The Agama Walk: a 30-minute whirl around the top of Table Mountain

The Agama Walk: a 30-minute whirl around the top of Table Mountain

image The southern rock agama. Photo courtesy flowcomm

The Agama Walk is arguably the most popular trail on Table Mountain. It’s easily completed in around 30 minutes, and gives you 360° views of Cape Town and the Cape Peninsula.

The route is clearly signposted and level, meaning just about anyone can tackle it without breaking a sweat. It’s a little longer than the 15-minute Dassie Walk and allows you to truly appreciate the beauty and biodiversity of the summit.

The walk is named after the agama lizard – a small insectivore with a long tail and often striking colours. Agamas are the most common lizards in Africa, and you can spot some of the 12 species found in this country on Table Mountain. The southern rock agama population is the most abundant – don’t be surprised if you run into one or two of these dragon-like creatures sunning themselves on a rock next to the path.

Unlike most other lizard species, agamas don’t shed their tails. They grow anywhere from 12.5 to 30 centimetres long and can sprint away from danger on their powerful hind legs when they feel threatened. During the mating season, the colour of males’ heads can change to a brilliant blue or an angry red. These scaly, spiny little critters make for great photo opportunities along the walk named after them!

The Agama Walk also showcases some of the abundant fauna and flora that Table Mountain is famous for. It’s great for bird watching and you might even be lucky enough to spot a klipspringer (the namesake of the longest trail on Table Mountain) or a porcupine on your stroll. As you amble along the pathway, why not examine some of almost 1 500 plant species on the mountain? Fynbos is plentiful and South Africa’s national flower, the protea, is easy to spot.

After half an hour of activity on the walk, you might be tempted to make like an agama and bask – so head off to the Table Mountain Café and find a spot in the sun (or in the warmth if it’s a dreary winter’s day). Luckily, you won’t have to stick to the lizard’s main diet of insects when you’re there …

Remember that you can book return tickets online and avoid the Ticket Office queue – more time to spend at the summit!

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