Cape Town and Table Mountain are two inseparable entities. Thinking of Cape Town images of Table Mountain automatically come to mind and the other way around. For that reason not visiting Table Mountain to us pretty much equaled not having visited Cape Town at all.

Platteklip Gorge Hike

Getting to the top of Table Mountain

Getting to the top of Table Mountain proved easier said than done if you’re not feeling athletic enough to hike all the way up Table Mountain. The challenging Platteklip Gorge Hike is 3 km of steep climbing which can take up to three hours. If you’re a little bit lazy like us then the aerial cableway is the only option.

But what if weather conditions – fog, clouds and wind – prevent the cable cars from running?

Too much wind

Getting to the top of Table Mountain

That’s what happened to us our first days in Cape Town. When we arrived in the city we still had our rental car and the weather looked amazing so Table Mountain was going to be our first stop. But when we arrived the cable car was closed for the day: Too much wind. The next day: Too much wind.

Our last and final day (we were going to fly home that night) the message board at the B.I.G Hostel where we stayed (a great place to stay by the way) again had those ominous words: Too windy, cable car closed. We were gutted we weren’t getting to the top of Table Mountain.

The cable car is running!

Getting to the top of Table Mountain

We bought tickets for the Cape Town Sightseeing Hop On Hop Off bus taking the blue line, getting off at Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden, which is at the back of Table Mountain. Traveling back to the city we looked up at the mountain at Camps Bay and oh shock: The cable car was running! We hopped off the bus at the first possible stop to take a taxi to the cable car station.

Getting to the top of Table Mountain

Once there our hearts sank – there was a seemingly endless waiting line and it was already 3.30 PM. We thought we would never make it to the top, but 1,5 hours later we were there, giving us just a little over an hour to walk around.

Glorious views

Getting to the top of Table Mountain

The conditions were a little polar – cold and foggy. Luckily we’d taken our foldable winter coats and hats with us. You know: Just in case. But we’d made it and were even able to get some decent pics when mist and low hanging clouds evaporated long enough to show a glorious view of the city below.

Getting to the top of Table Mountain

We just managed to catch the last hop on hop off bus back into the city, grab a quick bite to eat, pick up our stuff at the hostel and make it to the airport in time. Getting to the top of Table Mountain had tested our patience but what a way to end a fantastic road trip through South Africa!

About the author

Roel Kerkhof

Restless wanderer, retired cyclist and triathlete, geographer and writer. Man with a mission impossible: to visit all countries in the world.

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