There are two options for a hike with a cable car descent. Simple to access, both are on the front, flat-topped face that overlooks Cape Town and each has a separate appeal. Platteklip Gorge is the easiest way up Table Mountain.
There is no scrambling (using your hands and arms for balance and pulling yourself up and over boulders) – Platteklip Gorge is a giant staircase up Table Mountain with regular switchbacks to catch your breath on. The fynbos is thick and full of flowers at most times of year.
You’ll enjoy increasingly panoramic views as you hike up and are rewarded by epic views at the top. Gazing over Cape Town and Table Bay, you will hike across the flat top to Maclear’s Beacon where you willl see the rest of the Peninsula lying. Or simply stroll to the cable car, taking in views of the 12 Apostles Range and Camps Bay.
India Venster is a more challenging half day hike up Table Mountain. The route summits at the same place as Platteklip Gorge but you’ll need a head for heights and do a bit of scrambling for this one. The rewards are stunning, ever-changing views as well as diverse and fascinating flora. You’ll also see hardly anyone else – something to consider if you want to avoid the greater number of hikers in Platteklip Gorge.
It’s an easier trail than most people think – there’s no rope needed – and most sections are two or three simple moves over boulders. One part has steel staples and chains bolted into the rock, making a once-tricky section into an easy one.
If you can clamber over a climbing frame or jungle gym, you can hike India Venster.