A less strenuous Table Mountain hike

Some of the most beautiful hikes on Table Mountain don’t actually go right to the top of the mountain but remain on the slopes offering a less strenuous Table Mountain hike. One of my favourites of these easier hikes is the Cecelia Waterfall walk.

This a walk of 2 to 3 hours that begins and ends in Kirstenbosch gardens. It is uphill for the first half of the hike so is not a total stroll, but takes you along an amazing upper contour path and past some of the most beautiful waterfalls on Table Mountain. Even in the summer months many of these waterfalls continue to run, even if only at a trickle.

To get there park at Rycroft (top) gate Kirstenbosch and make your way through the gardens following signs to the contour path in the far left hand side of the garden (facing the mountain)On reaching the contour path you turn left towards Cecelia Forest and follow the path for about 15 minutes until it comes to a converging point of a number of paths. These are the forestry roads of Cecelia Forest. In front of you is a huge blue gum tree marking the division of the road into 2.

Your path leads off the upper path and straight up into the mountain. You now have a steady climb of about half an hour. Although the entrance is somewhat hidden, once on it the path is well maintained and clear. It zig zags its way up the mountain criss crossing a small stream at a number if places

After a small wooden bridge crosses the stream you again come to a junction. Left continues up the mountain whilst straight ahead takes you to the waterfall. The path is relatively flat and then drops steeply into the most magical little dell. Shaded all year round by numerous indigenous trees, the continual running water of the waterfall has created a cliff face covered in moss with several trees growing at amazing angles. A tea stop here is a must.

The mossy walls of Cecelia waterfall

A tea stop at Cecelia Waterfall is a must

The path continues out of this gorge with another little climb and opens to wonderful views of Kirstenbosch and the Southern suburbs. You then continue with small ups and downs until the final steep down gets you back onto the contour path above Kirstenbosch.

Turn left and follow the contour path. This is a wonderful flattish walk through more wonderful forest and with more views of the gardens and Southern suburbs. You pass Nursery Ravine and then Skeleton Gorge. Both strenuous routes that take you right onto the top of Table Mountain. Just past Skeleton Gorge you pass the 2nd waterfall of the day, which also continues to run all year around.

The waterfall at Skeleton Gorge

The 2nd waterfall of the day also runs all year around

From here you take the next path down into the gardens and return to your car

Click here for more information on less strenuous hikes on Table Mountain.