"CENTRAL TABLE" Table Mountain Tip by mtncorg
Table Mountain, Cape Town: 170 reviews and 287 photos
Table Mountain is actually comprised of several different sections - there is a Western Table, a Back Table, an Eastern Table and there is the Central Table. Most tourists coming up the cable car limit their ambles to the smallish Western Table which is only twenty meters wide (north-to-south) by 600-700 meters long (east-to-west). the Western Table offers grand views and easy trails will introduce you to the unique upland restio fynbos terrain, but venture beyond the crowds over to the Central Table for much more.
The Central Table is separated from the Western Table by the upper end of Platteklip Gorge - up which a well-marked trail ascends steeply from the City Bowl far below. From the Western Table, you drop about thirty meters to the top of the gorge and then re-ascend to the top of the Central Table which is slightly under 2 kilometers long by about a half kilometer wide. The landscape is covered by a mixture of marsh and upland restio fynbos. By walking about one hour east of the Cable station, you will come to the eastern edge of the Central Table where you will find the highest point on Table Mountain - Maclear's Beacon, 1087 meters high - 19 meters higher than the Western Table. Your view to the east, where most Capetonians live, is extensive. Mountain ranges to the east separate the Cape flats and wine regions of Paarl-Stellenbosch from the vast deserts of the Karoo beyond. The main trail leading to Maclear's Beacon is also part of the Hoerikwaggo Hiking Trail (a trail leading from the V/A Waterfront all the way to the end of the Cape of Good Hope) but there is another alternative route which takes you along the northern rim of the Central Table, cliffs falling away 600-700 meters to the City Bowl below. And no crowds.
As with any hike on Table Mountain, do so only with good weather. Wind, fog, rain, mist can all conspire to spoil an otherwise magnificent outing.
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