Spending the night on top of the iconic Table Mountain is probably one of the most exciting and breathtaking activities I’ve done during my stay in Cape Town. This famous, natural world wonder is well-known for its various hiking trails boasting incredible views of the surrounding mountains and the city down below. However, after a hike, actually bunkering down for the night takes the experience to a new level.
As a German in Cape Town, a friend an I had the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to do what most South Africans haven’t even done yet – hike up Table Mountain and then spend the night sleeping in a cosy hut on the summit. This hut is owned by the Mountain Club of South Africa and is only accessible to club members. They’re allowed to bring up two guests. And luckily, we made friends with two members! All they needed to do was check availability, book and pay a deposit at the Cape Town office (it’s R75 per guest). So please do note that the hut is only available for members and their guests, not for commercial use.
Sleeping in a cozy hut on Table Mountain
Straight after work in the afternoon, we headed to the Kasteelspoort starting point in Camps Bay. This is one of the most beautiful trails heading up to Table Mountain, offering sweeping views of the coastline, Lion’s Head and the Twelve Apostles. The hike is moderate in difficulty, but does get challenging in parts, and takes about 1.5 hours to get to the hut. It was a warm and sunny day, and as we reached the top, we were privileged to witness a spectacular sunset amongst the pure beauty of nature.
But as soon as the sun goes down, the temperature drops. Heading inside the modest hut, it was equipped with a small wood-fired oven and wooden benches. So we huddled up in front of the heat and prepared our delicious, gourmet, post-hike supper – spaghetti with tomato sauce! The hut also has crockery and mattresses, but guests need to bring their own sleeping bag or blanket, food, and wood for the oven. There is no electricity either, so a flashlight comes highly recommended – thankfully, though, there is a toilet next to the main hut. You’re also welcome to search for WiFi or even signal, but you’ll be doing so in vein. Rather, just enjoy the peaceful break from modern society.
The night was filled with interruptions. We set an alarm to wake up every two hours so we could add wood to the oven and stay warm the whole night. But the lack of sleep was utterly worth it when we woke up to the most breathtaking view of the sunrise. The sky was dipped in light pink, and we took time to soak up the view and the deep sense of calm before making our way back down. The descent took just over an hour, and again it was amazing to see the exquisite view over Camps Bay in the morning light.
Sleeping atop Cape Town’s most famous landmark was a truly special and unforgettable experience for us. We’re thrilled we did it and would recommend it to others should they know someone with membership. However, if you’re unable to stay in the hut, check out the Table Mountain Guided Hike – it’s just as incredible during the day.