Table Mountain via Kirstenbosch
The trail usually starts with a 1 hour walk through the Botanical Garden, followed by a steep zig-zag path up either Skeleton Gorge of Nursery Ravine to the Back Table of the Mountain (approximately 750 metres). Join Smuts Track for the route through valleys and ridges to Maclears Beacon – the highest point on Table Mountain (1084 metres) on the flat Eastern Table. From here is a 2.5 km walk via a short dip into Platteklip Gorge to the Western Table and the Upper Cable Station. Descend via Cableway or walk down Platteklip Gorge. Some of the paths are well defined and clear, while other lesser known paths can be slightly overgrown and vague. Guides are familiar with all options.
Cape Town – city area
Taxi cab; e-hailing; self-drive; collection by arrangement
Trip Duration / Options
Option 1: Approximately 5 hours – direct linear route from Kirstenbosch to Upper Cable Station via Maclears Beacon
Option 2: Approximately 7 hours – as above with more time exploring various Back Table paths
Start / Finish
Start: Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens parking – GPS 33˚98’92.80 S / 18˚43’41.70 E
Finish: Tafelberg Rd – at Lower Cable Station – GPS 33˚95’11.06 S / 18˚40’28.52 E
Time / Distances
Option 1: Approximately 9 km. 5 hours
Option 2: Approximately 15km. 7 hours
Moderate. Starting with approximately 1 hour easy walk through the Gardens followed by steep incline of Skeleton Gorge or Nursery Ravine. Uneven, rocky underfoot in places and natural rock steps. Short section of ladders.
A good degree of hiking fitness required and ability to cope with steep, on path ascents and descents.
Technical detail / Terrain
On path, steep terrain in places, no technical exposure. Stable wooden ladders for a short section – slight exposure for by limited easy scrambling
Mountain terrain with short steep sections both up and down. Generally a well defined natural rock path with a few indistinct sections. Loose stones and uneven surfaces underfoot in places. Good grip footwear important.
Option of steep descent via Platteklip Gorge or no option if cableway not running.
Food Supply / Catering
Bring your own snacks & water. Lunch packs provided by arrangement. Restaurant for coffee light meals at the cable station (provided the Cableway is operational).
Logistic support / Guiding
The trail is guided by a fully trained, accredited mountain guide.
Views over the Atlantic Coast’ Cape Peninsula and City of Cape Town (weather permitting). Abundance of diverse flora, rock formations and scenic cliffs and valleys
Cableway ride from Table Mountain (not included in cost).
Fauna & Flora
The core of the ‘fynbos’ biome and part of the Cape Floristic Region World Heritage Site. Mostly nocturnal and shy small animals, occasional small antelope and rock hyrax. Lizards and agamas with a scattering of birdlife.
Cape Town and Table Mountain are located in a Mediterranean climate with winter rainfall. Summer can be hot (up to 35 degrees). Spring and Autumn are moderate and the best hiking season although good winter days can be quite warm and summer temperatures are seldom high for long periods. Hiking is possible all year round.
Seasonality & Best Time Year
Spring and Autumn are moderate and the best hiking season although good winter days can be quite warm and summer temperatures are seldom high for long periods. Hiking is possible all year round.
1 to 6 hikers per guide
From R2070 for 2 hikers, per person rates lower for larger groups
Price review date: 1 November annually
Registered, experienced Mountain Guide
Kirstenbosch Trail Enquiry
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