Hi-Tec SA

Our natural wonder

Visit the Hi-Tec factory shop for great deals:
Mon - Fri | 09:00 - 17:30
Sat | 09:00 - 17:00; Sun | 09:00 - 14:00
 
+27(0)21 555 0707
Shop F1&F2 | Access Park | Chichester Rd
www.hi-tec.com
[email protected]
HiTec_SA
Hi-Tec SA
kapstadtmag

Our natural wonder

Hike from the Castle Gate to the cable car

It’s 1503 and Admiral Antonio de Saldahna has anchored his fleet of ships in the bay. Doing what all good explorers worth their salt do, he climbs up to the highest point to survey the land. His scramble up Platteklip Gorge must have been a lot harder without the 800 plus steps to the top that are there today. Once on top the admiral proclaims that this natural wonder will be known as Taboa do Cabo, ‘Table of the Cape’ and the name sticks. In true colonial style this declaration failed to recognise that the Cape’s first inhabitants, the Khoikhoi, had already named the mountain Hoerikwaggo which means‘mountain of the sea’.

The admiral was lucky he didn’t come across the leopards and lions that roamed the area at the time - the last lion was spotted in 1802. The only creatures you’re likely to see now are dassies and the odd klipspringer.

Along the Pipe Track and up Kasteel Poort

We’ve lucked out with the weather – sunny skies and a light breeze. We set off along the Pipe Track and are blown away by the ocean views. My V-Lite Altitude Ultra Luxe WPi Hi-Tecs come in handy when we start climbing the steep path up Kasteel’s Poort. The higher we get the more we can see so it’s worth taking catch-your-breath breaks to admire the view.

What to bring

  • Something warm. It’s easy to assume that the warm weather and blue skies mean that you don’t need anything more than shorts and a T-shirt, but once you’re on top the icy winds may pick up or the tablecloth cloud might come sweeping over so make sure you’re prepared.
  • Hat and sunblock. There are patches of shade for you to rest in but the majority of the walk is exposed. It’s a good idea to get an early start to avoid the midday sun.
  • Hiking shoes. There’s a bit of semi-climbing and a lot of steep paths so you’ll need shoes with a good grip.
  • The obvious. Water, and plenty of it. Take as much as you think you’ll need and then pack more. Bring a packed lunch too – this is a long hike and you’ll need the energy boost.
  • The views are incredible so do bring a (light) camera.
  • Numbers. Take these two numbers up with you just in case. Call Mountain Rescue if you get lost or injured: +27 (0)21 937 0300. Call the cable car to check if they’re running (strong winds and visibility can cause them to shut down. So if you’re planning on taking this easy way down, make sure they’ll still be running once you get there): +27 (0)21 424 8181.

Routes

We chose a round route that takes you back to where you parked, but there are plenty of other ways to get to the top of Table Mountain. The route we took was up Kasteel Poort and we took the cable car down; you could also do the shorter route and brave the steps up Platteklip Gorge, which will take you to the top close to the cable car. If the slog up or the scrambling down doesn’t appeal then you can take the cable car both ways and go for a short walk on top of the table.

Kasteel Poort
Difficult

Park your car in the first parking lot to the left immediately after you turn up to the cable car from Tafelberg Road. Cross the road and walk around the corner of the grassy area. You will see the beginning of the Pipe Track, which will lead you along an easy path with spectacular views of the coast and Lion’s Head. After about an hour you’ll see a sign pointing up to Kasteel Poort: this path will take you up the ravine, and to the top. There’s one section where the path is blocked off on the right, it’s a bit of a scramble up to the left before the path is clear again. This is quite a slog, but the breaks you take will be accompanied by the most amazing views.

Once you get to the top you’ll see a signpost; take the path to the left which will take you up and down a series of valleys all the way up to the cable car. Keep an eye out for the old cable car ruins, just past them is the diving board – a piece of rock that juts out and offers awesome photo opportunities for those without a fear of heights. Follow the signs to Platteklip Gorge and once you reach it follow the stream of tourists to the cable car. The peaks of the valleys get higher and higher until you can see the Sentinel in Hout Bay and Muizenberg beach. Once you come down the cable car you’ll have to walk down the road to the parking lot.

Duration:
5 hours to get to the cable car with rests along the way and a lunch stop.

Platteklip Gorge
Difficult


Drive past the cable car for about a kilometre and look out for the Platteklip signpost. The path is clearly marked, follow it up the initial section until you reach the gorge, from here it’s a straightforward route up (a lot) of stairs. Once you have reached the top you are a short walk away from the cable car, which you can take down or take the easy way out and buy a ticket for the cable car.

Duration: The hike up and down can take up to 4 hours depending on your fitness level.

Cable Car
Easy

The only hard part about catching the cable car up is the queues. Get there early to avoid this and it’ll be a quick trip up. The revolving floors make sure that everyone gets to enjoy all the amazing views that the trip up offers – from Lion’s Head and Signal Hill to the ocean views and sheer rock face. Once on top there are a number of walks to do, they’re well marked and because of the flat surface it’s very easy to find your way back to the cable car once you’re done. There’s also a restaurant and gift shops to browse plus you can abseil off the cliff, which is 1000 metres above sea level. Keep an ear out for the horn that will sound if they’re going to be shutting the car down due to weather.

Duration: This depends on how busy it as as there are often queues for the cable car but the trip itself only takes a few minutes.

What to look out for


Flora:
In 2004 Table Mountain National Park was declared a World Heritage Site, it’s home to 8200 plant species and is the richest single floristic area on the planet, it makes up part of the Cape Floral Region. Fynbos makes up one of six floral kingdoms in the world and is the only one that occurs entirely in one country.

The variety of fynbos is clear as the type of plants that you see all along the mountain, from the yellow pincushion proteas to vibrant red ericas. Plant lovers will be kept interested for days with the huge amount of different plants and others will simply appreciate the sheer beauty of the different colours and textures.

Trivia: She’s an old girl...Table Mountain is approximately 260-million years old. The Rockies (60-million), the Himalayas (40-million), and the Alps (32-million) are positively adolescent in comparison.

By Lindsay Callaghan

Check out our Facebook album of the hike, and follow us on Twitter to find out where (and what) we’ll be hiking next. Plus, subscribe to our weekly newsletter for a seven day weather forecast.

Cape Town Events Calendar
January 2018
SUN MON TUE WED THU FRI SAT
1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29 30 31

Vineyards trail runningRun into the sunset at the Spier Twilight Trail Run

Ready, steady, let’s traverse the trails at twilight

Queer Feminist Film Fest 20 - 21 Jan 2018 4The first Queer Feminist Film Festival in Khayelitsha

This event offers a safe space for reflecting on queer issues

Wolfkop Weekender 2018Head to Citrusdal for the Fifth Annual Wolfkop Weekender: Lilo River Flow Music Festival

Wolfkop Weekender: Lilo River Flow Music Festival takes place in Citrusdal this month

Maynardville Shakespear 2018 1Don’t Miss Symphonic Shakespeare at Maynardville

Romeo and Juliet Experienced Through the Sounds of the World’s Best Composers…

Transformers ExhibitionCheck out Transformers in their Animatronics Glory at Grand West

The Autobots and Decepticons Collide on Earth for the Magnificent Animatronic Exhibition of Transformers

gallery one 11Gallery One 11 Summer Exhibition

Catch these local and international artists showcasing their work at this Loop Street studio

A Touch Of Madness Burgers and Beers 5Saturdays are for Sunny Daytime Parties at A Touch of Madness

Touchdown Saturdays’ DJ, drink specials and sunny courtyard are ideal for summer afternoons

Roast and Co 22-for-1 Drink Specials at Roast & Co

Every day “on your way” at Roast & Co. - enjoy 2-for-1 drink specials and discover the coolest mugs

Oude 2Enjoy a night of entertainment with the family under the stars at Oude Libertas Amphitheatre

Picturesque views form the backdrop to this open-air Oude Libertas theatre. It’s just waiting to host you and your family for a night of delight

King Kong MusicalKing Kong is back in Cape Town for its Final Run

Celebrate the comeback of this historic musical. WATCH: Video footage of the original King Kong Musical

Galileo - BlaauwklippenA Weekend Spent with The Galileo Open Air Cinema

Start your weekend with a little inner-city or wineland movie screening

Queen in Exile 2Athi-Patra Ruga's Queens in Exile at WHATIFTHEWORLD

The renowned artist’s latest body of work is about telling better stories, ultimately creating a world where the exiled can reign again (watch trailer)

Aces 'n' SpadesFriday Night Live at Aces ‘n’ Spades

They will rock you

Pierneef food and wine pairing 3Food and Wine Pairing at La Motte

Discover a match made in the divine tasting room of this Franschhoek estate

African Soul Surfer BackpackersYoga and Surf Specials with African Soul Surfer

Ride the wave of surf and yoga camps with African Soul Surfer!

soccerPSL DERBY DAY: Cape Town City vs Ajax Cape Town

The day the Mother City soccer supporters are split in half!

best winter dishes ricks cafe americainRick’s Café Américain’s Weekly Lunch Specials

Pop over to the charming Casablanca-themed restaurant for a hearty meal that won’t break the bank

African Soul Surfer BackpackersSurf Lessons with African Soul Surfer

Learn to surf with the kiffest surf school in Cape Town!

Battlefield Live SA Laser Tag Children's Events Cape TownKids’ Party Special with Battlefield Live SA Laser Tag

Treat your little one to the ultimate military-style birthday bash and save R500

Primal Eatery The Primal Hour at Primal Eatery

Get the best wine, pairings, and cocktails at the Primal Hour

HQ-web-ready-259.jpgFriday Night DJ and Dancing at HQ Restaurant

#AfterDark with DJ Rene: start the weekend with a steak dinner, stylish cocktails and suave tunes by The Frenchman

The Queen and PeasantThe Queen and Peasant Weekend Meet and Greets

Treat yourself to a tasting of fine wines, beers and spirits this weekend

Jack BlackBeers and Bands at Jack Black Brewery and Taproom

Every Friday night the Jack Black stage is lit up with local talent

Bay Harbour Market in Hout Bay Cape TownFriday Night at The Bay Harbour Market

Ring in the weekend with live music, craft beer, hearty fare and happy shopping in Hout Bay

WeatherGiveawaysTravel Tips

Curious to make exciting discoveries in Cape Town every day? "LIKE" us for a daily hidden gem.