Table Mountains covers an area of about 56 square kilometres and as such you get different views on each side. An important consideration in hiking Table Mountain is what kind of views and environment you prefer. Table Mountain hikes offer much diversity in terms of views, flora and terrain, so by taking these into consideration allows you to optimize your experience of the mountain.
Four distinct sides exist, offering unique experiences by which to gain the summit plateau. The north side (front) is the famous and iconic side of Table Mountain, seen on most photos of the mountain. Routes offer city views and dramatic rock-formations amidst imposing topography. The east side is lush, with indigenous jungle carpeting the lower slopes and extending up ravines. Routes offer a jungle setting and inland views on the ascent, with views across the Cape Peninsula and the Table Mountain range further up. The easier routes does not offer impressive mountainscapes, only the more challenging ones. If you don’t like jungles, then avoid hiking Table Mountain from this side.
The west side comprises the Twelve Apostles, a chain of peaks extending behind the famous tabletop summit of Table Mountain. Routes offer sea views on the ascent with Peninsula views further up. Solitude, dramatic surroundings and pristine nature all characterize Table Mountain hikes on this sector of the mountain. The south side, also lush and covered in indigenous jungle, encompasses a valley under stricter protection from Table Mountain National Park than the rest of the mountain. Routes offer views across Hout Bay valley as well as atmospheric jungle settings.
What’s more, routes on each side offer different levels of challenge and adventure, so you can customize your hike almost down to a T. Hiking Table Mountain from different sides offers very different experiences. In addition to the physical differences, each side offer its own atmosphere or mood. Cape Town hiking doesn’t get any better than tackling Table Mountain from a side that best suits your preferences. And if you wanted to do a second hike that showcases different facets of the mountain, the options are legion.