Table Mountain Cape Town
Over the years, the image of Table Mountain has become one of South Africa's most famous landmarks. This picturesque sandstone plateau rises up to a height of 1085 meters above sea level. The top is approximately 3 km wide and the surrounding mountain side is home to an immense diversity of fauna and flora. The unique shape of the mountain with its flat top makes it very distinguishable from the surrounding mountains and the magnificent sight of the towering blue mountain can be seen from virtually anywhere in Cape Town, further enhancing this cosmopolitan city's beauty.
For many, the Table Mountain experience is simply about getting to the top. The breathtaking views
of the bay and of the city are hard to beat and the whole experience gives you the feeling of being
on top of the world. Once at the top, you will be able to purchase refreshments, enjoy a meal or
even send a postcard to a relative. Or you can enjoy some of the short mountain top walks and get
more familiar with the local flora. The local dassies (rock hyrax) are quite friendly and will
take tidbits from visitors. It should be remembered, however, that this curious little creature
is wild and attempting to touch or cuddle the creatures is not recommended as they may retaliate
out of fear.
Getting there is another part of the experience. Most people take the revolving cable car up the
side of the mountain. The cableway was opened in 1929 and it carries approximately 600 000 people
to the top of the mountain every year. You may need to pre-book if attempting to ride the cable car
during the holiday season. If you would prefer a more adventuresome way up the mountain, there are
over 100 scenic ways to get to the top. Walking and rock climbing are very popular but are also very
challenging. Whatever you choose, remember to take a jacket as temperatures at this height can be
somewhat extreme and can also change very suddenly. If you have a choice, the best time to make your
way up the mountain is when it is clear and sunny. However the thick, curling layer of cloud – Table
Mountain’s ‘table cloth’ – can descend at any time and usually does so within a matter of mere minutes.
Once back at the foot of the mountain, you may be prompted to explore some of the mountains amazing
diversity. Here you will find approximately 1470 plant species as well as a vast array of natural
wildlife. Some of the wildlife, such as the Table Mountain Ghost Frog, is unique to this geographical
wonder and is not found anywhere else in the world. The area surrounding the foot of the mountain
has been designated as a wildlife reserve. Walking trails, mountain biking routes and a few car
trails are available to help the public gain access to this truly phenomenal natural paradise. Kloof
Nek, Lion’s Head and Signal Hill make for some superb sight seeing opportunities and Signal Hill has
an interesting historical side to it as well.
Truly, no trip to South Africa would be complete without a visit to Cape Town and the splendid Table