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Table Mt. - 1 of 7 natural wonders of the world
This is a must visit when you are in Cape Town. Majestic mountains are a landmark of not only Cape Town but the whole of Africa. A cable car takes you up if you cannot spare the 5 hours required for the hike up not to mention the physical fitness required,
The ride on the cable car is by no means inexpensive! It costs 100 Rands for children up to the age of 16 and 205 Rands for adults -- for a two way ride. You could also take a one way ride and chose to hike one way. The last ride is at 5 p.m.. When there is too much fog, the cable cars stop operating. So if you find a clear day, just go for it. It is better to do this early in the day rather than in the evening.
The red hop on and hop off bus takes you up to the cable car station. But you could also take a cab or drive your car up to the cable car station.
Table Mountain at 1,087 meters is probably the key landmark for the city and its prominent plateau disappears beneath a white "table-cloth" of cloud when the southwest wind blows.
It pays to visit it early morning if you get a clear day, we did but by 10am the tablecloth was rolling in.
There is a gondola with a rotating floor that will take you up from the base facilities. The hop on , hop off buses take you to the base or catch the Kloof Nek bus from outside OK Bazaars in Adderley Street. Its well sign posted if driving from downtown.
The views from the top are great in all directions and there are a number of walkways at the top. You can of course walk up a steep track.
Watch the weather at the top, it can change quickly and if the wind gets up, the gondola stops running, you may have to walk down!!.
Put this visit to Table Mountain at the top of your must-do's in Cape Town.
- Hiking and Walking
A table only God could set
You wouldn’t think a ‘table’ this big could possibly have a decorative covering, but that’s exactly what this immense ridge of sandstone has. Looming large (1087 m to be exact) over Cape Town, the lofty plateau has its own cloud cover. The "tablecloth," which gathers quickly across the top and pours down the sides when the wind whips up from the southeast. While you’re trekking Table Mountain’s trails (or sneaking a lift to the top in the cable car, as we did) look out for the recently reintroduced klipspringer, a tiny surefooted antelope that can sometimes be spotted surveying the scene from rocky outcrops. When you get to the top, you almost definitely will see several hyrax. (Sorry, I have no idea what the plural of hyrax might be.)
If you are more adventurous and have the time, I understand that a delightful adventure is to experience extraordinary scenery by hiking the six-day, 97km Hoerikwaggo Trail from Cape Point to Table Mountain, sleeping under canvas as you go.
- Family Travel
- Budget Travel
- Hiking and Walking
Enjoy having the world at your feet!
Wherever you go in Cape Town, Table Mountain dominates the skyline, so what could be more natural than finding out what the city looks like from the top?
The cablecar ride to the top of Table Mountain is yet another 'must do' in Cape Town. One rather perplexing aspect of the ride is that the gondola rotates on the way up, which is great in terms of fairness since everyone gets to see every aspect of the view, but can be a little offputting if you're not expecting it!
Tickets are not cheap - at the time of writing (October 2010) return prices were R180 for adults and R90 for children, with one way tickets costing just over half that (for energetic souls wanting to walk the other way). There is a small discount for online booking and a slightly larger discount for SAN Wild Card holders - and of course, the advantage of online booking is that you don't have to join a horrendous queue at the ticket office (although you will still have to queue for the cablecar itself). Despite the hefty cost, it is an amazing experience, and well worth the money, especially if you have the time to linger at the top. Once there, you can either hike to your heart's content, make friends with the resident dassies and lizards, have a bite to eat (either at the cafe or a picnic, if you're an organised soul or trying to economise to lessen the impact of the ticket price!) or just gaze down at the world at your feet.
It is really not worth going up the mountain if the 'table cloth' is down as you won't see anything but cloud, and on these days, it often doesn't run at all. Indeed, if you're wanting to hike at the top (and there is an excellent network of footpaths which crisscross the mountain, several of which start from the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens), ascending on misty days it could be downright dangerous, as it would be easy to walk off the edge in thick cloud.
The corollary of this is that everyone wants to go up when the weather is good, and as a result, the queues can be very long. My suggestion is to avoid busy periods (school holidays, public holidays and weekends) if you can and either go early or late.
To save on time and money, one really good idea is to take advantage of the Sunset Special ticket which allows you to use the Cableway at half-price from 18h00 (R90 for adults return and R45 for children under 18 return). This year, the offer runs for 1 November 2010 until the end of February 2011. You can only buy the Sunset Special ticket from the ticket office at the Lower Cable Station - I have yet to do this, but it sounds brilliant!
You could also consider the Cocktail Sunset Special (including a return Cableway ticket, a savoury snack basket or a cheeseboard, and a glass of sparkling wine or a cocktail), which costs R165 per person. Another alternative is the Table Mountain Café Sunset Special, includes a return Cableway ticket, a picnic hamper or a buffet meal, dessert and a free glass of wine for R195 per person. Both of these offers can only be booked online - I have no idea of the quality (or amount) of the food, but it is certainly a convenient arrangement for those who have not got the time and/or organisational skills to bring a picnic.
There is one other way to enjoy the mountain, even if you don't go up in the cable car. At night, the mountain is floodlit - disastrous for the municipal electricity bill, but beautiful from the V&A Waterfront!
Go to the top of Table...
Go to the top of Table Mountain (Tafelberg). This is an old picture from my childhood album! I was eight at the time and it being the height of Apartheid my brothers and I were not allowed in everywhere (1972-ish).
Obviously I didn't know any details of the visit but you can visit the link below and find out for yourself.
- National/State Park
A table can sometimes wear a tablecloth
Hoerikwaggo... 'mountain in the sea' ... what a land mark!
You can drive up the mountain and then take a cable car which will take you to the top. Unfortunately when was there the cable car was being serviced and was due to be out of action for a few days - when I returned 3 weeks later... the cable car was still out of action!
I drove as far as I was able and the views were wonderful.
You should only go up Table Mountain when it isn't covered by its tablecloth - a cloud covering the top of the mountain. Apparently this happens quite often, but I was lucky enough to have a clear day and sunset on the top of Table Mountain. The views are amazing, just be carefull not to fall off, this happens often to uncareful tourists...
- Hiking and Walking
Hiking at Table Mountain
If you are in Cape Town, you just have to hike on Table Mountain. It's a very long hike upwards, and if you are planning to hike both up and down, be ready for 5-6 hours of hiking. Do not go for it unless you are a habitual hiker on rough terrain, as it's a tough hike and if you get stuck you won't be able to get any help there. There isn't even enough water around there.
But with a little practice, you should be able to do a one way hike, preferably downwards. Take the ropeway to go up and then walk down. It may sound easy but even this is fairly tough on the legs. I was a habitual runner, but the one way hike prevented me from walking for almost 5 days afterwards.
Make sure you carry sufficient food and water and are prepared for both cold and hot weather. It can be quite unpredictable out there.
- Mountain Climbing
- Hiking and Walking
Snow on Table Mountain
Something which is common in Europe, but very rare on Table Mountain is snow. This winter at the start of the FIFA world cup Cape town decided to treat its visitors to this rarety. I have never seen this much snow on the mountain ever.
A Trek around Table Mountain
What a great day we had this day. We did Table Mountain all morning and after lunch did Cape Point and Cape of Good Hope.
If your in Cape Town this is a must do, as you can't be here and not walk on top of the mountain! You can climb up but we took the easy option and took the cable car. The cable car holds allot of people and has a revolving floor so you don't miss out on anything as your going up. To me the mountain didn't look that high when you see it from the ground, but when your on top of it you witness some magnifecent views and breathtaking scenery. It's well worth the ride up.
My tip is also to take some light warm clothes up with you as it can get quite chilly up there, even though it's a lovely hot day. We trekked around quite a bit of the mountain that morning and managed to take some great photos of the scenery. We came back to where we started out and had a light lunch and some champagne to celebrate!
We also saw the Rock Dassies running around up there, I had never seen these animals before, but a common sight on Table Mountain.
- Adventure Travel
- Mountain Climbing
Table Mountain substitute
Climbing the Table Mountain is a legendary experience. Unfortunately, it is done by cable car and the cable car as any other piece of complicated machinery needs time for maintenance every year. Predictably, this is the winter season when there are less tourists but it is not immediately clear that this is the case since winter in South Africa coincides with summer in Europe where most of the visitors come from (if South African are excluded). The other option is to climb Signal Hill in times of misfortune that is. It can be reached by taxi which ends up not that cheap as the look suggests because of the geography and the road that follows it. Once there unless you are prepared to pay double for the waiting taxi, the only way down is on foot. Do not count on hitchhikes – they are not en vogue in this country. Hiking down on a pleasant day is doable and even recommendable. There seem to be no risks of muggings along the route.
- Budget Travel
The Cable Car
The cable car up to the top of Table Mountain first started running on 4 Oct 1929. The cable car company is planning some specials to celebrate it's 75th anniversary but do not hold your breath too much.
It is a wonderfull experience to go up to the mountain and then walk around and a definate must for all visitors because the view is just fantastic.
This picture was taken Saturday 1 Oct 2004 from the cable car and you can see Lion's head to the left.
Cost: Adult R125.00
How do you go up Table Mountain?
I guess there's 2 ways of doing it ---Hike up or ride the cable car. Since I am an old old man, I chose the latter. But either way, you have to go up this magnificent mountain!
The cable car I took to go up Table Mountain is called The Table Mountain Cableway. When you first get in, you think of where to stand so that you can get the best views.
BUT, DON'T WORRY! Just stand anywhere because the amazing thing is that this is a ROTATING cablecar --- it rotates through 360 degrees during the ascent or descent, giving a panoramic view over the city. So, no matter you stand, you get your fair share of the view!
The cablecar was built starting 1926 (opened 1929) and currently takes passengers from the lower cable station on Tafelberg Road, about 302 m above sea level, to the plateau at the top of the mountain. The unique features added in 1997 were the new capacity of 65 passengers (instead of the original of only 25) and the ability to rotate (as mentioned).
But if you want to hike up, you will need about 2-3 hours of strenuous walking through the Platteklip Gorge. The walk up starts just east of the lower cable station.
BUT REMEMBER THAT MUGGINGS/RAPE have been reported in going up Table Mountain --- and unless you are a Kung Fu Black Belt, you might have to reconsider walking...
Another route is more scenic but steeper through the Skeleton Gorge which starts at Kirstenboasch Botanical Gardens...Then when going down, take the Nursery Ravine. Be sure you bring WATER!!! And maybe a cellphone...
It seems to be too much trouble to hike, so just enjoy the cablecar -- it was fast and gives you more time to see other great places in Cape Town!
- Family Travel
- Mountain Climbing
- Adventure Travel
Climbing the mountain
BRING LOADS OF WATER. Whether you are an avid climber or just hiking the platterklip (Which I believe is the easiest route).. you are going to be so thirsty. Its quite hard work. We actually ended up drinking from a stream dripping from a rock... hygienic i know.
We were a tad afraid to climb the mountain as there was alot of talk of muggings through the trails.. but we had no trouble at all. Try and go early in the day.. and remember that the weather on the mountain can change very quickly. One minute u will be roasting to death and the next you are freezing. Bring a layer or two of clothing.
I'm pretty sure this has already been mentioned.. but make sure you check the upcoming weather conditions as the cable car may not run during nasty conditions. You don't want to get stuck up there.
You will be surprised how un-flat the top of table mountain actually is! The scenary is beautiful... Try and catch a sunset if you can! Unfortunatly i never got to, but i hear its unreal.
Do NOT hike down Table Mountain. It is very dangerous. Yes, you dont need a whole day fr the mountain, as long as you come down on the cable car. You will nee a full day for the wine farms. It is beautiful and scenic.
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