Table Mountain Aerial Cableway : the easiest and safest way up the mountain is to buy a ticket and use the cableway. We advise our guests to buy a ticket online (it’s valid for two weeks and there is no set time for you to travel – also you save some money R205 per adult at the ticket office and R185 online). Go to this website to book: http://www.webtickets.co.za/event.aspx?itemid=681080 )
Hiking on Table Mountain is a great summer experience for those with a little walking experience. There are many routes but only one which is recommended for newcomers to the mountain: Platteklip Gorge (literally ‘flat stone’ gorge). It is anything by ‘flat’ however. It starts about a kilometre from the cableway along Tafelberg Road which is around 300m above sea level so you start about one third of the way from the bottom of the mountain.
The African Villa staff will gladly advise you and give you a map, also help you book a Cableway ticket online – these are valid for 2 weeks from date of purchase and can be refunded in this period, if unused.
We recommend that our guests start early in the day (to avoid the sun) or in the mid-afternoon. Take a cab to the start or park halfway between the lower cable-way station and the start of the gorge – this means that there is less of a walk back to your car after a decent by cable car. Hike up takes about an hour and a half and the only slightly confusing spot is once you reach ‘The Contour Path’ after about 20 minutes of light uphill walking, you need to take a left turn for about 100m meters along the contour path itself before the bath up Platteklip proper begins. From here on the path is clear and really amounts to a winding stone staircase to the top. Take time to stop and look back at the vista unfolding below you as the city gradually reveals itself.
A few cautionary tips: only walk in perfect weather; don’t climb alone, if you injure yourself you could be in big trouble; Take a mobile phone (African Villa can lend you one); let someone know where you are going; take warm clothing, even in summer (because the wind may come up and the temperatures could drop unexpectedly); take plenty of water – there is NO water once you leave the contour path; take along a sandwich and some fruit to enjoy as a picnic halfway up.
You can buy a one-way ticket online or at the cableway station at the top of the mountain for R100 (its R185 return if you decide not to hike). Enjoy our iconic mountain – now voted one of the modern seven wonders of the world!
There are also guides who will escort you on this and several other routes. Ask the African Villa staff to put you in touch with a reputable person.