Table Mountain History
Table Mountain, Cape Town, is one of the most iconic natural features of the world. Estimated to be over 260 million years old, the flat upper level of sandstone resisted the erosion of the ice sheets during previous ice ages. Therefore, the famous ‘table’ shaped mountain stands over 3,500ft tall, towering over Cape Town and its surroundings.
When To Go To Table Mountain
It is beautiful to admire from one of the many beaches in the Western Cape, often covered in its own ‘cloud blanket’. It is equally stunning to witness its magnitude from close up and enjoy the breathtaking views it affords – just watch out for that blanket of cloud obscuring your view at the top (keep an eye on the forecast before setting off and bear in mind that the blanket often sets in during the afternoon).
Another reason to arrive early, other than avoiding the afternoon heat in the summer, is the limited car parking available. A taxi is often an easier option if you want to avoid delays or a long walk to your car!
Hiking Table Mountain
There are many hiking routes up the mountain, ranging from a 4-hour direct climb to a 3 day guided trek through the national park. The main (and quickest) hiking trail starts a few hundred yards from the information centre. Here you can find local guides who can point you in the right direction. Remember to take plenty of water and sun screen with you, there are no stops on the path until the small café at the summit.
Details About The Cable Car
Alternatively, there is a cable car at the base of the mountain and this runs on a regular basis throughout the day (R255 return trip for adults). Advanced bookings are recommended since the cable car will only hold around 20 people and is very popular. It is not a pleasant experience to be standing in line for hours in the midday African sun! If you are torn between hiking or the cable car, consider hiking up and paying half the fare for the trip down. Cable car times vary throughout the year, so be sure to check out the first and last car times, to avoid getting stuck at the top!
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