Table Mountain, the natural wonder of Cape Town

Table Mountain, the natural wonder of Cape Town

Table Mountain

Silhouetted against the African sky lies a 260-million-year-old flat-topped mountain called Table Mountain. Rising like a goddess from the centre of the famed beautiful city of Cape Town in South Africa, this majestic mountain lies at a height of ‎1,084.6 m (3,558 ft). Admiral Antonio de Saldanha, a 16th century Portuguese navigator was the first person to ascend the mountain and gave it the name Taboa da caba, meaning ‘table of the cape’.  Table Mountain forms part of the Table Mountain National Park which was recognised in 2012 as one of the 'New7Wonders of Nature' and it also boasts of the UNESCO heritage status.  

The mountain's charm lies in the two beautiful peaks on either side of it. Lions Head is situated on the right and Devil's Peak on the left. The Twelve Apostles peaks, further along, adds to its beguiling charm.  The mountain's grand edifice commands a presence in the Mother City, making it a picturesque attraction for besotted tourists and revered by devoted locals. 

It is said that the Table Mountain appeared due to the forced lifting of air by the earth’s topography and the flat top was formed by horizontal layers of sandstone exposed to strong wind and water erosion. 

The mountains rich biodiversity is home to approximately 2,000 different species of fynbos (a wide variety of plant species) including a variety of fauna and flora that are endemic. The plentiful vegetation consists of disa orchids, different species of daisies, and silver trees. Creatures like tahrs (Himalayan goats), dassies (small, rabbit-like animals) porcupines, water mongoose and small antelope roam happily in their mountainous habitat. 

No other place will give you two heritage sites in close proximity to each other ie. the infamous Robben Island that imprisoned political prisoners during apartheid and the majestic Table Mountain. The views from the summit are magnificent.

Getting to the top of the mountain is very easy. During good weather, cable cars depart every 10 to 15 minutes to the top. The journey by cable car takes approximately five minutes. 

As the gondolas rotate through 360 degrees, the journey is full of joie de vivre. The view of the beautiful Mother City and the stunning peninsula are breathtaking. Equally breathtaking is an awesome ‘tablecloth’ cloud covering the mountain when the southeasterly wind blows hard. 

Hiking is a spectacular way to get to the top of the edifice and only takes about three hours. Sightseeing buses or shuttle service from the parking lot transports hiking enthusiasts to the bottom of the mountain. Mountain trails can be found meandering through the amazing scenery of the blue ocean beneath or the national park. Five dams at the top of the mountain built from 1897 to 1907 to supply water to Cape Town make perfect picnic spots. Refreshments can also be purchased from a restaurant on the summit.  The adventurous traveller will enjoy abseiling.  

The summer sunsets around the Table Mountain are spectacularly beautiful when the African sun sets late into the cool nights. 

The breathtaking views will enthral as you catch the enchanting sunset radiating its charm over Camps bay.Hand in hand, you and your beloved can chase the sun across the mountain peaks whilst the fading sun hovers, dips and then disappears over the Camps Bay ocean with the ingenuous twilight settling in. Whilst the solemn Mother City dims its lights and caterpillars into a lull, the majestic Table Mountain drifts into a short slumber until dawn breaks and the next ardent climber hovers on the horizon.   

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