The perfect 2 day Table Mountain Hike

The perfect gettaway in Cape Town is a multiday hike on Table Mountain and for those of you unable to get away for more than 1 night, this is the perfect 2 day Table Mountain hike.

The hike starts in Silvermine Nature Reserve. This is an area with some of the best fynbos on the Table Mountain chain. Beginning on a jeep track with quite a steady climb you are able to immediately forget you are in the middle of a large cosmopolitan city and just enjoy the sights and sounds of nature.

Hout Bay viewed from Silvermine

The magnificent view of Hout Bay from the view point

After about half an hour you arrive at the look out point overlooking Hout Bay. I still think this is the best view in Cape Town. From there you descend the steep Blackburn Ravine although only down to 360m. Here you turn off the ravine and continue along a contour path that takes you around the Constantiaberg with even more magnificent views of Hout Bay and Table Mountain.

(For anyone who is worried about their fitness you can take a shorter route around the Southern suburbs side of the Constantiaberg. The views of False Bay are magnificent. The route is about 4km shorter and doesn’t have such a steep descent so is much easier on the knees)

The tar road leading to the top of the Constantiaberg

The tar road leading to the top of the Constantiaberg

The 2 routes above both join the road that leads to the mast on top of the Constantiaberg. (be careful on this road as mountain bikers come down here at full tilt and an unwary hiker could result in a nasty accident) Whichever route you chose to go around the Constantiaberg you turn down the hill and are on the road for a limited time.

Those who took the longer route look for a small path leading off to the left. This path takes you steeply down to the saddle and then up the Vlakkenberg. (Those on the easier route reach the saddle on the road. Turn left onto a path here and it joins the main path after 5 minutes wallking.

After crossing a small wetland area you begin the ascent of the Vlakkenberg. It looks pretty daunting at first sight but is actually relatively short and you can be at the top in 15 minutes. The hardest part of the day is the descent you now begin. It takes you from the Vlakkenberg down to the road at Constantia nek. It is long, steep and usually hot with little shade or breeze. Once at the road though its 15 minutes walk into Orange kloof and the overnight accommodation.

The Orange Kloof  Camp although quite close to a busy road feels to be totally secluded. The 2 man tents are permanent and comfortable, with electricity whilst the shared ablutions boast hot water for a welcome shower. The accessibility to the road means that you can get your luggage and food dropped there meaning you can enjoy a bottle of wine and a braai and not have to rely on boring camping food.

The next day takes you through the wonderful indigenous forest of Orange Kloof and up Disa Gorge. Its also well worth taking a short detour to see both the Woodhead and the 12 Apostles tunnels on your way up. The path through the forest includes some short steep up and equally short steep downs as it crosses the many streams running through the area. The gorge itself is one of the easiest routes up the mountain. It is steep, but much less so than many of the other routes. Once you reach the dam wall you are on the back of Table Mountain. From here it should take you between 2 and 3 hours to reach the cable way station.

There are a number of routes you can take to get you there. One of the nicest also allows another short detour to visit the waterworks museum. Whichever route you take will take you 2 to 3 hours. As you climb higher the views of he whole peninsula stretch out behind you, whilst, of course, once on the main plateau, the views of the city and Camp Bay are world renowned for their beauty.

The Woodhead Dam walk viewed from below

At the top of Disa Gorge you encounter the huge dam wall

Reaching the cable car area is a bit of a culture shock as you are suddenly surrounded by masses of people. But you can enjoy a real feeling of satisfaction knowing you have experienced the real Table Mountain, not just the tiny commercial area.

For further information on multiday Table Mountain hikes click here.