What is there to see on top of Table


A number of people who have hiked with me have been very surprised at how expansive the top of Table Mountain is and how much there is to see up there. Table Mountain is SO MUCH MORE than a great view from the cable way station.

So, what is there to see on top of Table Mountain?

First of all its important to realise that the area of the cable car is about 1/50th of the space on top of the mountain. Thus the belief that going up in the cable car gives you an idea of the mountain as a whole is wrong. That small area has been paved and made to accommodate the hundreds of tourists visiting it every day.  But move a little way away from the cable car and you will be amazed what you will find.

Once away from the cable car you soon escape the crowds and begin to understand why she is one of the new natural wonders of the world. Almost immediately you will begin to appreciate some views of the mountain as a whole. There are 5 reservoirs on the back of the mountain as well as a small museum housing the equipment used to build those reservoirs in the 1800’s.

A view of one of the reservoirs on the back of Table Mountain

A view of the back of Table Mountain

Drop into Echo Valley and almost immediately you will see a complete change in vegetation. On the plateau the restios and a few proteas are surrounded by harsh bare rock. But now suddenly the proteas are head high and the diversity of the vegetation is evident. Explore the mountain a bit more and you’ll be struck by the difference between the rocky West side and the forests on the eastern slopes. At certain times of year you will be able to find some amazing orchids or see the proteas flowering in the natural habitat.

See the King Protea in its natural habitat

See the King Protea in its natural habitat

Throughout the year there is running water in many of the small streams and waterfalls especially on the Eastern side of the mountain. Listen for the frogs calling. The survival of these indicates the health of the environment as these amphibians are highly sensitive to pollution. One of the species of frogs up here (the Table Mountain Ghost frog) is recognised as one of the 100 most endangered species of the world)

Explore still further and you will discover a multitude of different paths. Some clear and well marked, some following only cairns. Many of these will lead you a secret gem only known by then locals. Perhaps a cave, a beach, a specific view or a forest of yellowoods.

Table Mountain hiking trails

One of the many waterfalls found on Table Mountain

If you are lucky you may well see some of the wildlife. Most commonly seen are the sunbirds and sugarbirds as well as the various agamas and lizards. The mountain is teeming with life but much of it is nocturnal or shy. For example the nimble klipspringer, or secretive rooikat.

So in answer to the question, “what is there to see on top of Table Mountain?” Get out there and explore and see for yourself.

Contact Ridgway Ramblers to arrange a hike on Table Mountain and explore it for yourself.