Favourite hike on Table Mountain

Nursery Ravine has always been one of my favourite routes up Table Mountain. It is a steep route but with enough variety of scenery to keep you interested. The steps, although continuous are well spaced so with regular stops to admire the view you can be at the top in about an hour. (from the contour path)

Nursery ravine is found above Kirstenbosch Gardens on the left hand side of Castle rock (facing the mountain) It is a sort of “sister” route with the popular Skeleton Gorge. During the winter when it is wet it may be better to choose to hike up Nursery Ravine as opposed to Skeleton Gorge as much of Skeleton gorge directly follows a river so can be slippery. (In the winter I do not recommend descending via Skeleton Gorge)

Nursery Ravine

The first half of Nursery Ravine is in the shade of magnificent indigenous trees


The first half of Nursery Ravine follows the Nursery River. Here the path is well shaded with beautiful indigenous trees. Although the path stays close to the river for this first section it zig zags and so at times leads you further to the right until a sharp left turn brings you almost into the river for a small section. Here you need to pick your way over some largish boulders for about 20m before recovering the path.

Emerging from the trees

Once above the trees take a breather to enjoy the view

After about half an hours climbing you emerge from the trees and the path levels out for a couple of moments. Here there is a largish boulder by a rooiels tree that is a good place for a stop and to admire the view.

Continuing up now out of the trees, the path continues to zig zag up the slope. On either side there are magnificent King Proteas that in late summer are a magnificent sight. Above you are the imposing cliffs of castle rock and to the side you can see you path leading up.

The three quarter mark is by a small copse of indigenous trees at the base of the cliffs. On a hot day they offer a brief bit of shade before you continue on your way. The next section of the path is less well stepped so although clear you do need to pick your way between some boulders.

The final climb is up a small ladder onto the top of the back table.

The steps at the top of Nursery Ravine

The last part of Nursery Ravine is up an easy ladder

Go right towards Skeleton Gorge and Maclears Beacon, or left towards Constantia Neck.

Contact us for a guided hike on Table Mountain and let us show you all her best kept secrets.