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. —by Andrew Richdale This appeared in the March/April 2017 issue.
By Sara Button, AFAR Staff
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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.
By Andrew Richdale, AFAR Contributor
New Year's Eve on Table Mountain
Table Mountain is not only a must-see Cape Town attraction and my favorite place to watch the sunset, it's also one of the most unique places to spend New Year's Eve. The rotating cable car whisked us up to the flat top of the mountain, where a small restaurant and warm visitor shop are located. The shop even stocks bubbly, but we came prepared. After bidding farewell to the final sunset of the year, the temperatures dropped. We found a nook on the rocky, city bowl side and watched the city lights begin to twinkle. The hours dragged, but with drinks and good friends, it was a great time. At midnight, everyone on the mountain joined in a countdown, culminating with the tiniest of fireworks bursting over the V&A Waterfront and around the suburbs sprawling in front of us. Huddling under fleece blankets and donning our winter hats, it is my most 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. I'm speaking from personal experience when I say that 2am, every single cab in Cape Town is busy and you will be stuck! The cable car station is a very long walk to/from the city, and I don't recommend it during the day let alone at night. We begged the one and only cab driver picking up another couple to come back for us too, and thankfully he did (for a fortune, of course!)
By Marie Frei, AFAR Local Expert
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
By Justin Lee, AFAR Local Expert
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.
5821 Tafelberg Rd, Table Mountain (Nature Reserve), Cape Town, South Africa
+27 86 132 2223
Sun - Sat 8:30am - 5pm