Climbing Table Mountain
Cape Town in South Africa is famous for many things, its beautiful beaches, its bustling city, top class restaurants and shops, its wildlife (especially the penguins) but most of all Table Mountain. The daddy of the city towers over the area, keeping a watchful and sometimes threatening eye on all that goes on. A trip to the city is not complete until you have conquered the summit to gaze down on the spectacular view below.
There are plenty of places to stay, but if you are looking to have an active holiday there is nothing nicer than returning at the end of the day to somewhere a little luxurious. Luckily Cape Town is full of places that provide the opulent. Camps Bay holiday villas, with their private pools and elegant decorations, tick all the boxes. So there is no worry about returning home with a few pulled muscles and a bruise or two, as you can hop straight into a hot tub to relax.
There are many ways to the mountain top. Of course there’s the cable car, which in the summer season is crammed with visitors and which in my opinion does not give you a full appreciation of the size or brutality of the mountain. In other words, riding it to the top is cheating!
Slap on some sun cream, grab a sandwich and some water and get ready to hike. The simplest route starts just to the side of the cable car station. If you are a reasonably active person the walk will take around three hours. Wind your way up through the spectacular gorge, scramble over the rocky slopes and eventually you will reach the summit, its stupendous view (and its touristy restaurant). Your over 1000 feet up, so it can get pretty cold so remember to take an extra jumper with you.
If you want to escape the crowds you can scale the mountain from different access points, head to the south where the paths lead you up through the area known as Black Table, which is filled with lakes and forests, equally stunning views are to be had, but be warned this is a far lonelier path and not suitable for the faint hearted.