Cape Town’s Table Mountain National Park, which hugs the perimeter of the city, is so popular that the line for the cable car to the top can be longer than a queue for a Disneyland ride. But why stand in line when you can put your feet to use? There are several routes that lead to the top of the 3,562-foot, flat-topped mountain, including the two-mile Platteklip Gorge trail. Yes, it’s steep, but startling views of the city and the Atlantic await. Trek, get hungry, then picnic on local provisions—crackers, Dutch-style Gouda, and biltong, the thick-sliced South African jerky—before riding the cable car back down.
Table Mountain Aerial Cableway
Within a few short minutes of boarding the Aerial Cableway, you’re soaring 9,800 feet above Cape Town and Table Bay. The car rotates as it moves, giving everyone inside a 360-degree view. At the summit, there’s a restaurant, an adorable souvenir shop, and an ice cream kiosk housed inside an old converted cable car. If you love to hike, you can test your skills by walking up the mountain and then rewarding yourself with a snack and a glide back down to earth. The cableway operates most days of the year and runs from 8 a.m. until the last car leaves the top station at 7 p.m.
Table Mountain and Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden
Board the “aerial cableway” and you’ll soon be climbing 765 meters (2,510 feet) to the top of Table Mountain, with views of the city and Table Bay. The car rotates on its ascent, giving everyone a 360-degree view. At the summit, there is a good restaurant and a shop selling snacks and souvenirs. Many visitors hike up the mountain and catch the cable car down, or vice versa. There are also numerous shorter walks from the cable-car station. The cableway is in service most of the year, and runs from 8 a.m. until the last car leaves the top station at 7 p.m. Bordering Table Mountain National Park, the world-famous Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden, founded in 1913, includes 90 acres of landscaped grounds, a greenhouse, a restaurant and a store selling plants and gardening items. The garden also hosts a popular series of summer concerts.
Take a Cable Car to one of the World's Seven Wonders
Table Mountain is one of those rare super touristy experiences that is absolutely worth it. The mountain range, which hugs the city, is open to the public via a cable car (book online to avoid lines). From the top, you can hike about a mile of trails along the peaks with epic views of the surrounding areas.
Hike Table Mounntain
It’s a must-do, but wear comfortable shoes, bring bottles of water, and pack sunscreen. We finished climbing to the top in an hour and a half, thankful that they’ve made it easy for the non-experienced hikers with a rugged-rock staircase from start to finish. However, that does not mean that it wasn’t challenging but the views as you rise in elevation are worth the effort. Reaching the top, we treated ourselves to a carb-heavy meal at the Table-Mountain Cafe and a air-conditioned cable car ride down the mountain.
New Year's Eve on Table Mountain
Table Mountain is not only a must-see Cape Town attraction and one of the best places to watch the sunset in the city, it’s also a very unique place to spend New Year’s Eve. The rotating cable car whisks you up to the flat top of the mountain where a small restaurant and visitor shop are located. After bidding farewell to the final sunset of the year, the temperatures drop. Find a nook on the rocky, “city bowl” side of the park and watch the city lights begin to twinkle. At midnight, everyone on the mountain joins in a countdown, culminating with the tiniest of fireworks bursting over the V&A Waterfront and around the suburbs sprawling in front of you. Huddling under fleece blankets while sipping bubbly on top of a mountain makes for an incredibly memorable New Year’s Eve. Cable car tickets in the summer are half-price after 6pm. Drive yourself or pre-book a cab on New Year’s Eve to pick you up. The cable car station is a very long walk to/from the city, with no shoulder in parts, so walking this route at night is not recommended.
Southern Africa Travel Tips - Table Mountain
While many cities around the world are famous for their city skyline, Cape Town’s skyline is made up of one particularly interesting feature, known as Table Mountain. The hill is absolutely breathtaking both on top and viewed from below. It is a piece of natural beauty that provides the backdrop for this beautiful city, and a great place to relax on a clear day. Presently there are laws protecting the hill, and even about how tall buildings are allowed to be around it, so the view of the hill is fairly un-obstructed There are really two different phases to Table Mountain, there is the hill you see on a clear day, and then there’s the hill with a beautiful white cloud covering the top (known as the Table Cloth). If you’re planning to visit Table Mountain, you can only go up when the Table Cloth is gone. Since the cloth is fairly unpredictable, it’s a good idea to plan on going up as soon as possible, but have alternative plans in case you can’t. The Table Mountain website has a weather report and Table Cloth warnings to help you plan your visit. Once you go up the hill, the views are spectacular, and the city and surrounding area can be enjoyed while strolling along well-maintained pathways. There are a few pathways that are a bit challenging, however most are very easy. As for viewing Table Mountain from the ground, there are thousands of options. One great spot to look and photograph the hill is in The Company Garden’s, you can’t sit and just watch the Table Cloth stream down the sides of the hill. For a wider view of Table Mountain, head down to the waterfront near the Cape Wheel ferris wheel.
Tablecloth on the Mountain
This was one of the best highlights of our trip to Cape Town. We could not go the day before because of the windy conditions, so we postponed it for the next day. We are so glad that we did because when the cable car made it to the top, the clouds were thick and covered the mountain. This is know as the “table cloth”. Walking through the clouds, seeing the unique flora, and enjoying the spectacular views of Cape Town from on top of the mountain is truly a “once in a lifetime” experience. The wait is not that long, and the line moves pretty quick. Bring a jacket though!
Sunset view on a flat mountain
Absolutely my favorite place that I traveled to in South Africa. Took the cable car up Table Mountain for less than $8.00 roundtrip. Wandered for 3 hours until the sun set. Next time I’ll be hiking up there :)
360 view, bring your wide angle lens.
I had to cancel my first trip due to high winds and weather. Weather is always tricky if you take the car. They canceled trips up the mountain the day I planned to go. So plan to get it out of the way in the AM. The car floor moves in a circle with an open window for you to catch some pics and get the full effect. If I had more time I would have totally LOVED to climb it. Get a great workout in.. But just did not have the 2 hours just to climb up... the view is worth the trip. There are some great spots where it’s quiet where you can play with your camera to take the perfect shot!
From the Cableway
I’d gone up Table Mountain only to get completely engulfed by the cloud coming in over the top. This cloud cover is also known as the Table Cloth. With the view ruined, I was forced to make my way down and was presented with a lovely view of Signal Hill and Lion’s Head. In this photo Lion’s head is the big peak on the left and Signal Hill is on the right
King of The World
While on tour to South Africa, we visited Cape Town and Table Mountain. It happened to be a rather large group, so we were only given a limited amount of time on the mountain in order to visit all the sights on the itinerary. After getting out of the cable car, I was walking around, trying to be quick about taking in the sights and happened to look up and spotted this scene.
4x4 on Table Mountain with Food & Wine Pairing
There’s no question why Cape Town’s Table Mountain was named one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature in the world. This topographic masterpiece is nothing short of awe-inspiring. An anchor smack dab in the middle of Cape Town, you will undoubtedly find yourself simply gobsmacked by its sheer size and beauty. A trip to the top is a bucket list item for any visitor to the Mother City. Most people only know of the standard ascension methods (hiking, biking & the cableway) that will give you a view of the plateau, which reaches approximately 3 kilometres (2 mi) from one side to the other but we’ve got an exciting and exclusive adventure that is unlike anything else. Now you can enjoy a once in a lifetime view of Table Mountain from the only commercial 4×4 allowed to operate within the famous State Park! And we haven’t even gotten to the food and wine portion of the trip… Your guide will take you via 4×4 around the circumference of Table Mountain where you’ll learn about the diverse vegetation types that form part of the Cape Floral Region protected areas. There are an estimated 2,285 species of plants found on Table Mountain and the Cape Peninsula, many of which are endemic to the area and can be found nowhere else in the world. As you head east on Table Mountain, you’ll make your way to Devil’s Peak where you’ll find the historic military blockhouse, along with a number of cannons intended to defend the city from attack from the south. Stop and enjoy uninterrupted views of the southern suburbs of Cape Town and over the sandy Cape Flats towards Stellenbosch, Somerset West, and the distant Boland mountains. The second leg of the journey takes you around Table Mountain and over to Camps Bay where you will be greeted by uninterrupted views of the 12 Apostles. The 4×4 will stop at an open clearing on the Mountain where you’ll setup camp overlooking the beach below. You’ll enjoy an ample picnic style lunch with delicious cheeses, charcuterie and a variety of spreads perfectly paired with a wide array of local, Durbanville Hills wines.
Living on the Edge of Table Mountain
Dassies, or rock hyraxes, are often seen sunning themselves on the rocky outcrops at the top of Table Mountain. You might even see them nibbling on the branches close to the pathways of the park. One odd fact fact about these rodent-like animals is that their closest living relative is the elephant and not at all a rodent, as one might assume. They’re pretty cute but don’t get too close - they’ve got a pair of incisors that could hurt you if bitten.
Rappel Table Mountain !
Step off the top, at 1000 metres above sea level, and rappel into pure vertical space. Table Mountain Abseil is the world’s original highest commercial abseil. You are surrounded by awesome views and the deep blue Atlantic at your feet. Lean into it if you dare !
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