Hiking Table Mountain – India Venster Trail

I briefly talked about hiking Table Mountain in Cape Town, Africa a few weeks ago in my post about my Couchsurfing experience in Cape Town, but I wanted to give you some additional information!

I had researched a few companies and hikes on Trip Advisor and was interested in the India Venster trail.  I had decided to wait until I arrived in Cape Town to make any arrangements, mainly because of weather.  I’m glad I did, because the people I couchsurfed with were able to get their neighbor, Keith, to hike the India Venster trail with me.

India Venster Trail–Table Mountain, Cape Town

It basically traverses up the front of Table Mountain, under the cable car.  We came across the National flower for South Africa on the trail…the beautiful Protea…

Here’s a closer view…

Being a local, he was very familiar with this trail.  I had read that it isn’t marked as well as some of the others and is a little more challenging because of some rock scrambling.  In America it would be considered a Class 3 level for rock climbing.  I was a bit nervous, but wanted a challenge.  There was only one spot on the trail where I was finding spots for my fingers within the rocks and was perched precariously…wondering what I had gotten myself in to!

The Platteklip Gorge is an easier route for those that don’t want a little thrill!

I had arrived to Cape Town from Ohio, North America the day before, but slept well, so I felt up to it.  Luckily, the day was mostly sunny and we had spectacular views!

The view coming down in the cable car….Spectacular!!

Taking Cable Car down from top of Table Mountain

There have been a number of deaths on this trail, with various contributing factors such as…inferior physical fitness level, traversing down is more difficult than going up, rapid weather changes, and others.

I thoroughly enjoyed my hike on Table Mountain!  It was even better than I expected!!

Gariep River, S. Africa

After driving 9 hours on Day one of my G Adventures Africa Overland Truck journey, we set up camp at  Gariep River (Orange River) on the border of S. Africa and Namibia.  It was already dark, so the next morning it was a treat to wake up to this view!


I would’ve shown you the campsite…but the wifi at Lake Malawi was very slow, so I can’t!  Maybe later!

This is the bar that we didn’t use since we only had a few hours that morning before we packed up our tents and drove on to cross the boarder into Namibia, towards our destination of Fish River Canyon.

Stellenbosch & Franschhoek Wine Tour in Cape Town

My last day in Cape Town was spent taking a wine tour of three wineries located in the Stellenbosch & Franschhoek regions.  It was the only rainy day of my four days in Cape Town so I couldn’t complain!  I don’t remember the name of the first winery….but isn’t it beautiful?

There was a small group of about 11 of us on the tour.  We tried a variety of wines to include Pinotage, which is a red wine blend of Pinot Noir and Hermitage.  Chardonnay is my wine of choice, but I really enjoyed the Pinotage.  The South African Rand (their money) is around 7 Rand to $1 U.S.  Wine was quite affordable…usually around $5-$8 a bottle for a nice wine.

A break in the rain afforded this nice view of the area surrounding one of the wineries!

Cheers or “Gesondheid” — pronounced Ge-sund-hate in Africaans!

My camera has a drawing function…I was a little fidgety!

I know two of the wineries were called Rickety Bridges and Laborie.  They were all beautiful!

We stopped in the quaint town of Stellenbosch…

This piece of art was quite unique.  It seemed to be made out of a mixture of dirt, rock, straw and a few other substances.

I had a very nice day tasting wine, meeting new people, and seeing the landscape in Stellenbosch and Franschhoek!

Red Bus City Tour of Cape Town

My four days in Cape Town were just enough time to do the four events I had hoped to see/do.

The first day I hiked up Table Mountain…which I wrote about here.  The second day I took an organized tour of the peninsula of Cape Town, which you can read about here and here.  The third day I took the Red Bus City Tour.  If I remember correctly, it was about $20, but you could hop on and off at different sites around the City.  Before boarding, I took a walk around the Waterfront area of Cape Town.

I only got off the bus once…at St. George’s Cathedral.  I love to take photos of churches and go inside.  This Cathedral is South Africa’s oldest.

There was a small park nearby and I took a few more photos before walking to the next stop.  I love to people watch!  It was fun watching these men taking photos of the pigeons.

I saw this young man and as I was preparing to take his photo, he glanced over at me.  After requesting to take his photo, he got a broad smile and shook his head yes.  I explained I’d prefer a side view…more of a pensive look, so he obliged me.

My fourth day was spent taking a winery tour…so I’ll see you there next!

Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens

As part of my Cape Town Peninsula Tour, we stopped at the lovely Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens.  We had a little less than an hour to tour it, so I broke away from the organized group and tried to cover as much ground as I could!  Although it was a cloudy and at times misty day, the gardens were gorgeous!

I highly recommend seeing the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens if time permits!  Next we’ll take a Red City Bus Tour!!

Cape Town Peninsula Tour

While in Cape Town, S. Africa I went on a day tour of the peninsula of Cape Town.  It covered most of the sites to see while in town.

The weather was beautiful that day and the coastline is spectacular!

The above photo is of Boulder Beach.  There is a colony of penguins located there and I just had to take the following photo of a couple in love!

This range of mountains is called the Twelve Apostles.  There are more than  twelve…so there are a few theories as to why they’re called the Twelve Apostles.

It was quite windy at The Cape of Good Hope, which is the most southern tip on the west coast of Africa.

You can’t help but to fall in love with Cape Town!  It is gorgeous!!  I’d like to thank all of you for your kind comments and wish I had time to respond.  I’ll be writing a post to explain the strenuous time schedule.  I miss talking with you!

Couchsurfing Cape Town

If you’ve never heard of Couchsurfing before… based on my first experience… it’s a wonderful way to learn about a new place.  I stayed with a couple named Odette and Neal in Cape Town, Africa and they were so hospitable!

Neal and Odette

They picked me up at the airport and I even had my own bedroom in their lovely home!

Odette and Neal’s place

They enlisted their neighbor…Keith…to take me hiking to the top of Table Mountain—Amazing!

Indiavestner Trail–Table Mountain, Cape Town

Taking Cable Car down from top of Table Mountain

I ate wonderful home cooked meals with them and they even took me shopping!  I took them out to dine at a sushi restaurant as a token for their kindness.

A fellow blogger, Rory Alexander, met up with us while we were dining.  He has three blogs and I would link to them, but my link isn’t working correctly right now.  He’s an unbelievable photographer!

I’m definitely a fan of Couchsurfing now!