When you think of the beautiful Cape Town, one of the most striking images sure to come to mind is that of the majestic Table Mountain. A silent sentinel over the city, the mountain is an icon of South Africa, and one of its most beloved landmarks.
From its great height you can survey the city from a bird's eye view and admire the beaches and azure ocean beyond - a sight to look forward to if you are embarking on one of our South African tours.
Introducing Table Mountain
The incredible mountain, with its characteristic flat summit, rises up to a height of over 1,000 metres above sea level, making it a great vantage point for kilometres in all directions. Its lofty elevation means that it is often crowned with a blanket of cloud, affectionately known as the mountain's 'table cloth'.
Its history stretches back 30,000 years, with some evidence of human activity from the Stone Age. It was once named 'Hoerikwaggo' by the the Khoi people, meaning Mountain in the Sea.
The mountain chain is not only awe-inspiring thanks to its sizable bulk, however. It's also home to thousands of plant and flower species, making the surrounding Cape Floristic Region one of the world's most diverse floral kingdoms - and worthy of its UNESCO World Heritage Site title.
Exploring Table Mountain
There are a number of ways to discover the natural beauty of the mountain and the surrounding National Park, such as guided hikes and bike tours, but the hands down best way to experience Table Mountain has got to be by cable car.
The first cable car was a project many years in the making. According to the Table Mountain Aerial Cableway Company, the idea of an alternate route other than scaling the mountain by foot was first conceived of in the 1870s, but was twice delayed with the onset of the First Anglo-Boer War and World War I.
Finally the idea of a 'cableway' came to fruition in 1929. Since then, the system has since been upgraded three times, resulting in the slick, modern cable cars that ferry visitors up to the mountain today, complete with revolving floor for the ultimate 360 degree experience.
You can witness Table Mountain for yourself on our Grand Tour of South Africa, which sees you embark on an epic journey from Johannesburg through Kruger National Park and Swaziland and then through KwaZulu-Natal, before arriving in Cape Town. To find out more, don't hesitate to get in touch with one of our travel experts today!