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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
- Adventure Travel
- Mountain Climbing
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.
make sure you phone the table mountain weather line on the morning you want to visit (google table mountain for number) as they stop running in high winds and you may turn up and be disappointed. So don't think of doing that trip on your last day
The cable cars not operate when dangerous wind blowing. Weather conditions permitting, operates every 10 minutes in high season and every 20 minutes in low season. Last car down at 10pm. Best you go in morning on good day
Montain Cycling along Table Mountain
I found out about cycling along Table Mountain from some random surfing on the Web, so a mate & I signed up for this when we visited Cape Town in Dec 2005.
The outfit that does this is called "Downhill Adventures" & their office is located at the top of Kloof Street. They bring you in a van, with the mountain bikes, to the base station at Table Mountain, & then the guide & participants are given mountain bikes.
After a briefing, we cycle & follow the guide along the biking trails along Table Mountain; this is very exhilirating & you can get some really good views of Cape Town from some of the ledges & ridges you cycle along.
Along the way, we stop at a small mountainside pool for a refreshing dip in some really cold water, then we move on to where the trails lead to the start of all the residential areas midway along Table Mountain.
The trails are mostly downhill & this portion is no exception. You get to some really cool & beautiful parts of Cape Town & some superbly-built houses while cycling down.
Eventually we end up at the offices & bike storage area at the company's offices in Kloof Street, rather tired but also having thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.
Its a good way to spend a morning till mid-afternoon, ending off with some refreshing cold beers at some of the pubs along Kloof Street.
Highly recommended, happy cycling everybody !!
- Family Travel
- Road Trip
Going to Table Mountain
As far as Table Mountain, I went there first as part of a tour. We had to wait in line for an hour (in the sunshine) to get tickets and then felt very rushed up on the mountain because of getting back to the tour bus to continue the tour. I went back a few days later after Sunday lunch with a couple friends and it was great because we didn't have to wait in line at all to get tickets and then we were able to stay as long as we wanted to enjoy the views and ambience on top! I highly recommend not going with a tour, but try to plan to go when it might not be too crowded.
No visit to Cape Town is complete without being on Table Mountian. However, getting there is not that easy. You’ll need a car to drive up to the cableway station. And the cableway is not always operating. That happens when the fog is very dense which makes the cableway unsafe to operate and also your view from Table Mountain equal to zero. This thick fog is called the “table cloth” and is one of the nature phenomenons you won’t like to see when it’s the day planned for Table Mountain…
Once on top of Table Mountain, you are able to enjoy the view on the city as well as on the Table Mountain National Park with its rock formations and peaks. The notable ones are called the “Twelve Apostles” to the south, “Lion’s Head” to the west and “Devil’s Peak” to the east. From the cableway station, there are several paths which you can use to explore the flora and fauna on Table Mountain. You can see some of the usual species from therre, like dassies, birds and lizards. For people interested in more animals, a guided tour thrugh the park may be considered.
For most tourists, like me, a 30-minute-stay on top of Table Mountain is chance enough to enjoy the view and see the landscape. Such stays are part of many tours, including the one with Hylton Ross we did. However, the price (130.00 Rand as of 2007) for the cableway is usually not included in such a tour.
- National/State Park
Table Mountain, Cape Town
When you are in Cape Town the one thing that you can't miss is Table Mountain as it is in every photo that you take so you most go and see it all the way to the top you will not be disappointed with the views. If the long walking route is not for you, then take the Cable car as it offers a scenic ride to the top in just a few minutes.
Don't forget to dress warmly as the weather on the top of the mountain can change very quickly so be prepared.
At the top there is a coffee shop beside the cable car stop where you can enjoy your cup of coffee at a mile-high. The highest point is called Maclear's Beacon and is about 1,086m above sea level. The mountain contain more plant species than are found in the entire United Kingdom.
Adult - Return: R130.00 (£8.5)
Student ( With valid student card) - Return: R88.00 (£5.80)
SA Senior Citizens - Return: R68.00 (£4.50)
Children (Under 18 years) - Return: R68.00 (£4.50)
Wild Card Holders - Adult Return: R104.00 (£6.80)
Wild Card Holders - Child Return: R55.00 (£3.60)
First Car Up 08h30
Last Car Up 17h00
Last Car Down 18h00
- Family Travel
Table Mountain of course
The views from the top are amazing. The ride up there is exhilarating whether you choose the rotating cable car or hike up all the way to the top. Make sure you take bottled water if you do the latter.
Don't go with an organized tour because most of your time will be spent on lines which can be long and they rush thru. I was walking fast and still did not see as much of the mountain as I wanted. Forget about inhaling and basking in this wondress glory of a view. Take the red hop on hoff bus instead and do your own tour of the mountain.
Next to Table Mountain is the distinctively shaped mountain slope, called Lions Head. The best place to see this is when you are standing at Robben Eiland and looking at the mountain. This proud lion overlooks the city and Table Bay on one side, and the scenic Atlantic Ocean coastline on the other. On a clear day the views are spectacular and great for taking photographs, particularly of Robben Island. Catch your breath along the steep path while admiring the great views which will inspire you to carry on further. You will wind your way around the lions head until you reach the chains taking you to the very top. The chains are there to assist you as you scramble up a section of rocky faces. They add an element of adventure, but be cautious and take it slowly. Not suitable for young children and the elderly. There is an alternate route to miss the chains but the path is still quite steep.
Starting Point: Signal Hill Road, at the Base of the forestry rd.
Ending Point: As for starting point.
Walk Duration: 2 ½ - 3 hours (Add on for stops)
Type of Terrain: Gravel road, Rocky single track, Steep section with chains to pull yourself up, ladders.
Difficulty: The majority of the walk is steep but easy going. The last section is very steep and you need to use chains to climb up a section of boulders, which increases the difficulty of this walk.
- Hiking and Walking
- National/State Park
Signal Hill is the famous, flat-topped hill located next to Lion's Head. Signal Hill derives its name from the time when it was used as a semaphore post for communication with ships at sea. It is from here that the noon cannon is still fired every day. After dark, the hill is a popular scene for couples wanting to enjoy the romantic sights of the sparkling city lights set against the backdrop of a floodlit Table Mountain.
Signal Hill is well known for the cannon shot at noon. This cannon is operated by the South African Astronomical Observatory. There is a road leading to the summit and it is from this vantage point that stunning views over Cape Town and the surrounding areas can be appreciated. These views are at their most spectacular at dawn or sunset. Signal Hill is the perfect place from which to view Cape Town in all its wonder.
- Budget Travel
- Hiking and Walking
The best views of Cape Town are seen from the top of Table Mountain. The Cableway takes you to the summit in under 10 minutes and the cable car's rotating floor ensure that all passengers get a 360 degree aerial view of the city.
1 March - 31 March
First Car Up 08h00
Last Car Up 18h30
Last Car Down 19h30
Adult - Return: R130.00
The Cape Explorer Topless Bus offers guided tours that drop off at the Lower Cable Station. The 2 hour long tours are on a circular route and drop off points include: Cape Town Tourism, The Cableway, Camps Bay and the V&A Waterfront Clock Tower, Convention Centre, S.A. Museum, Castle and Sea Point. For more information please check their website on http://www.hyltonross.co.za/ (Topless Tours)
- Family Travel
A gift to the earth!
Table Mountain is a flat-topped mountain forming a prominent landmark overlooking the city of Cape Town. It is a significant tourist attraction, with many visitors using the cableway to take a ride to the top. The mountain forms part of the Table Mountain National Park.
The main feature of Table Mountain is a level plateau approximately 3 kilometres (2 miles) from side to side, surrounded by steep cliffs. The plateau, flanked by Devil's Peak to the east and by Lion's Head to the west, forms a dramatic backdrop to Cape Town and its Table Bay harbour, and together with Signal Hill form the natural amphitheatre of the City Bowl.
The highest point on Table Mountain is towards the eastern end of the plateau and is marked by Maclear's Beacon, a stone cairn built in 1865 by Sir Thomas Maclear for trigonometrical survey. It is 1,086 metres (3,563 ft) above sea level, about 19 metres (62 ft) higher than the cable station at the western end of the plateau.
The flat top of the mountain is often covered by cloud spilling over the top to form the "table cloth."
Table Mountain is at the northern end of a sandstone mountain range that forms the spine of the Cape Peninsula. To the south of the main plateau is a lower part of the range called the Back Table. On the Atlantic coast of the peninsula, the range is known as the Twelve Apostles. The range continues southwards to Cape Point.
Antonio de Saldanha was the first European to land in Table Bay. He climbed the mighty mountain in 1503 and named it 'Table Mountain'.
The Table Mountain Cableway 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 upper cable station offers views overlooking Cape Town, Table Bay and Robben Island to the north, and the Atlantic seaboard to the west and south.
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