Table Mountain National Park – a hiker’s dream location

Table Mountain National Park hike

Cape Town is best known, not for it’s skyline, but for it’s mountain line. The iconic row of Lion’s Head, Table Mountain and Devil’s Peak adorn almost all touristy knickknacks on offer, but are just a small glimpse at the mountainous spine of the Cape Peninsula. This series of impressive hills make up the Table Mountain National Park, a vast expanse of land running north-south from Signal Hill to Cape Point. The park also hosts an impressive collection of rare and endemic plant life which make for a national park like no where else.

Table Mountain National Park

This park is a hiker’s dream with trails criss-crossing the length of the peninsula. The most popular section is Table Mountain, featuring Signal Hill, Devil’s Peak, Lion’s Head and Table Mountain proper. Situated along the main pass over the spine is the Silvermine-Tokai section with hikes to lakes and Elephant’s Eye. Lastly, the Cape Point section with Boulder’s Beach and it’s penguins and finishing with the Cape of Good Hope.

The hikes throughout the park are FREE making them an affordable, eco-friendly way to explore the Cape Town surrounds and coastline. Why take my word for it though, when a picture speaks a thousand. Scroll on for a glimpse at what’s on offer for hikers visiting Cape Town.

Platteklip Gorge

Table Mountain hike

Platteklip Gorge, a popular route up to Table Mountain, gives unbeatable views in the morning light.

Table Mountain National Park hike

The gorge winds it way up Table Mountain National Park, reaching a fork – Devil’s Peak to your left, Table Mountain proper to your right.

Table Mountain National Park hike

Glimpses of the city below spur hikers to the top.

From the top

Table Mountain National Park hike

With the National Park taking up the undeveloped mountains, the flat regions are free for towns like Camps Bay.

Table Mountain National Park hike

Table Mountain itself offers hikers this view as a reward, with Robben Island, Green Point Stadium and Signal Hill sprawled out at its feet.

Lion’s Head

Table Mountain National Park hike

Taking a lesser known route from Lion’s Head will deliver you to Wally’s Cave and second to none views of Table Mountain.

Table Mountain National Park hike

The iconic ridge line of Cape Town; regardless of the angle, this view never gets old.

Table Mountain National Park hike

Lion’s Head is definitely achievable for those with a fair level of fitness. However, stay away from the chain route unless you like adventure 😉

Simon’s Town

Table Mountain National Park hike

Not to neglect the Cape Point section of the park, Simon’s Town features strongly here and makes for a great base to explore on foot.

Signal Hill

Table Mountain National Park hike

Drawing attention for it’s midday canon blasts, Signal Hill is also the perfect place to end the day. From here you can also see hikers descending Lion’s Head by torch light.

Table Mountain National Park hike

After the sun has set, head to the other side of Signal Hill and watch the city light up.

Local’s tip; at the right time of year, you can see the moon rise over the city just after the sun sets over the Atlantic. A quick google will give you the times and directions.

Good for the mind and body

Regardless of where you hike, Table Mountain National Park will leave you breathless – pun intended!

Table Mountain National Park hike

Nothing like a bask in the glorious South African sun at the summit of Lion’s Head.

Hiking Tips

A few tips to ensure your hiking trip remains eco-friendly;

  • Remember to carry enough water and snacks
  • Please do not feed the wildlife, regardless of how cute they are.
  • Rubbish bins are available at the top of Table Mountain itself, but it is best to carry all waste out with you.
  • Lastly; take only photos, leave only footprints.

The Footprint Scale

Footprints and Photos - 1/5 on the Footprint Scale

1/5 Footprints for Hiking in Cape Town

With hiking trails well established and the surrounding environment covered by a National Park, it doesn’t get any better than hiking here. The area is prone to bush fires though, so smokers, please bin those butts!