Whenever Drew and I travel, we always try to plan a good hike or two, and our honeymoon was no exception. During our time in Cape Town, South Africa, we decided to hike Table Mountain. Table Mountain is an iconic landmark that overlooks the city and bay. Standing at 3,500 feet, the mountain is flat at the top and comprised of sandstone and granite, making it a challenging hike.
We started early to beat the heat and parked our vehicle near the base of the mountain by the cable car station. We then caught a cab over to the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens to take the Skeleton Gorge route up the mountain.
The hike leads you up through lush jungle terrain and steep rocky bits before hitting the first overlook. We enjoyed our time hiking through the trees and appreciated the shade as the hike was straight up the entire time. Since the city is experiencing a water shortage, there were parts of the hike where hikers typically hike through water or cross waterfalls or streams, but there wasn’t any water flowing on the day we visited. Instead, this allowed us to scramble rocks as we made our way to the top.
We made it to an overlook after a solid 2.5 hours of hiking uphill. We continued from there on Smuts Track to Maclear’s Beacon, the summit of Table Mountain. The hike to Maclear’s Beacon wasn’t as steep as our time in Skeleton Gorge, but as we were hiking the clouds rolled in and it began to rain. Table Mountain is known for the clouds, mist, and rain that frequently roll in over the top of the mountain–earning it a “table cloth” nickname as it looks like a table cloth has been placed on the mountain to those below. Fortunately, we had packed our raincoats!
We trekked to Maclear’s Beacon, the highest point on Table Mountain, in the rain and were told that if the crummy weather hadn’t set in, we would have been treated to astounding vistas. After celebrating at Maclear’s, we hiked another chilly and wet 45 minutes to the cable car station at the top of Table Mountain for a quick ride down. We were disappointed that we didn’t get to enjoy the fruits of our labor and appreciate the views after our hike, but we vowed to come back in a few days when the weather was clear–and we did and it was beautiful!
Overall, we enjoyed hiking Table Mountain. We felt a sense of accomplishment and it was a great active way to see Cape Town from a different view. If you’re headed to Cape Town, add it to your to do list!