Hiking up the Twelve Apostles to Table Mountain
After the incredible India Venster hike a few weeks ago, I signed up for another Table Mountain hike – this one called the “Twelve Apostles Hike“.
This hike originates in Camp Bay and follows the Kasteelspoort trail up and through a gorge to the Twelve Apostles. From there it follows the ‘spine’ of the Twelve Apostles, through some gorges and valleys, to the top of Table Mountain.
This points highlights some of the things and views you’ll see along the way.
But unlike the India Venster hike, you don’t absolutely need a guide on this one – follow the instructions in this post and you can easily do it on your own.
Who and Why you should do this hike: This is an easy hike. Technically you don’t have to worry about rungs or chains (you have a couple of easy ladders to climb). You also don’t have to be super fit, it’s in no way as strenuous a hike as some of the other hikes up Table Mountain. You should do this hike because it is a very different perspective than hikes starting on the city bowl side.
The starting point is the Camps Bay Pipe Track (sign below). Tell your taxi driver to bring you there. Once there it’s easy…just follow the trail up. You’ll soon be looking back at beautiful views of Camps Bay with Lion’s Head on the right.
If you start out early, one of the advantages of this hike is that you’ll spend the most strenuous parts of it hiking in the shadows, the sun blocked out by the Twelve Apostles.
Within the first 20 minutes of starting out, you’ll arrive at a juncture of trails. Continue straight up along “Kasteelspoort”.
Below: Our guide was wonderful Hendre. Always telling stories and laughing, she seems to love what she does. By the craziest of coincidences, she is also our neighbor in Cape Town, with only one house between hers and ours.
Below: The flora in the Cape Area is the most colourful I’ve seen anywhere. Have a look at some of the flowers in this post.
It will take about 45 minutes to get to this ledge, called the “Breakfast Table”.
The next part brings you, through a gorge, up to the ‘backend’ of Table Mountain. There are some water reservoirs here that even to this day feed water by pipe down to the city below. You’ll also see ruins of Cape Town’s first cable car (built on this side of the mountain) as well as remnants of an old railway – both were built in the 1890’s to bring up material supplies for the construction of the reservoirs.
From here the hike continues through the valleys and ridges along the spine of the Twelve Apostles. You’ll have great views the whole way: down the peninsula, across towards Muizenberg, at some points staring right down at Camps Bay. You’ll also see lots of colourful plant life.
.Below: there are a couple of easy ladders on this route. That’s as hard as it gets.
Below: In the last quarter of the hike you literally walk along the edge of the cliffs, looking down below at the views of the Atlantic.
It took us 3 ½ hours to complete the hike up to the Cable Car station on Table Mountain. From there we walked around the top, enjoying the fantastic views, before taking the Cable Car down.
Would I recommend this hike? Yes, the same great views as other hikes – but easy for those who don’t like the ‘extreme’ in their adventure.
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