When you reach the top of Table Mountain, take a deep lungful of the crisp, mountain air more than 3,500 feet (1 kilometer) above sea level. Cast your eye out across Table Bay, with Cape Town and its curving coast stretching into the distance. The view is one of the most spectacular in the whole of Africa. Do note though that it can be considerably cooler at the summit.
Most people take the Table Mountain Aerial Cableway to the top. These leave every 10 to 15 minutes from Tafelberg Road. Watch as the scenery becomes ever more spectacular during your five-minute ascent, with the cable car’s rotating floors allowing everyone to get a panoramic view.
For those who like a challenge, there are several hiking trails to the summit. Platteklip Gorge and the Kasteelspoort tracks are two of the most popular routes. Both walks take around four to five hours. Keen hikers might want to tackle the Hoerikwaggo trails, a series of hikes around the national park that take from two to six days.
Once at the top, around 1.2 miles (2 kilometers) of well-signed trails guide you to the most spectacular viewing points on the 2-mile (3-kilometer) plateau. Free guided tours depart twice a day from the upper cable station.
Take in the views while enjoying a meal from one of the cafés at the top. Or, buy snacks at the lower cable car station and take them to the top for a picnic.
The lower cable car station on Tafelberg Road is about 15 minutes’ drive from the center of Cape Town and there is free parking along Tafelberg Road. Public buses run from the city center to Kloof Nek and from there it’s about a mile walk (1.5-kilometer) walk uphill to the lower cable car station.
Note that the cable car does not run in poor weather conditions. If you’re unsure, check on the website before departing. Poor weather aside, the cable car runs throughout the year, with longer hours during the summer. Some of the hiking trails will allow you to get to the top without any charge.