Table Mountain hiking - Hoerikwaggo Trail

Hoerikwaggo Mountain Trail in 2011

I had the good fortune to hike part of the Hoerikwaggo trail a few months back. I always say I live in the most beautiful city in the world. And then I get to experience something like this hiking trail and I am awestruck. What an amazing experience. Not to be missed, even, if like me, you only do part of the trail. The full hike is 75 kilometers and takes 5 days and four nights.

The hike takes place along the length of Table Mountain finishing at the magnificent Cape Point.

Table Mountain is bang, slap in the middle of Cape Town. Or rather Cape Town grew up around the mountain. The city has over 5 million people living below the slopes of the mountain, yet on this hike, you scarcely notice human settlement.

What you do get to see is beautiful plant life, creatures and critters, blue skies, mountain slopes and breathtaking views. At night you sleep in an eco tented campsite. Space is limited to 12 at the campsites keeping the atmosphere cosy and relaxed.

You can do it yourself via SANParks or go with one of the guided mountain hikes. Some of the guided options allow you to slack pack. Your bags are sent to the huts and all you need carry are your provisions for the day. It may be worth considering the slack packing idea as this hike is rated as moderate to difficult depending on the section you are walking.

I have to say I didn't find this hike easy. I suspect our guide took us on a slightly different route to the recommended one. A couple of people in our party were battling with their knees going down the slopes. But the views of Cape Town were so beautiful that is was well worth it.

We struggled to complete the distance and only just made it to our campsite before dark, but again, our guide added quite a bit extra distance to our walk. I think it fair to say our guide was a serious mountain junkie. You get them.

The campsites are simple but comfortable. You have a proper bed and a shower with hot water. But you do need to pack your own sleeping bag and pillow. They have equipped kitchens that you can use to prepare food and drinks.

The weekend we chose to do the hike was not the best for weather, but luckily for us the rain held off and it was dry. I would not attempt this hike in inclement weather.

Doing this walk made me realise that I do not get out and enjoy the natural environment enough. There is something about being up close with nature and in such peaceful surroundings that is so relaxing and refreshing.

The usual safety precautions apply. See the Ridgeway Ramblers safety tips. My general safety tips for visiting Cape Town are at the top of this page.

To find more links should you wish to find out more about the hikes. Use these search terms to Google -

Hoerikwaggo Trail, Table Mountain walks, SANParks, Venture forth.

Go to - My Holidays and Trips - at the top of this page to read about other places we have visited. Or just click on - this link.

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