Apart from a few occurrences where people have thought that their guide was India Vesta or that the 12 Apsotles were the guiding team. India Venster and 12 Apostles are two of the most popular half day routes up Table Mountain.
With all confusion aside both routes offer spectacular views on the ascent. However, it depends on what type of view you prefer. India Venster offers views of Cape Town city before heading around to the western side. While the 12 Apostles offer views of Camps Bay and the vast Atlantic Ocean.
The 12 Apostles hike leads up the western slopes of Table Mountain, topping out on the back table. From here there are three valleys to conquer as you make your way to the famous tabletop summit.
A lot of history was left on the back of Table Mountain, like the old cable car ruins which were erected in 1893 to combat the water problems of Cape Town.
The 12 Apostles hike is physically strenuous as it has 30% more uphill and distance than India Venster. If you enjoy caves, reservoirs and nature then is the ideal route.
India Venster makes its way up a dramatic part of the mountain. It is found on the sheer northern slopes of Table Mountain, where the iconic table formation is located. In terms of Table Mountain trails, it is often considered to be the best half day route.
India Venster is more technically strenuous, with about 15% of the ascent being a rock scramble (narrow ledges – nothing extreme). This adds some excitement as you work your way up the sandstone. It’s often the highlight of the India Venster trail.
If you have a mild aversion to heights then you will be fine, however, if you have a fear of heights then this is not the route for you. India Venster tops out on the iconic tabletop summit. With an easy walk across to the Cableway.
Either way, each of these routes share secrets of Table Mountain that you can only experience by hiking its slopes.