“Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop away from you like the leaves of Autumn.” – John Muir
It is autumn in the city of Cape Town, but as summer slips away and the air becomes cooler, the mountains only get better. Table Mountain and its peaks, close and far, are quieter, with fewer travellers making their way over and up the chillier ridges and peaks. The cable car will always have visitors curling around the foothill of the mountain, awaiting their ride up, but for the hikers and rock climbers, the hills and paths that extend outward from the cable station on top are emptier. There is a deeper peace to it all.
Clouds drop and rise above and below the peaks, changing constantly, sometimes hiding the whole city below with a thick white quilt and other times swimming higher through the saddles and over the mesas like a mountain brook. The hills are more alive, more unpredictable, and at the same time, more soothing. As Muir wrote, “…going to the mountains is going home; that wildness is a necessity.”
A necessity that according to a recent article by Condé Nast Traveler, How Hiking Changes Our Brains—And Makes Us Better Travelers, has a range of benefits, “from lessening negativity to boosting creativity, hiking in fresh air actually boosts brain power and can help certain parts of the brain grow.”
There are many ways to experience Table Mountain and each experience is worth spending a morning doing: hike up and down, take the cable car one way or both, and at the top of the Table… hike around and explore the many corners of the national park, abseil down the side, or enjoy coffee in the café, while overlooking the Atlantic Ocean.
Below are a few photographs from our own recent escape into the hills of Table Mountain and for more information on where to stay, scroll to the bottom. Our recommended hotels are able to assist in helping you plan a hike in these hills during your stay.
“Each stone, each bend cries welcome to him. He identifies with the mountains and the streams, he sees something of his own soul in the plants and the animals and the birds of the field.”
— Paulo Coelho
Where To Stay
Ellerman House, Bantry Bay, around the corner from Table Mountain, Lion’s Head and Devil’s Peak.
The Cellars-Hohenort, in the Constantia Valley, Cape Town’s own inner-city winelands.
Delaire Graff Estate, further outside town in the Cape Winelands, near Stellenbosch.
“The mountains are calling and I must go.”
― John Muir