Cape Town’s number one attraction
view of lions head from the parking area at the foot Table Mountain
Table Mountain is absolutely beautiful. In recent years Table Mountain has been named one of the New7Wonders. An outstanding acknowledge as there is nothing better than waking up to a splendid view of Table Mountain. Taking in the fresh mountain air and enjoying the superb scenery. There are endless reasons why everyone should embark on this daunting journey to the top of Table Mountain.
1. It’s cheap
It is always a bonus to find something physically, visually and socially stimulating for virtually nothing. Besides the good sunblock, bottle of water and good hiking boots, there is also the possibility of meeting interesting people. Create Memories along the way and gaining valuable story.
2. It’s real
Taking into consideration our preoccupation with social media, television and other modern day time-consuming activities. There are benefits to be gained from spending hours absorbing all the sights, sounds and smells of nature. Whilst interacting with fellow hikers and enjoying a real unscripted experience.
3. It’s healthy
Hiking provides one of the best cardiovascular workouts. With great benefits for the heart, blood pressure, and bone density. Besides helping control your weight and reducing the symptoms of stress and anxiety. Hiking strengthens your quadriceps, hamstrings and the muscles in your hips and lower legs.
4. Eye candy
On a clear day the Platteklip Route offers amazing views of Lion’s Head, Signal Hill, City Bowl, Robben Island, Cape Town city, Devil’s Peak Mountain and Southern Suburbs. Not to mention the breathtaking 360˚ views you can enjoy upon arriving at the top, affording you an alluring panoramic display of Sea Point, Clifton, Camps Bay, V&A Waterfront, Cape Flats and the Cape Peninsula. These famous landmarks are not the only visual gifts available. A colorful display of diverse plant life, amazing rock formations, and fauna. Also a variety of birdlife, lizards, and rock hyraxes are also to be found.
5. Boost your self-confidence
Anyone who has ventured up the Platteklip Route will tell you that it is not an easy feat to achieve. Many time along the steep stone steps I wondered why I was subjecting myself to this. Such intense physical strain, especially at those points along the trail where I was in direct blazing summer sun. Only the end goal of standing at the summit and enjoying the view kept me going. Not to forget the overwhelming sense of achievement and satisfaction. By persevering I conquered not only the mountain but my doubts and self-made physical limitations as well.
6. Relaxation and focus
Hiking up Table Mountain is definitely a tension reliever. Providing you with an opportunity to forget your everyday worries for a while. The beauty and tranquility at the top will allow you to forget the strain of the climb. And calm your nerves and lift your spirit as you celebrate a new found sense of accomplishment. The calming surroundings offer a sense of freedom. Sit down and think away from the hustle and bustle of our busy lives.
7. Social benefits
The climb is a great chance to meet other like minded people who share your passion for the outdoors. Hiking as a team is an invaluable way to form lasting friendships whilst also promoting comradery and teamwork. By interacting with other people up the trail you will eliminate feelings of isolation and provide yourself with the opportunity for social support and group bonding. Also adventuring out in nature without any distractions might just be what your family needs to bond together.
8. Learn valuable life lessons
Taking into consideration all the wonderful reasons you should hike Table Mountain. I believe the most long lasting are the life lessons one gets upon successfully completing the adventure. The steep stone steps on Platteklip Gorge taught me that in life we can travel further and achieve more than we think. Many times on the trail I felt like turning back as the end seemed to be the distant dream, but slowly one step at a time, I pressed on until the end became a reality. I will forever remember this experience I was Creating Memories one step at a time.
9. Learn about local plants and animals
You can turn the hike into an educational activity by taking time to observe and study the animal and plant life on Table Mountain. If you are fortunate enough to hike with a guide you will probably receive a lot of information every time you come across the well camouflaged animals or wide variety of plant species. If climbing without a guide and would like to be able to identify the flora and fauna on the mountain it is advisable to carry a book to help discern their names and species. Besides the most common animal, the rock hyrax, Table Mountain is home to mongooses, snakes, lizards, porcupines and a rare species of amphibian only found on the mountain, the Table Mountain Ghost Frog. In terms of fauna close to 1500 plant species can be found on the mountain.
10. Table Mountain’s natural rock art
The hike gives you the opportunity to enjoy a different type of rock art, not crafted by man but by nature itself. At times when the beautiful views of the City of Cape Town are obstructed by cloud and mist one gets to appreciate the uniquely shaped rock formation which makes up Table Mountain. Over thousands of years, the wind and rains have created rock formations of superb artistic quality that they deserve to be on display in top art galleries around the world. In this absence of views, these wind sculpted rock boulders assume a life of their own and create an out of this world atmosphere, providing intrigue and an eerie sense of amusement.