Knysna and Cape Town

Jan 4th, 2005, 11:53 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 6
Knysna and Cape Town

Hello. I'm headed for South Africa this month, and I have a couple of questions:

1) I'm going from Knysna to Cape Town, but I don't want to fly or rent a car. I was thinking of taking the bus. Are there any other alternatives?

2) Is it possible to take the Cable car up Table Mountain and then walk down? I like walking, but not uphill! Is walking on Table Mountain something I need a guide for, or are there clearly marked paths?

u5000 is offline  
Jan 4th, 2005, 01:19 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 1,097

As far a transport around SA is concerned may I suggest that you look into using the Bazbus as a facility.

The Bazbus is a very reliable, secure and cheap way of transversing South Afica.

When it comes to Table Mountain, yes you can ascend by cable car and walk down the mountan however I must tell you that most folk do it the other way round by hiking up and taking the cablecar down. I suppose the main reason is that everyone likes to say that they climbed Table Mountain however another very good reason is that the down walk is rather hard on ones knees. Whatever you do if you decide to walk up or down make sure that you do the following:

1. Carry lots of water with you

2. Ensure that you have something warm to wear NO MATTER WHAT the weather is on the day as things can change rapidly in this regard.

3. Make sure that you have much sunscreen applied and definitely wear a hat or a cap.

4. Carry a cellphone with you in case of emergency

5. Try to walk with others by waiting at the starting piunt for others to arrive and then join their walking party.

Dont underestimate Table Mountain in terms of climatic changes and things going wrong while hiking the mountain. Even though the walk up Plattekloof George is a relatively easy one even experienced walkers have landed up in trouble in the past so be careful no matter what.

Hope all of the above helps and that you enjoy our city and the Garden Route to the full when you visit us.

Very proudly part of the wonderful nation of South Africa
Selwyn_Davidowitz is offline  
Jan 4th, 2005, 01:59 PM
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 3,501
Hello Annette,

I walked up and down Table Mountain with my brother in January 1995.

I second Selwyn's advice that walking down is as strenuous in its own way as walking up.

We didn't use Platteklip Gorge. I don't know the names of the routes we used. We went up one way and down another way. I just relied on my brother to lead the way, as he is an experienced mountain climber. He has gone up Table Mountain by many routes, some that merely involve walking and others that involve rock climbing.

He claimed to be leading me up a way that only involved walking. He brought a piece of rope with him just in case we needed it for some unforeseen reason. Well, we did end up using the rope in one spot. It was a rocky face that he claimed only involved some scrambling. Yeah right! By my definition it wasn't scrambling; it was rock climbing. We tied the rope around my waist, he went up first and found a good spot to secure himself, and then he held the rope while I climbed. I was terrified, but I did it, and I was jolly proud of myself afterwards. However, in the context of the mountain's overall height, the section that we did that involved rock climbing or scrambling or whatever was a very short section indeed.

I did a Google search and found this website that gives instructions for walking up Platteklip Gorge:

The author of the website echoes Selwyn's safety instructions, and provides additional ones. Please do read the instructions and follow them.

I would add one item that neither Selwyn nor the author of the website has mentioned. Do not wear jeans. I would not even recommend long khaki pants. Wear shorts, jogging suit pants or the kind of pants that have zip on / zip off legs. The reason is that denim is a rather inflexible fabric. In the event that you get yourself into a situation in which you need to climb or scramble or whatever, jeans would make it difficult if not impossible to raise your leg as high as you might need to raise it.

I second Selwyn's advice to join up with other walkers. I would not recommend doing this alone.

Let someone know of your plans, e.g., the staff at your lodgings. Tell them the route you plan to take and the time you expect to return (pad the time to allow for the fact that this exercise may take longer than you expect). Ask them to send for help if you fail to return.

Taking a cell phone, as Selwyn suggested, would help too of course.

Set out in the morning. You don't want to go late in the day, have things go wrong, and then find yourself stuck on the mountain overnight in mist or rain. When the tablecloth descends on the mountain, it can be surprisingly cool, regardless of how hot it is elsewhere.

Judy_in_Calgary is offline  
Jan 4th, 2005, 10:23 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 6
Thanks Judy and Selwyn (again). I really appreciate the help.
u5000 is offline  
Jan 6th, 2005, 05:47 AM
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 3,501
Hello u5000,

I found a website with photos of someone walking up Platteklip Gorge. The pix will give you an idea of what it's like:
Judy_in_Calgary is offline  

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