Table Mountain’s tabletop summit measures about 2.6 km in length and 800 meters across at its widest point, tapering down to around 100 meters at the upper cable station. It gets more than a million visitors a year, most of them with the cable car, yet there are places on this little plateau where you can experience perfect solitude for extended periods of time. Hiking Table Mountain enables you to experience the mountain in its pristine state, with only wind-sculpted rocks and fragrant fynbos shrub as company – and depending on the time of year and the habitat, chirping / clicking frogs.
One location in particular on the summit plateau that I regard as a gem is the summit of Silverstream Buttress, unofficially known as Silverstream Peak. This lone, unassuming knoll rises from the eastern end of the ‘Table’, and offers superb views in almost all directions. Very few people ever bother with it, perhaps only once a year, so lots of peace and quiet to be had. This part of the summit curves northwards, away from the main bulk, affording singular views back onto Table Mountain. Add in the 40-odd meters elevation gain it provides and you have a perch fit for a king, or a nature connoisseur. Most Table Mountain hikes can be structured to include Silverstream Peak. It can be approached from 2 sides along a faint trail – not recommended if you don’t know it well, as it’s easy to run into marshes and dense bush – not good for your shoes, ego, legs and, most importantly, the environment.
Although Table Mountain hiking encompasses far more than just the iconic tabletop summit, it serves as a fitting culmination to the ascent, and what better place to savor the sense of achievement, soak up the views and commune with nature than Silverstream Peak.