DIAGONAL

INFORMATION

Length: 6.1km
Elevation gain: 704m
Required time: 4-5 Hours
Route type: Loop
Difficulty level: Intermediate
Price: R1,750

Nestled on the western fringes of Cape Town, the Twelve Apostles mountain range presents an awe-inspiring backdrop to the city’s coastal beauty. Amidst this dramatic landscape lies a lesser-known gem for hiking enthusiasts—the Diagonal Hike on the Twelve Apostles side of Table Mountain.

diagonal cave view

THE ROUTE

The hike starts from Theresa Avenue. Surrounded by the rugged beauty of the Twelve Apostles and overlooking the azure expanse of the Atlantic, hikers are quickly immersed in the natural grandeur that characterises this side of Table Mountain.

As hikers ascend, the Diagonal Hike unfolds like a geological tapestry, showcasing the unique formations that define Table Mountain hikes. The sandstone cliffs of the Twelve Apostles reveal layers of sedimentary rock, shaped by the forces of time, wind, and water.

This includes the sublime Diagonal Cave which can be found about one third of the way up. A great photo opportunity indeed!

As one continues around the bend from the cave you’ll find yourself in Porcupine ravine which forms the middle section of this hike. It’s steep and unrelenting. Your fitness will most certainly be put to the test on this section.

After about 400 metres of ascending in the ravine, one moves right and traverses two incredible buttresses, thereafter moving up and topping out. At this point we usually turn right and walk along the top of the mountain and descend via Kasteelspoort.

The other option is to turn left and walk through the Valley of the Gods and across to the Cable Way. It is roughly a 1.5 hour hike along the top.

view from porcupine ravine

FAUNA AND FLORA

The Twelve Apostles side of Table Mountain boasts a diverse range of flora and fauna, adding an extra layer of fascination to the Diagonal Hike.

Hikers may encounter an array of fynbos species, including the unique and colorful proteas that thrive in this rugged environment. Birdwatchers will appreciate the opportunity to spot sunbirds and raptors soaring above the cliffs.

Keep an eye out for the dassies, small rock hyraxes endemic to the region, often spotted sunbathing on the rocks. These charming creatures add a touch of wildlife intrigue to the hiking experience.