion of the Table Mountain massif offers more solitude in that you don’t see or hear the city. The peaks overlook the Atlantic Ocean and offers some of the best Table Mountain hiking, especially if you appreciate nature and you’re looking for peace and quiet.

Table Mountain hikes up the Apostles range are quite strenuous, as they start from a lower elevation and involve more distance. About 13 routes lead up the Apostles, offering all levels of challenge and adventure. The easiest, Kasteelspoort, involves minimal scrambling and heights, and follows a well-defined trail all the way. One of the most challenging routes is Spring Buttress, which offers sensational settings, but involves much scrambling, heights and rugged terrain (bush / loose rock). Porcupine Ravine is another great option, easier than Spring Buttress, but more challenging than Kasteelspoort. Llandudno Ravine leads up the southernmost tip of the Apostles, offering fantastic views in all directions, but not topping out on the “Table”.

If you’re a nature lover, hiking Table Mountain via the Twelve Apostles won’t disappoint. Most routes see very few hikers, so it’s undiluted nature all the way. Views and topography vary from route to route. Expect mostly sea views on the ascent, with views across the rest of the mountain and Cape Peninsula further up. Interesting rock-formations abound, with a few natural rock labyrinths occurring along the way. There is also the opportunity to visit the historic reservoirs, built more than a hundred years ago to alleviate Cape Town’s water shortage. However, one of the charms of this part of the mountain is the complete silence, often broken only by the boom of heavy surf far below. It’s the part of the mountain where you can really get off-the-beaten track and experience pristine wilderness.

Table Mountain hiking gives you the opportunity to experience the mountain up close and personal, while revealing more obscure facets of the mountain. Diverse routes allow you to customize your hike according to your sense of adventure, personal preferences and abilities.

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