Visiting Table Mountain is a local favourite, with the cable-car having welcomed its 24-millionth visitor to the World Heritage Site in 2015. The uniquely flat-topped mountain from which it gets its name is instantly recognisable and creates a spectacular backdrop to Cape Town. It is not surprising that the mountain was voted as one of the New7Wonders of Nature by the New7Wonders Foundation, as one looks upon the entire city from the top of Table Mountain. 1089 metres high, one has a breathtaking view of the sparkling blue waters of the sea and of the surrounding mountain peaks, and a host of activities allow one to soak in the glory of the view.
Visiting Table Mountain via the Cableway
The Table Mountain Aerial Cableway offers a safe five-minute ride to the summit of Table Mountain via their cable-car. Travelling at a maximum speed of ten metres per second, each cable-car can hold sixty-five people, thus shortening the time spent in queues. It is the fastest and most exciting way to get to the top and was designed so as to allow for a panoramic view – as well as glass windows, the car revolves for maximum viewing ability. Wheelchair accessible and child- friendly, the Cableway makes visiting Table Mountain (all the way to the top!) a possibility for everyone, and travellers cannot leave Cape Town before having done this scenic and iconic tour. With three hiking trails leading from the summit, those who are more athletically inclined may want to take the cable-car up the mountain, and hike down (or vice versa), which is a wonderful way to explore the mountain, and the best way to pore over the diverse flora. The Table Mountain National Park is a rich floristic area, with over 1400 species of plants, including that of the Fynbos – an endangered genus of shrubs and plants that are unique to the Western Cape of South Africa. Exploring the summit also causes much excitement when one stumbles upon the mountain dassies (sometimes called a rock badger) or sees a spectacularly coloured and well-camouflaged lizard bathing in the sun.
The Table Mountain Cafe and Curio Shops
Visiting Table Mountain is a fun and explorative activity for families, but also offers the perfect setting for a romantic date. Couples may prefer taking the later cable-car up the mountain, and then dining with a glass of wine while watching the sunset. The Table Mountain Cafe is a self-service restaurant at the top of the mountain, and has a huge selection of mains, snacks, drinks, and desserts to choose from. There are salads; gourmet sandwiches; pizza slices; pastries; ice-cream; and South African cuisine, as well as beer, wine, and soft drinks. For tourists visiting Table Mountain, the Shop at the Top is a gift shop with memorabilia and curios to remember one’s trip by and for loved ones back home. There is also the Little Shop at the Top, and the Exit Shop should one remember at the last minute that one actually does want a Table Mountain t-shirt!
With a view as wondrous as this one, travellers having reached the top often find themselves wanting to share the breathtaking moment, and can do so by sending a postcard from the top of the mountain peaks. There is something nostalgically poetic about standing at the summit and sending a postcard to someone over the seas, and travellers visiting Table Mountain will be able to send their messages with a unique Table Mountain stamp.