When it comes to exotic attractions, there are some destinations that really stand out because of their iconic landmarks. In South Africa, this highlight is without doubt Cape Town’s Table Mountain. People from all across the globe are drawn to the majestic Table Mountain (1088m). There is something really attractive about this bold flat-topped mountain that dominates the city of Cape Town. It is really one of the natural wonders of the world, and brings people to question if it has been interfered with by man, or if it is really was formed naturally through millions of years of sedimentary rock erosion. Whatever the reason that the mountain’s shape came about, it has long been one of South Africa’s most prominent and famous landmarks. So much so, it has even earned its spot on the local Cape Town flag.
Africa’s most epic view
The mountain forms part of the Table Mountain National Park and was voted as one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature, competing against major global attractions. 500 million people participated in the vote, and incredibly, Table Mountain attracted more than 100 million votes. It may not come as a surprise, considering that it is described to be one of the most epic views in Africa. Before you begin your journey by foot, check out Visit Cape Town's Hiking Safety Tips - a perfect preparation for your adventures.
A quick look at some of the following reviews from Tripadvisor also gives you a good indication of how popular Table Mountain is with its many visitors:
“This has to be one of the most spectacular places to visit in the world”.
“Put this one on your bucket list. Take your time to climb to the top and enjoy the views on the way”.
“I could have stayed up there all day. Set aside at least 1-2 hours to walk around, explore every angle, take pictures, soak up the atmosphere and just marvel at the amazing views. We could see Cape Point clearly”.
Up the Cableway
Many visitors choose to hike up to the summit of Table Mountain. You can, however, choose an easier option and take the stunning cable car journey to the top . Over 20 million people have taken this trip, a testament to how beautiful it is. As you rise from almost sea level, incredible views of Cape Town and the ocean emerge before your eyes. If you choose this route up, you will be travelling in the footsteps of King George VI, Oprah Winfrey and Queen Elisabeth II. Whichever route you choose to take to the top, you will be well rewarded for your efforts.
Panoramic summit views
At the summit, you will be welcomed by panoramic viewpoints, a restaurant and cocktail bar, shops, and various walking trails. The main feature is, of course, the plateau, which is 3 kilometers wide from side to side and surrounded by magnificent cliffs. On the east side is Devil’s Peak and to the west is the Lion’s Head, so called as it is naturally formed in the shape of a lion’s head. Combined with Table Mountain, these hills form the famous, dramatic backdrop to the city.
The characteristic flat top of the mountain is often covered by some very special clouds. They are known as orographic clouds, which are formed when a when south-easterly wind is directed up the mountain’s slopes into colder air. Moisture the condenses into a shape looking much like a blanket or a tablecloth. According to legend, this phenomenon was the result of a smoking contest between the local pirate Van Hunks, and the Devil. Whenever the white veil covers the top, it is an eternal symbol of this contest, in which the pirate won.
In addition to a spectacular view to the mountain, it is also located just a 15 minute drive from the cableway. We'll see you at the peak!
After you've hiked to the top the next must-do would be to enjoy everything else that the city has to offer. Go for a swim in the waters of the pristine beaches at Clifton or head underwater in one of the many great diving spots. If you want to discover this wonderful city for yourself, the Radisson Blu Hotel Waterfront, Cape Town is the ideal place to base yourself.