... a vigorous / restful, and phytoncide-laden 2021 to you ...
LOCKDOWN GUIDE TO CAPE HIKING
Things are changing regularly at the moment. The park authority is often remiss or (intentionally vague?) in keeping mountain users updated. Check several sources that trails and facilities are open before setting out.
Table Mountain cableway is open.
People are flying and using public transport, so I guess, enjoying a ride on Table Mountain's cable car may not be so risky. Restrictions, like reduced number of passengers, are in place. Masks are required if you are only strolling around the upper cable station precincts. (More on masks just below). The cable car itself is exposed to fresh air. The trips are generally shorter than the amount of time is currently said to lead to harmful transmission.
Just as important - if you hike one way up or down Platteklip Gorge, especially when its wet, wear shoes with good grip and tread carefully, especially on descent. The path's rocky steps are smoother than others on the mountain due to high traffic. There's often a layer of fine sand delivered by so many walkers on the steps. When wet it turns muddy and viscous. The slope is steep. Take care - or take a different path. Platteklip is a classic and spectacular route. It's by no means unrivaled, except in number of users.
To Mask or not to Mask while hiking Table Mountain?
Phytoncides: Safe; Certainty: dangerous.
So I heard Judge Dennis Davis talking about how he walks up Table Mountain a couple of time a week. He socially distances himself from his companions, and wears a mask, and says how extraordinary it is that so many people on bikes or on foot are without masks. Generally of the 25 - 40 age group. They couldn't care less for him or anyone else.
More on scientific reasoning on masks here.
MORE HIKING OPTIONS UN-LOCKED:
I've heard Cape of Good Hope has opened for day trips. Even though there's no hiking the drive is worth it.
Cape Nature hiking routes are also open, including the Palmiet River Trail in the Kogelberg.
An easy walk, though take care when crossing smooth river rocks.
You can't get permits at reserve gates. Pre-purchase them online: www.capenature.co.za. or contact 087 087 8250 (074 936 2139 or 062 318 4987 on weekends)
Cape Nature requests face-masks, and to keep hands disinfected. They'll also scan temperature, and take visitor info for the Visitor Access Registration.
Walk Table Mountain & other Cape trails in the Cape
CAPE TOWN HIKES
- Take Table Mountain's main route ascents
- or experience the less-travelled hiking trails of Cape Town's famous mountain
- All levels of ease & interests
Hike Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve
- Near Cape Point - walk Atlantic and False Bay coastal trails.
Beyond the Peninsula ...
Sunrise & sunset hiking
Lions Head at Dawn
360 degree views
Find out more
Table Mountain's influence on the city in:
BABOONS IN CAPE TOWN'S TABLE MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARK
Yes, but where?
DEAD WHALE & OTHER SINISTER LITTER AT CAPE POINT
Signs of increased pollution and hunting of marine wildlife round the Cape, both legal & illegal. But is any of it ethical?
For more notes on the Cape's natural and historical heritage please go here.
"Wonderful full day hiking on the Table Mountain.
I enjoyed a fine hike up, and across Table Mountain with Nick as a very experienced guide on my side. It was entertaining to chat with him and we got lots of interesting information around the Cape. He knows a lot about vegetation, geology and history of this mountain.He adapted the route to get the best out of the changing weather conditions, guiding us around the clouds, and brought us to stunning places. It was a perfect day! He really cares. I am very glad we spent a whole day on the hiking tour – there is so much to see and experience with Nick. A wonderful ending for our holidays in South Africa"
“Fun and Educational Half Day at Cape Point
Friends and I booked Nick for a half day hike in the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve, and this ended up being one of the highlights of our trip. Nick is an engaging and personable guide with a wealth of knowledge about the local flora, fauna, geography, and history. He even had some excellent recommendations for points of interest and activities for the rest of our trip along the Garden Route. Cannot recommend highly enough!"
"Full day Table Mountain Hike starting in Kirstenbosch Gardens, up Skeleton Gorge to the Cable Station
Our day with Nick was the highlight of our week in Cape Town. His knowledge of the fauna and flora and of the history of Cape Town added to our enjoyment of the breath-taking scenery. He managed to choose a route perfect for the fitness levels of our group . We especially loved his homemade snacks - especially the ice-cold pineapple slices just when we really needed them ! We will definitely be contacting Nick to show us more of Table Mountain next time we visit Cape Town."