Many of our students at Cape Studies have a long list of fun activities that they want to cross off in Cape Town. Table Mountain is usually at the top of that list. Many of our students decide to head up Platteklip Gorge, as it is very easy to access and you are rewarded with stunning views when reaching the top. In addition to Platteklip there are other routes that are equally enjoyable, unique and fun in their own ways.

Certain routes will attract you more depending on your fitness and time constraints. If you are looking for peaceful and relatively relaxing hikes, I would recommend places like Deer Park or Newlands Forest. Deer Park starts at the top of Vredehoek and trails lead up to Tafelberg road (the road that one accesses to use the cable car or head up Platteklip Gorge and Devil’s Peak) and you can walk beneath Devil’s Peak where you can loop back to where you began. This route is popular with runners and mountain bikers too. The surroundings are peaceful and the views are great even though you are not on top of Table Mountain. You can pick a route according to your schedule.

Newlands Forest has something special about it too. If you like to hike beneath the canopy of pine trees and enjoy natural surroundings, this route is for you. You are able to hike various loops and if you’re feeling really adventurous head up Nursery ravine, Skeleton’s Gorge or Rhodes Memorial (these are all day hikes and will require adequate preparation). Most of these routes lead to the top of the mountain where you are able to see some of our dams. Newlands Forest has some wooden walkways and routes that are enjoyable but not too challenging. It is also relatively close to Kirstenbosch Gardens which you could visit afterwards or combine it as part of a day trip.  

There are plenty of beautiful hikes in and around Cape Town and you should do as many as you can. Safe hiking!

Jürgen Dünhofen – English Language Teacher at Cape Studies Language School