Monday, March 5, 2012

Visiting Table Mountain

One of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World. Situated within an Unesco World Heritage Site. Part of a National Park. Not just one of Cape Towns most iconic landmarks, but also one of South Africa's.   Who I am? Sound like a question from a game show with the obvious answer being Table Mountain.   Now I hope nobody got it wrong though. Table Mountain was on the top of our list of places to visit while in Cape Town just like it is on the list of every international visitor to the Mother City.

The family was excited, the weather perfect with no clouds in sight and the queue was long.  Mind you, the week between Christmas and New Year is peak holiday season and the busiest tourism time in the city so perhaps not the the easiest time to visit Table Mountain.  BUT, the wait is absolutely worth it.  After inching along waiting for our turn we boarded the cable car that takes visitors from the Lower Cable Station (363m above sea level) to the top (1067m above sea level).  Each cable car has a capacity of 65 people and in the five minutes it takes to get to the top the floor of the cable car rotates 360° so that everybody can have a view in all directions.  This also eliminates a lot of pushing and shoving for the best spot when boarding.


Chaos Boy leading the way on one of the wheelchair friendly walkways

Once you get to the top of the mountain the best way to take in the mountain itself as well as the fabulous views that are on offer is to take one of the various trails.  We, like most people, did the shorter Dassie Walk while there is also the thirty-minute Agama Walk and the longer Klipspringer Walk to choose from.  The short walk is very easy for both young and old visiting the mountain and to top that its also wheelchair friendly.


Drama Princess admiring the view over Clifton and Camps Bay

The Table Mountain range is home to 1 460 different species of plants (mostly Fynbos) as well as little animals like Rock Hyrax (commonly known as dassies), mongooses, lizards, snakes (although chances are slim that you will see them on top of the mountain with all the people about) and butterflies.  Birders may be able to spot several indigenous bird species like Redwinged Starlings, Cape Verreaux’s Eagles, Rock Kestrels and Sunbirds.  But most visitors go for the view and what an magnificent view it is!

One a clear day from the right spot one can see just about all the way down to Cape Point, but in general you have spectacular vistas over the city, Clifton, Sea Point, the V&A Waterfront, Table Bay, Robben Island, the Cape Flats and the Cape Peninsula.  You will also see Lion’s Head, Signal Hill and Devil’s Peak mountains while on the western side there is a great view of the Twelve Apostles.


Whenever I visit Cape Town I just can't take my eyes off Table Mountain.  She's like that sexy lady in the bikini lying on the towel just in front of you on the beach, you just can't help but to look.  Even though I have never lived in Cape Town, I get home sick when I see "my" mountain and getting the chance to visit the top of the mountain again and being able to share it with the kidz for the first time was wonderful.
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Our visit up Table Mountain was made possible by the Table Mountain Aerial Cableway.  You can find them on Facebook as well as Twitter for regular updates about what is happening at the mountain, weather conditions and wether the mountain is open.

7 comments:

  1. My offer to take you up the India Venster route still stands ...

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  2. Gorgeous photos of one of my favourite places in the whole world... does make me miss Cape Town so much. I was lucky to live within view of the mountain for 9 of the happiest years of my life :-)

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  3. Table Mt was definitely one of the highlights of my ZA trip. Sure wish I'd had the kind of clear skies you did. Yet I can see the tablecloth in that last shot. Next time I'll hike up instead of waiting in the Q 2 hours.

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  4. It truly is an awesome experience, isn't it? Believe it or not, even though I've lived in the Western Cape for 30 years, I've only been up the mountain a handful of times. Shocking, I know, but your post has made me determined to fit in another trip soon.

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  5. Stunning shots. It really is a wonderful experience! Can almost feel that sun and hear the cicadas...

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  6. Stunning shots. It really is a wonderful experience! Can almost feel that sun and hear the cicadas...

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  7. Superb panoramic photographs - you should be in the travel industry ;)
    What a beautiful day you had!!!

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