Skeleton Gorge hike

Table Mountain. Skeleton Gorge. Kirstenbosch botanical gardens. things to do in Cape Town. Hiking Cape Town. Adventures. Cape Town lifestyle.

 

There is no better place to start a hike than from the world renowned Kirstenbosch botanical Gardens. The vast 36 hectare gardens are nestled at the foot of Table Mountain; it is the most famous of the nine gardens that covers five out the six South African biomes. Kirstenbosch is the host to over 7000 different plant species, it puts its focus on indigenous vegetation to South Africa, and particularly emphasizes on the flora naturally found in the Cape area. You can spend hours, even a full day wandering through the gardens’ various hidden paths, the Enchanted Forest, the stunning array of Proteas… Not to mention the luscious soft green grass and the beautiful surrounding flowers and decorative statues make for an idyllic picnic spot or an incredibly relaxing setting for a good read or even a cat nap. Getting lost within the Kirstenbosch Gardens is a must. You will definitely need and surely want to come again in order to experience the entire splendour these gardens have to offer.

From there we start ascending on a nature trail called Skeleton Gorge. Apparently it was named this way because a skeleton was once found along the path by a hiker… Otherwise it is also know as the Smuts’ trail, named after late Prime Minister Jan Smuts, a botanist at heart, who used this route regularly.

Table Mountain. Skeleton Gorge. Kirstenbosch botanical gardens. things to do in Cape Town. Hiking Cape Town. Adventures. Cape Town lifestyle.
There are many possible trails you can take in order to reach the top of Table Mountain. So far, Skeleton Gorge has been our absolute favorite route. The trail is not only beautiful with its waterfalls in winter, its ravines, the beautiful views of the Cape Peninsula etc… but because it gets a little technical, it is also such an exciting and fun hike to do!

Considering that this is a hike to the top of the Table, be advised that it is best to have a pretty decent fitness level. The trail approximately ranks at a 3/3 difficulty level.

Table Mountain. Skeleton Gorge. Kirstenbosch botanical gardens. things to do in Cape Town. Hiking Cape Town. Adventures. Cape Town lifestyle.

 

~ On Top Of Table Mountain ~

Table Mountain. Skeleton Gorge. Kirstenbosch botanical gardens. things to do in Cape Town. Hiking Cape Town. Adventures. Cape Town lifestyle.

Once you reach the top there are once again many different options of routes you can choose to get back down. It all depends on where you want to end up and how much your legs are aching (the sweetest pain in the world). The options include either hiking back down or walking across the Table and hopping on the rotating cable car. We opted to hike down Nursery Ravine which would eventually lead us back to Kirstenbosch gardens. Nursery Ravine is such a stunning trail offering magnificent views of the gardens and the surrounding suburbs. It starts off flat and walks you through the rocky top of Table Mountain until you reach stairs. From then on the trail is very straight forward, heading directly back to our starting point in Kirstenbosch. This trail is considered to be one of the easier slopy ones but do expect to feel a little burn the next day. Although most of all you’ll definitely feel great after having accomplished this half-to-full day hike.

Table Mountain. Nursery Ravine. Skeleton Gorge. Kirstenbosch botanical gardens. things to do in Cape Town. Hiking Cape Town. Adventures. Cape Town lifestyle.             < Descending Nursery Ravive

Table Mountain. Skeleton Gorge. Kirstenbosch botanical gardens. things to do in Cape Town. Hiking Cape Town. Adventures. Cape Town lifestyle.

 

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Nature trail hike near Llandudno, Cape Town

Right past Llandudno in Suikerbossie, (sugar bush from Afrikaans), there is a gorgeous trail, a little hidden gem. A parking lot is situated right at the base of the route making it ideal for convenience. You begin by climbing up a few natural stone stairs to get the blood flowing.

Cape town forest. Hiking in Cape Town. Llandudno. Hout Bay. Suikerbossie. Nature trail. What to do around cape town.The trail starts on a dirt track in the midst of tall skinny pine trees. Unexpectedly, the path then leads to a narrow but open trail with magnificent views of Hout Bay and the back of Table Mountain. All of a sudden you are transported from a silent and enchanting woodland, to a colorful and diverse fynbos forest. The surrounding vegetation seems to be made of the entire range of all possible shades of green and an uncountable number of different plant species, resulting in a luscious, vibrant and breathtaking landscape. A true feast to the eyes. The trail continues like this for a while, passing through ravines that give off a certain jungle vibe- the abundance of monkey vines and the loud sound of crickets and birds chirping away, until it finally makes its way back to the starting point.

Hout Bay views. Back of Table Mountain. What to do in summer in Cape Town. Hout Bay market. Hout Bay beach. Suikerbossie trail. Fynbos. Proteas. Sugar birds.

The trail branches out all along the way providing many different options for each and every level of fitness or interest. We chose to follow this stunning open path till it met up with the nearby estate and then took the same way back. We were stunned by the views once again, as coming back in the other direction with the sun slowly setting offered us a completely different experience of the trail we had just hiked.

All in all we adored this hike. It is very versatile and is easy to customize to every one’s likings and capabilities.

 

Cape Town beaches. Best beaches in Cape Town. Tourism in Cape Town. Hout Bay. Hout Bay market. Things to do in Cape Town during summer.

 

And of course we ended the day with an icy cold beer and a refreshing swim at Hout Bay beach, which is also right around the corner.

Cheers!