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.

Book through Rough Guides’ trusted travel partners

Cape Town and the Cape Peninsula features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

7 amazing African journeys

7 amazing African journeys

Africa is a continent of wild open savannahs, terracotta sunsets, thousands of vibrant green hills and rugged coastlines. Here, you can be chugging along on …

06 Jul 2016 • Harriet Constable insert_drive_file Article
Cape Town's irrepressible township revolution

Cape Town's irrepressible township revolution

Many visitors to Cape Town leave with a fairly limited view of the Mother City. They see the whitewashed beachfront restaurants and hotels, take the cable car u…

24 Dec 2015 • Chris Clark insert_drive_file Article
7 places to sample Cape Town’s hedonistic nightlife

7 places to sample Cape Town’s hedonistic nightlife

Whatever your scene, from sweaty electronic music dancefloors to open-air beer gardens, Cape Town has it all. Being a hedonistic city – especially in the sum…

30 Jan 2015 • Site Editor insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right

Weekly newsletter

Sign up now for travel inspiration, discounts and competitions

Sign up now and get 20% off any ebook