The Best Hikes on Table Mountain in Cape Town

The 6 Best Hikes on Table Mountain in Cape Town

Cape Town in South Africa may scare off tourists with perceptions of high crime rates. Sure, there is crime. Sure, South Africa is dangerous. With that said, we did not feel threatened any more than most major cities.

Many would agree that this lovely city has been put on the map as a major tourist destination. With great infrastructure and tourism industry to match, there are plenty of activities in Cape Town. The most recognizable part of Cape Town is the surreal views of Table Mountain looming over the city.

Hike in Cape Town: Lions Head
Table Mountain Hike with Lions Head in view

Table Mountain draws many tourists and locals to this iconic landmark for hiking, rock climbing, abseiling, or soaking in the views. While a cable car is available, hiking is the best way to take in the beauty of this mountain. Hiking several routes can offer a different experience. During our three weeks in Cape Town, we hiked several routes.

These are our favorite can’t-miss Table Mountain hikes.

Hiking Trails Cape Town: Table Mountain
View from the top trails on Table Mountain

Content and photographs provided by Yana Kogan and Timon.

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The 6 Best Table Mountain Hikes

1. Platteklip Gorge

Best Hiking Trails in Cape Town: Platteklip Gorge
Going up Platteklip Gorge

Starting past the cable car, this route is the most direct. It is the steepest way up the mountain, but also the easiest hike up as other routes may need some non-technical climbing. We preferred this trail for our descent.

*Estimated time to complete: two hours

2. Kirstenbosch Gardens to Skeleton Gorge

While we personally did not hike this route, this is one of the most popular trails up Table Mountain. This hike starts at Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens which requires an entry fee. Access is from Claremont not from Cape Town.

After a stroll through the gardens, this hike leads to the backside of Table Mountain which has amazing views of Devil’s Peak and Lion’s Head. We heard that hiking this trail down Table Mountain does not require a fee.

The cost of entry is 55 Rand for adults, 30 Rand for students, and 15 Rand for children aged 6-17.

*Estimate time to complete: Two to three hours

3. India Venster

Cape Town Hikes: Table Mountain
Table Mountain view near the top of India Venster

The trail starts before the cable car at Kloof Corner trailhead. After a few minutes, follow the sign for India Venster. This is a very fun route up the mountain and includes a few difficult sections. There are several large rocks to climb over as well as a section of ladders to aid in climbing. This route is not technical and makes for a very fun way up Table Mountain.

*Estimated time to complete: two hours

4. Kloof Corner

Hike in Cape Town: Kloof Corner
View from Kloof Corner

It is necessary to go with a guide or an experienced local on this route. We were lucky to have our friend Andy take us up, as he has hiked it multiple times before. The trail starts from Kloof Corner before the cable car. It veers off early on with a vertical climb assisted by a chain rope.

The trail is not marked well and most of the hike requires bouldering. There are three sections requiring a vertical climb up a crack with help of a loose chain. This hike is as technical as it gets without any gear. This trail tops them all.

*Estimated time to complete: two hours

Hiking Trails Cape Town: Kloof Corner
Steel Chains to ascend at Kloof Corner

5. Lion’s Head Hike

Best Hiking Trails in Cape Town: Lions Head
View from Lions Head

Lion’s Head is an easy, but excellent hike. This hike boast views of the entire coast and incredible views of Cape Town and Table Mountain. Because of the unobstructed views of the coast, this is an excellent hike for sunset. Don’t forget a torch for the hike down.

*Estimated time to complete: one hour

6. Cable Car Prices

Tickets cost 240 Rand round trip or 125 Rand one way per adult and 115 Rand roundtrip or 60 Rand one way for children aged 4-17. Prices are effective until September 2016. Beginning October 2016, prices increase by 10-15 Rand for round-trip tickets. There are discounts for students and seniors.


Abseiling with Abseil Africa is another fun experience. The cost is 795 rand per person, which excludes the cost of the cable car. This 45-minute to one-hour experience, abseils off a cliff at 1,000 feet elevation.

*Estimated Times are from the bottom of the route to the top rim. Once on top of Table Mountain, there are plenty of trails to explore.

That’s it! Hope you enjoy the Best Table mountain Hikes in Cape Town, South Africa!



  • Yana and Timon

    Yana & Timon met at college in Boston, Massachusetts. After graduating, they started their professional careers. They moved to San Francisco in 2010, a city they loved living in for nearly six years.

    After working and saving up money for several years, they quit their jobs and set off on an adventure of a lifetime. They started living a nomadic lifestyle in December 2015 and have not looked back since.

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