Table Mountain, a 1087-metre flat-topped massif with dramatic cliffs and eroded gorges, dominates the northern end of the Cape Peninsula. Its north face overlooks the city centre with the distinct formations of Lion’s Head and Signal Hill to the west and Devil’s Peak to the east. The west face is made up of a series of gable-like formations known as the Twelve Apostles; the southwest face towers over Hout Bay and the east face over the southern suburbs. The mountain is a compelling feature in the middle of the city, a wilderness where you’ll find wildlife and 1400 species of flora. Indigenous mammals include baboons, dassies and porcupines.
Reckoned to be the most-climbed massif in the world, Table Mountain has suffered under the constant pounding of hikers – although the damage isn’t always obvious. Every year the mountain strikes back, taking its toll of lives. One of the commonest causes of difficulties is people losing the track (often due to sudden mist falling) and becoming trapped. If you plan to tackle one of the hundreds of its walks or climbs, go properly prepared. There are also full-day
guided hikes tailored to your level of fitness. You may choose to come back the easy way by cable car, or partially abseil.