HIKING – On top of Table Mountain

Cape Town, Table Mountain

While we are preparing for our next adventure commencing soon, we would love to take you to more of the beautiful places in and around Cape Town … trips we’ve enjoyed in the past.

It was always on our list to walk ON TOP of Table Mountain. And we had this opportunity on a day in May 2014 … oh yes, and although the mountain looks flat from afar, it’s definitely not the case when you are on top of the mountain itself!

The plan for this hike:

We left our car at the parking area of Kloof Nek, while one of our friends took us with his car to the lower cable car station of Table Mountain (a trip of about 20 minutes). We then took the cable car to the top of Table Mountain and hiked on top of the mountain down to Kloof Nek again. It’s probably only about 8km, but took us more than 4 hours to complete (with a coffee break in between).

The view over Cape Town harbour from the lower cable car station

The trip with the cable car to the upper car station takes only 5 minutes with breathtaking views over Cape Town, its suburbs and the ocean.

Camps Bay – as seen from the top of Table Mountain
The upper cable car station on top of Table Mountain
Another view of the mountains and ocean before we started our hike

There are plenty of hiking trails on top of Table Mountain. Our trail took us on a relatively easy first part with paved ways, then down into a gorge and up again, passed some of the reservoir dams of Table Mountain and finally a steep downhill to our destination, Kloof Nek.

We found many hikers on the first part of the trail
Views towards Hout Bay

It was not long before we could see the reservoir dams on top of Table Mountain … there was however a gorge between us and the dams that we first had to climb down and then up!

Two of the reservoir dams on our trail
Another view towards the ocean
One can clearly see our hiking path going down into the valley and then up again towards the reservoir dams

And it is true … no hike on Table Mountain is complete without the sight of the beautiful protea! We were very happy to see this spectacular flower several times during our hike.

A protea bush with the majestic mountains as backdrop
The protea – such a beautiful flower

The uphill, after we’ve spent some time in the valley, was quite steep. We took it slow and could barely wait to see what was waiting for us once we’ve reached the top.

Almost at the top …
… another beautiful view of Hout Bay

We were now going down towards the reservoir dams. It was such a beautiful day – cool and a bit overcast – but perfect weather for a hike on top of Table Mountain.

We came from up there …
I’ve enjoyed the day on top of Table Mountain
Another stunning protea
Almost at the reservoir dams
As expected, we saw stunning rock formations

By now, we’ve walked more than half of the route and (I thought) the toughest part of the trail was over … so, we sat down for our treat … a cup of coffee and cappuccino.

While enjoying our coffee, we noticed these pretty flowers on the rock

Oh, but hang on … no hike in the mountains are complete, if you have not encountered a chain or rope of some sort 😬. Yes, we had to negotiate a way around a big boulder with the help of a chain … do you remember our latest hiking trip at Oorlogskloof? But somehow, I’ve managed (I think my eyes were most of the time closed)!

Going up here … after a quick encounter with a chain …

The hiking path now changed to a paved one again – my jelly legs appreciated this after the chain episode!

A paved pathway taking us to the reservoir dams
Walking on the reservoir’s wall

The landscape now almost changed to a flat section, which made walking easy … and the path was paved and easy to follow.

An almost flat landscape towards the end of our hike

We were now on our way to a next reservoir dam – there are a total of five dams on top of Table Mountain, the first of which was built as early as 1890.

Walking towards the next reservoir dam

Our view now changed and we could see False Bay in front of us. This is a body of water in the Atlantic Ocean between the mountainous Cape Peninsula and the Hottentots Holland Mountains in the extreme south-west.

False Bay with the Hottentots Holland Mountains in the distance

We now had to walk down a VERY steep descent to Kloof Nek … this always brings me to the question: Is it better to walk down or up?

Around that corner, a STEEP descent awaits us
Looking down on the suburbs of Cape Town towards False Bay
The path winds down to the parking area at Kloof Nek
The paved pathway changed back to a gravel road, while walking through trees with wine farms to the left of the picture
Arriving at the parking area of Kloof Nek

After four wonderful hours on top of Table Mountain, we reached our car again. If you have the time when visiting Cape Town, take a walk on top of Table Mountain – it’s a unique experience with stunning views!

PS: This post is dedicated to my dad, who passed away the next day after we’ve done this hike. Being outdoors, was something he loved very much … I believe he’s still ‘walking’ with us on our hikes ❤️.

54 thoughts on “HIKING – On top of Table Mountain

    1. Thank you Marion. To see Cape Town from the top of Table Mountain is such an amazing experience … I really hope you will get that opportunity as well! Our weekend is great (a bit windy), but at least the sun is shining 🌞. Take care, Corna.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Thanks for sharing the wonderful scenery from your exploration of Table Mountain. It looks so flat on top from Cape Town. The views of the whole Cape Peninsula are amazing. I took the Platteklip Gorge Trail to the top one afternoon and wanted to go to Maclear’s Beacon but didn’t have time before the last cable car down.

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    1. Oh wow John, how great that you had the opportunity to explore Table Mountain. Yes, we have also done the Platteklip Gorge Trail – that is one of the most popular trails up Table Mountain with such amazing views! And we’ve been to Maclear’s Beacon as well on another excursion … long time ago … I think it’s time again 😊 (we never gets tired of Table Mountain)!

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  2. Another unforgettable hike for the Wet and Dusty Roads scrapbook. The protea flower is indeed one of the stars of the show, as are the reservoir dams themselves. Not sure I’ve ever seen anything quite like them atop a mountain. And there was me starting to worry that there wasn’t going to be a chain!

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    1. Thank you Leighton … “Wet and Dusty Roads scrapbook” … sounds pretty cool! Oh, I just can’t get enough of the unique protea – for me, it’s like finding gold when I see one of these flowers in nature 😉. Yeah right, a walk in a mountain guarantee the use of a chain/ladder at some point – don’t you worry 😅! Thanks for reading and hope you guys are doing ok.

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    1. Ons ook Aletta … as iets so mooi soos Tafelberg mos onder jou neus is, doen mens nie moeite om dit te gaan besoek nie. Maar ek reken dis weer ‘n slag tyd 😉. Ja, ons het ook maar eers die klompie damme gesien toe ons daar bo kom (ek lees dat dit nou maar net ‘n skrale 5% water aan Kaapstad verskaf) – daar’s mos nou darem groter damme om in hierdie behoefte te voorsien. Oee, daardie protea – so mooi!


  3. Wow, this brought back so many memories of my 1985 solo-backpacking 12-month trip around the world! Table Mountain was one of my favourite spots in SA but it looks so busy these days.
    I don’t remember seeing the reservoir dams. Did I miss these or did they come later?
    Sorry to hear about your dad and sure he walks with you always…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Back in 1985 … the year I’ve just finished primary school 😉! You are such a brave woman Nilla!
      Yes, it is quite busy – but then again, if you got your timing right, you might just be in luck to have the mountain (almost) for yourself (early morning or late evening, just before the last cable car leaves the top of the mountain). No, the dams’ been there since the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. It is bit further from the “touristy spots”, that’s probably why you haven’t seen it. Thank you for stopping by, much appreciated!

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  4. This looks like such a beautiful hike with lovely views of the surrounding area and reservoir dams. I’ve never seen a protea before, but it looks gorgeous from your pictures. How lovely to dedicate this post to your dad. Now I understand where your love of the outdoors comes from. Enjoy the rest of your weekend. Linda

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    1. You’re absolutely right Linda, to hike on top of Table Mountain is probably one of the best things to do when in Cape Town (well, maybe a visit to a few wine farms would be good as well 😉).
      My dad often took me and my brother into the fields close to our home when we were young where he made a fire and showed us how to ‘braai’ (bbq) … and then I was a lucky girl to marry a man who had the same feelings about nature (and ‘braai’) 😄. Love those proteas (especially in nature)! Hope you have a great Sunday as well. Greetings Corna.

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  5. Those proteas are stunning – I would love to see and photograph some 😀 I never knew there were reservoirs on top of Table Mountain. We would say just reservoir by the way; we use dam only for the wall that holds back the water, not the body of water itself. But I think from reading other blogs that Australians do as you do and call the water a dam. Funny how we speak the same language but NOT the same, as with UK/US language differences 😆

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    1. Sarah, I think you, with your sharp eye (and camera lens), will take amazing photo’s of the protea. It is very interesting to read about the different meanings of ‘dam’ and ‘reservoir’ … maybe, we here in the Southern Hemisphere think a little bit different than you guys in the Northern Hemisphere 😉. But, like my grandmother used to say, how boring would it be if everyone on this earth were the same!

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    1. Thanks Diane. Yes, you would think a hike in the mountains should look the same … but it doesn’t! The landscape and the views are all different (though, you are almost guaranteed to see proteas 😊). Thank you for popping in once again – have a great week!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah, how amazing … we were up on the same mountain in the same year! I’m so glad you could re-live your memories with this post Hannah! Yes, those views – it is truly special! Let me know when you’re there again and I’ll meet you for a cup of coffee on top of Table Mountain 😉.


  6. Absolutely lovely to see these photos. It has been a while since I have hiked on table mountain and I doubt that i will again – Cable Car – yes – but no more climbing! The trail looks stunning.

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  7. What exciting adventures you share, absolutely wonderful sceneries, fantastic nature and the protea, indeed a very special beauty in the world of flowers!
    So sad to read that your dad passed away, all precious memories last forever 🤍

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Anita, this was indeed a wonderful hike – those views were just out of this world! My dad loved proteas and this flower always reminds me of him … yes, it’s such a blessing to have special memories what last forever.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much Henrietta! This was such a great day out in nature – there’s much more to Table Mountain than just going up with the cable car 😊 … I would love to do this hike again. Yes, I think my dad would have appreciate that I dedicated this post to him – he loved Table Mountain and proteas 🌟.

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    1. On the more difficult routes in the mountains we would find ropes/chains/ladders to negotiate our way around big boulders – especially when the hiking trails are in a reserve or park and it can be maintained (and I’m no fan of that 😬). The protea comes in all shapes and sizes and from shrubs to trees … there are so many different species and I tend to think that no protea looks the same. Thanks for reading – much appreciated 🌸.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Dear Corna, I am delighted with these wonderful photos. I always love to look at the world from above, from a mountain. Thank you for showing me the landscape of Table Mountain. I have never visited south africa or cape town. The view of the entire Cape Peninsula is incredible.
    Thank you for that, Corna.
    Greetings…..Rosie from Germany 🙋‍♂️😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so glad to hear from you Rosie … and thank you for visiting our post! Yes, it is incredible to see the world from a mountain (I guess, for you as an artist, it must be an invitation to grab your paintbrush 😊). I hope that one day, you get the opportunity to visit Cape Town and maybe see this view with your own eyes (as I hope to visit Germany some day)!
      Take care, greetings from South Africa, Corna 🌸.

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