Hg2 : The Hedonist

Table Mountain

Definitely one of the most iconic places to see in Cape Town. A diva with multiple personalities, her sorcery affects the weather, swinging the mood of a city that can be wet and miserable one instant; sunny the next. And when her tablecloth of thick white clouds flows down her 250 million-year-old table top like a living boa, it signals the arrival of the infamous Southeaster, and the entire city groans. To some, the mountain is an ancient custodian, Umlindiwengizimu – the watcher of the south – placed here by the creator, Qamata, to watch over the entire continent. Rising from the shore-line, Cape Town’s ancient inhabitants – the Khoekhoen and San – called it Hoerikwaggo, the ‘mountain in the sea’, and it is acknowledged as one of the world’s oldest mountains, having withstood six million years of erosion. Rising to just over 1km above sea level, its iconic table top dominates the landscape, and is visible from at least 150km out to sea. Climb aboard the aerial cable car – operating since 1929, it was upgraded 70 years later to enable 65 passengers travelling in a revolving glass bottomed gondola that reaches the summit in roughly five minutes – for an invigorating journey with epic views all the way, before arriving in what feels like another universe, a flat-topped mountain wilderness. The vistas of the city and the Atlantic Ocean spreading out far beneath your feet are matchless, while closer to your feet you’ll spot furry dassies (or rock hyraxes – surprisingly, they’re related to elephants) and agama lizards ducking amongst the rocks. If you’re feeling more energetic – or keen to view the mountain’s floral kingdom (with over 1,470 species to call its own; more than are found in the entire United Kingdom), it is a relatively easy climb up, with a few hundred trails on, up, or around, to choose from (see Play), making it the world’s most hiked mountain.

Tafelberg Road, Higgovale,
City Bowl
+27 21 424 8181
Opening Times
Aerial Cable Car 8.30am- 7.30/8.30pm (season and weather dependent)
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