Every visitor to Cape Town needs to go up the iconic Table Mountain. The mountain has an aura and energy force that Carrie Hampton can’t resist. She gives us her insider tips for making the most of your visit.
There’s something about the energy emanating from this giant crystal that entrapped me. The mountain contains significant amounts of quartz – often used in healing – which some say explain its magnetism, and I have believed in its irresistible power.
When the mountain calls your name
When the mountain calls I have to put on my walking shoes. My favourite 1.5-hour hike is the circular Silvermine River Walk, in a section of the Table Mountain National Park a third of the way between Cape Town and Cape Point.
Take swimming gear and a picnic because the path culminates at a dark-water mountain dam where you can swim in the black-tea coloured water from one side to the other and back.
It’s on the way back down, following the path behind the rocky peaks parallel to the River Walk, that you get astounding views across the steely waters of False Bay and along the mountain ridges to Table Mountain. Place some flowering protea bushes in the foreground, and you’ll have some brochure-worthy photos to show for just a small amount of huffing and puffing.
Sitting at the top of the world
You’ll no doubt want to clock up some iconic photos from the top of Table Mountain too. The vista over the city and the utter vastness of the Atlantic Ocean, punctuated 7km offshore by Robben Island, is a sight to behold – don’t miss it. Platteklip Gorge is the best-trodden, most comfortable hike up, starting just beyond the lower Cableway station, taking about 2.5 hours. But bear in mind it’s unrelentingly uphill all the way!
For the less energetic, it’s easy to enjoy these views by experiencing the strangely pleasing agoraphobic sensations that the 4.5-minute rotating cable car provides on its way to the top. There’s a free Wi-Fi lounge at the upper cable station, and you can sit and post photos that will leave your friends in no doubt that you are on top of the world.
Combining your safari in South Africa with a trip up Table Mountain in Cape Town is well worth it and a perfect way to start or end off a quite magnificent country.