Table Mountain National Park is a natural World Heritage Site, Natural New 7 Wonder of the World, and a must-see for anyone stepping foot in Cape Town. Stretching from Signal Hill in the north, to Cape Point in the south, the mountain chain is home to the world’s smallest, yet most diverse floral kingdom, The Cape Floristic Region.
As the Table Mountain National Park is made up of mountains, beaches, forests, and oceans, there is plenty to do, see, and experience; from beautiful forest walks and adventure activities to scenic picnic sites and day-visit spots. Because the park receives in excess of 4.2 million visits per year, activity permits are required for many activities. Only 3 of the park’s access points are controlled and require a conservation fee, namely Cape of Good Hope, Boulders Penguin Colony, and Silvermine.
Places of interest
- Cape Point, Cape of Good Hope
- Boulders Penguin Colony
- Table Mountain
- Signal Hill and Lions Head
- Hiking. Popular hikes up Table Mountain such as Platteklip Gorge, Nursery Ravine, and Skeleton Gorge are fairly strenuous, while Silvermine, the Cape of Good Hope, and Constantiaberg are easier.
- Overnight hiking trails include Hoerikwaggo and the Cape of Good Hope.
- Fishing/extractive diving. To purchase recreational fishing permits, please contact your local South African Post Office. An annual My Activity Permit Level 3 or 4 is also required.
- Dog walking. TMNP is one of the few National Parks where dog walking is permitted; however, it is restricted to limited areas.
- Free guided walks at Cape Point.
- Scuba Diving. Particularly rewarding are the numerous wrecks scattered along the coastline as well as the 6 restricted areas ("no take" zones) that have been established as breeding and nursery areas for marine species. Popular dive sites include the Maori wreck off the Sentinel in Hout Bay, Oudekraal on the Atlantic Seaboard, and Miller's Point and Smitswinkel in False Bay.
- Mountain biking. Because of the high impact on the environment, mountain biking is only permitted in designated areas. Popular routes include Tokai and Silvermine.
- Surfing, windsurfing, and kite boarding. Reefs, rocky points, beaches, and open ocean swell provide numerous breaks in different conditions. Tow-in surfing is only permitted in Dungeons, Outer Boneyard, and Sunset's (off Kommetjie) and only if wave swell is 5m or more. Relevant permits are required for tow-in surfing.
- Rock/sport climbing. As it is a high impact sport, designated climbing areas are outlined in the Environmental Management Plan.
- Hang gliding/paragliding. Designated launch areas including Lion's Head and Silvermine.
- Horse riding. Popular areas include Tokai, Noordhoek Beach, and Black Hill.
- Forest walks. Popular walks include Newlands Forest, Orange Kloof in Hout Bay, and Echo Valley and Spes Bona on the Muizenberg mountains.
- Picnic/braai areas include Buffels Bay, Bordjiesdrif, Glen and Deer Park, Oudekraal, Newland's, Perdekloof, Silvermine, and Tokai. Please note that braaing is often banned due to high winds. Dogs and music are prohibited.