The hike starts in the grandiose Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, at the foot of the eastern slopes of Table Mountain. From Kirstenbosch you enter Skeleton Gorge, walking through a shaded indigenous forest with foliage of Yellow- and Ironwood trees overhead and the smell of pure, organic earth underfoot. The trail becomes steeper and rockier as you climb, and at times scramble, your way out of the gorge. Out of Skeleton Gorge and out of the shade we walk in the footsteps of Jan Smuts, South African statesman, philosopher and keen hiker, paramount in the formation of the League of Nations and writer of the preamble to the charter of the United Nations, the man who received a pair of leather sandals as a gift from Mahatma Ghandi, which Ghandi made himself. Smuts wore the sandals in summer for more than two decades.
While walking along Smuts Track you can indulge in unparalleled aerial views of the Cape Peninsula’s landmarks that juts into the sea from False Bay to the Atlantic Seaboard: Hangklip, Simons Town, Cape Point, Hout Bay and beyond. Be sure to take breathers during the hike and look all around you. The view and vegetation changes continuously. Truly spectacular scenery.
Smuts Track will lead you to Maclear’s Beacon. At 1086m above sea level the cairn is the highest point on Table Mountain. The cairn was built in 1865 by Sir Thomas Maclear, Her Majesty’s astronomer at the Royal Observatory, Cape of Good Hope, as a triangulation station to assist in measuring the curvature of the earth. The crater Maclear on the moon is also named after Sir Thomas Maclear.
From Maclear’s Beacon you will traverse the plateau, which is covered in restios and moss, on the edge of the table of Table Mountain with views of the Cape Town CBD, Leeukop, Robben Island, Table Bay and beyond. This path will lead us to the hustle and bustle area of the mountain from where we will descend by cable car.
Experience the magic of one of the New7Wonders of Nature, Table Mountain, the mountain that withstood six million years of erosion, that is host to the richest, yet smallest floral kingdom on earth, on an informative, guided hike with Cape Adventure Zone.