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Full Day Hike Up The Table Mountain In Cape Town
  • Tour Category

    Group Tour

  • Tour Types

    Nature, Wellness, Walking

  • Duration

    1 Day

  • Activity Level

    Hard

  • Language

    Afrikaans, English, French

Description

Climb the Mountain in the Sea, as it is known in the local Khoi language ("Hoerikwaggo") with its view of the infamous Robben Island and Cape Town below. Explore the unknown areas on foot for a day, picnicking among ancient yellow wood trees, cave visits and hot chocolate on a ledge. Feel what it is like to have the dual reality of being in wildness and see a vibrant and fascinatingly diverse city right below you, at the foot of this natural wonder of the world.

  • View The Magnifient Table Mountain expand_more
    • Walk up and around Table Mountain - from easy to challenging. The recommended walk is along the base of the mountain and up via a lesser known ravine. 
    • Morning start: summer - 7:30 am: winter 9am.

    • Walk takes about 3 hours at a gentle pace.

    • Exploration of unknown parts of the back table, tea on a ledge overlooking the city and a picnic lunch.

    • Option of either descending via the famous cable car or taking another beautiful route down on foot.

What's Included
  • Maps to get an understanding of the area
  • Delicious picnic lunch

  • Cable car (optional)

  • Guided walk with a local (French speaker is available)

  • Unknown places in the lesser known "Back Table"

  • Hot chocolate in the shelter of old hidden yellow wood trees with unbelievable views of Robben island and Cape Town city below

  • History of Cape Town and explanations of local life

  • Animal tracking, learning about bird language, medicinal plants and natural navigation skill

What's Excluded
  • Other Personal Expense
Know before you go
  • Walks are variable depending on your ability, how much you'd like to explore, level of fitness etc

  • Pick ups from accommodation can be arranged for an extra fee

  • Catering for the picnic can accommodate any kinds of dietary requirements

Meeting Point

Cape Town, South Africa

Cancellation Policy

For cancellations upto 2 days before the tour -

Refund of 80% of the tour price.
Tour Reviews
  • andyjamieson6

    Jess is an incredible guide. She is confident, experienced and incredibly able. She also has a very evident love and spiritual connection for wild spaces and can share a lot of knowledge about plants and nature. She is able to be social and engaging but she also knows when to pull back and let groups have their own space of time to connect with silence.

  • iqraadaniel

    There are so many qualities and ways of being that make Jess an amazing guide. She has an intuitive understanding of people’s needs and is able to engage with and motivate every group member. She subtly facilitates group cohesion, and her logistical planning of hikes is impeccable. I have been on two hikes with her - the first a five day hike up Cederberg, and the other a hike up Table Mountain. I shall touch on both in this review.

    The logistics of the Cederberg hike was impeccable. We started the hike with the steepest incline, which not only made the rest of the chosen route comparatively easy, but also accelerated the depth of our relationships to each other. She demanded that we push ourselves physically, but there were enough breaks to prevent exhaustion. The stops were well-planned and well-timed – we reached adequate shade, or places to swim around mid-hike each day. The hike was structured so that on the second last day, we did not camp at all. Instead, we spent the day camping around a cluster of enormous boulders. It allowed us to spend time with each other, without the pressure of finishing a route. For me, the friendships that extended beyond the hike were solidified during this time. A less experienced or less thoughtful guide may have paced the hike differently, which would have changed the nature of the relationships formed. The amount, variety and type of food was perfect. It catered to all dietary requirements, and I remember being surprised that hiking food could actually be enjoyable. I felt completely physically safe with Jess as the guide. Her knowledge of injuries was extensive, and she was well-equipped to tend to the group’s ailments. Three people who had completed the hike the previous year formed part of the group. They helped Jess and her colleagues in motivating and leading our group. The transition between school and work, or school and university can be conceptually intimidating. As we had all recently finished the matric exams, we all faced similar challenges. Her decision to include matriculants from the previous ideas was perfectly aligned to our emotional needs at the time. The attention Jess pays to these details made the hike smooth and the experience nourishing.

    Of the two hikes, Cederberg was more physically and psychologically taxing. A group of about twenty matriculants spent five days in Cederberg, often hiking up steep inclines in midsummer heat. For me, a good guide is distinguished by their ability to encourage people to complete the hike, whatever their physical fitness level. Jess was able to do this, using both her own resources and our relationships with each other. She would often walk beside a member of the group who was struggling, and talk to them to distract from their physical pain. When seeing someone demotivated, she would arrange that they lead the group, rather than allow them to fall behind. She would take time to identify any issues that added unnecessary irritations to people struggling with the hike. For example, she ensured that the straps of backpacks were correctly adjusted. At the end of each day, she would check in with everyone. The combination of belief in people’s inherent abilities and attention to their needs fostered everyone’s self-belief and confidence.

    For the most part, we did not know our fellow group members at the start of the hike. Jess played a significant role in creating a communal culture within the group. For example, each person was assigned to the care of another. Jess offered suggestions around how to put that care into practice. We carried each other’s bags, and did random acts of kindness for each other. Through this, we formed solid relationships with each other. She also facilitated group conversations around the fire and during our breaks for lunch or snacks. She would draw out comments from more reserved members of the group. Consequently, at the end of the hike, we felt close to each other. I have sustained friendships with people from that group two years after the hike has ended. This is due in part to Jess’ creation of group cohesion.

    Jess incorporated a few rituals into the hike. This spiritual component made the experience magical. At the beginning of each day, we hiked in silence. This afforded time to reflect on our experiences on the hike, and on our own challenges in our lives. For member who, like me, are more introverted, it allowed us time to recharge. Without this time, I believe people like myself may have become withdrawn. When she declared the silence over, we were all eager to speak to each other. That meant that we started each day joyously. Jess also allocated time each day to journal. I know that since the hike, several people have continued to journal regularly, saying that they would not have otherwise realised the relief it provided. The hike was therefore not only a wonderful social experience, but also something that allowed for self-actualisation. The mindfulness that was practiced during the hike was something that has stayed with me long after its completion.

    The hike up Table Mountain was shorter and less demanding. We hiked for two days, and spent one night in a hut on top of the mountain. A large group had never been up Table Mountain at all, despite living in Cape Town. I had never spent a night there. Jess’ recognition of the need for this hike is laudable. At the end of the hike, a couple of people said that they would bring friends, or members of other groups to which they belonged, up Table Mountain. Jess had wanted the hike to have this effect. It is testimony to her skill as a guide that she achieved this with people who had initially expressed trepidation.

    Her knowledge of different routes up Table Mountain is extensive. This is also true of her knowledge of the mountain and its fynbos. The hike up Table Mountain broadened my knowledge around this.

    There was one particularly difficult stretch on the route – an incline about two thirds into the hike. Jess mentally prepared everyone for this stretch. By getting us to conceive of the incline as obstacles to a goal that we wanted to achieve, conquering that length brought psychological satisfaction.

    Not everyone in this group was equally curious about exploring the area outside the hut. Jess was sensitive to everyone’s needs here, suggesting some of us swim in a nearby dam and allowing others to stay around the huts.

    Though the time was short, Jess held long conversations with every member of the group. Her ability to navigate so many different social spheres and personalities is incredible.

    On both the Cederberg and Table Mountain hikes, Jess guided groups who were, for the most part, unfamiliar with hiking and mountains. Yet at the end of both hikes, both groups swore to frequently return to the mountains. Jess has a gift for facilitating group cohesion and planning the details of hikes according to the needs of each group. She goes beyond simply encouraging people to complete the hike. She instils a strong self-belief in all group members which extends far beyond the duration of the hike. Jess is an incredible guide, and I would trust her to lead anyone or any group across the contours of whichever mountain she finds herself.

  • susan.botha

    Jess was an incredible tour guide. She made us feel contained and safe without losing the feeling of adventure that we had undertaken. Her knowledge and passion for every single detail in nature was so transparent it gave me the experience of being more aware of how alive and unique the environment we were in truly was. If I think back on the trip, my most memorable image of Jess is her wonderful connection with nature that has left a lasting imprint on how I engage with the natural environment. In terms of logistics and skill in first aid and navigation she was so capable that there was never a small moment of unease. 

  • jacquet.jean-philippe

    For more than 30 years, Odile and I went on trekking every summer to visit various countries and admire the wonder of nature. So, we meet many and many guides - female and male - who made us discover and appreciate their countries.

    6 years ago (yet!) in august 2012, we have had the incredible chance that Jessica was our guide during our tour in Namibia: In fact, "Jess" is really an exceptional guide for many reasons:

    - Jessica is so kind and calm in every circumstance that this trip has been deeply cool and relaxing. So we could really enjoy our holidays day after day.

    - Jessica have a true knowledge of the country, she knows very well the inhabitants and the natural resources and how to share her knowledge; thanks to her, we could learn many things about fauna and flora.

    - And, last but not least, Jess is deeply in love with the wilderness and have - and share with the others - a deep respect for all forms of life.

    We like to repeat to our friends a single sentence that she said in French with her nice accent: " Si tu aimes le nature, la nature elle te aime…" and which is a perfect summary of her personality.

    All along our life we will remember "my night with the hyena", the hunting leopard, my stupid behavior with the rhino and the lion's footsteps around the tents at morning….

    By the end, this trip with Jess is "number one" into the long list of our trek memories and we dream to come back in South Africa and do another safari with her ! (.... and see the green ray...)

  • sam.duby

    Jess embodies all the qualities that make for a good guide. First and most importantly, she lives and breathes the subject matter. What better person to introduce you to the wonders of the natural world than someone who is deeply passionate about it and lives it everyday? Her other qualities only go to support this; she is competent but easy-going, knowledgable but not overbearing, firm but caring. 

    I have done a number of trips with Jess now and I would recommend her in a heartbeat.

  • borderlands.deepsouth

    Jess was a guest guide for the Borderlands Public Arts Project and led a special experience in the mountains of the Cape. Her open, sensitive approach to the natural environment put all the participants at ease. She inspires trust and confidence and understands how to open up nature to all different people - letting us follow our curiosity and reconnect with ourselves. I would highly recommend Jess as a guide and after she told us about some of the treks that she leads across the country, I'm itching to get my boots on and head off!

  • Julia

    Jess has a friendly and approachable way about her; right from the get go, she made the group feel relaxed and excited about our  adventure. At the same time, she is an organized, physically capable  and highly competent guide and made us feel confident that we were in good hands. Her understanding of climate and the layout of the land came across during our hike and I particularly enjoyed her knowledge of plants and their medicinal properties. I also thoroughly enjoyed our conversation when I had some one on one time with her during our hike. Her clear enthusiasm about the natural world is palpable and it made me enthusiastic to increase my own awareness.  I also enjoyed the space we were given to contemplate our own lives during our times of silence and contemplation. 

  • sarah.le.henaff

    Jess was our guide during a 15 days road trip in Namibia.

    We were a group of 7 French people and we had a great time. She s a professional guide who knows the country, loves it and takes a lot of pleasure sharing all she knows about it. Her French is fluent and she likes learning new French expressions!  

    Even in a complicated situation, she stays calm and makes sure everyone is OK and safe. 

    Thanks again Jess, I hope we ll travel again together! « En voiture Simone ! »

    Sarah.

  • cshawsmith

    Jess was a guide on a stage of The Rim of Africa hike and she was outstanding.  I wasn't actually fit enough when I began this 10 day walk and Jess was practical and sensitive in her support while managing to balance emotional support and challenging me without being pushy and still balancing the dynamic's of the group.  She has a wonderful way about her which is both strong, resourcesful and connecting.  Her knowledge of nature and the outdoors is excellent and she has the added skill of appearing to be able to read the nuances of people and groups which means I gained more from her than I understood at the time.  This for me makes the best guides when their lessons or guidance continue to come home weeks and even years after you've completed the hike or trail.  Highly Recommend for adults or teens!!

  • sirjessa

    I had the pleasure of getting to know Jess over 30 days as she guided us  across rugged "off- path" mountain terrain. Trail fairy Jess offered unwavering support in resupply and logistics often going the extra mile to keep us happy. Dealing with varied personalities and abilities was no easy task but Jess handled this with distinction, was always kind, patient and attentive. Jess  is a peoples person, posseses a broad knowledge base and is a great conversationalist. Jess is dynamic and has a great energy - I learned so much from her and having her as guide made for a rich and meaningful experience.   

  • Lauren

    Jess was highly professional while creating a relaxing atmosphere and igniting a sense of adventure amongst our group. I found her extremely inspiring, she has a great understanding of the world around her and an ability to help people connect with themselves, each other and nature. Hiking with Jess was an incredible experience and I highly recommend her as a guide.

  • shifperk

    Jess  took us down the Orange River. It was one of the most memorable trips I have done. She is a remarkably capable Guide, and she also brings in the element of magic and mystery, revealing the beauty and sacredness of a space. We had a wonderful time, and I would highly recommend Jess as a Guide.

  • konradmichastiller

     All the times I have hiked with Jess, while having always been successful and having gone off without a hitch, have always been so much more. Jess is inspirational as a guide and as a human, bringing to life the mountains she's at home in, and inspiring a reverence for nature in those she guides. Her years of experience in the wild have created in her a calm, confident manner that is not at all misplaced. She is a wonderful guide who does so much more than just lead you along a path.

Starting From

From

USD ZAR---- 100.00
USD 100.00 / Group

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