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Table Mountain (Cape Town, South Africa)

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      03.04.2012 10:57
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      A great way to spend a morning in Cape Town

      We had planned to climb Table Mountain a few days into our holiday but this was always weather dependant. To be honest, I wasn't sure I wanted to climb it when there was a perfectly adequate cable car willing to take me but I am never one to shy away from a challenge. On the morning in question it was very overcast and cloudy and we thought we wouldn't be able to climb it, and even going up in the cable car could be off, if the winds were too high and the clouds too low. The mountain is 1085m (3559 feet) at its highest point, so it is no Kilimanjaro, and there are a variety of walks up if you are so inclined.

      GETTING TO THE MOUNTAIN

      We were fortunate to have private transport. You can get a public bus but this stops a bit further down the hill, so you will still need to walk up to the lower Cable Car station. Alternatively, the Red Route City Sightseeing bus stops here if you have a ticket for it, otherwise a taxi may be the best way to get here.

      At the Lower Cable Car station there are public toilets, and places to buy gifts or postcards and some light refreshments. Here you can buy your tickets for the cable car, either a single or return.

      HIKING PLATTEKLIP GORGE

      Platteklip Gorge is one of the most popular and accessible hikes of the mountain. It starts quite a bit further on from the Lower Cable Car Station, so you may want to get a lift to that point if you can. The hike is about 3km but it is virtually all vertical and it is estimated to take on average 2 hours.

      We had checked at the Cable Car station for the latest updates and the clouds had lifted and our guide thought it was safe to hike. It is recommended to hike as a group, but I did see some locals hiking it on their own, as part of some fitness training or with their dog. I started out wearing my fleece jacket which was soon removed as you soon warm up with the steep hike; my lighter weight sweater also was removed so I was climbing in T shirt, jeans, and trainer type walking shoes. Good footwear is a must for this walk as the route is uneven. There is no paved route here; you are climbing up on rocks, sometimes over light streams so you need to watch where you are putting your feet. The rocks are obviously uneven, and of different heights and sizes. Sometimes you would be stepping onto a pile of smaller loose rocks, another time you may have to take large steps to get up onto a bigger one. At only 5' tall I found the latter very challenging but fortunately these really large ones were minimal. As I mentioned the 'path' inclines nearly the whole way, but there are often spots to rest if you need to, however at other times the path is quite narrow with a sheer drop down onside. Parts of it have been secured to make it safer, but I don't recommend this climb if you have a fear of heights.

      I climbed in winter and in the morning. The gorge gets the sun in the morning and I was warmed by the heat of the sun (in addition to the heat caused by the exertion). If you are climbing in the summer you may want to climb later in the day when it is in the shade, but ensure you allow enough time to get down before dark or before the cable car station closes if you want to try that. However the clouds later came down and obscured the sun a bit later and it got chillier. I persevered in my T shirt, mainly because it was soaked with sweat (not helped by my backpack) and I didn't want to put my sweater over it.

      The route is clearly marked and there are only two places where it splits and the route is signposted, however you could miss the second sign if you were looking at your feet. Both signs are near the beginning and you would probably see them in the first half hour, otherwise it is near impossible to get lost until the top of the mountain. For the last third the 'path' zig zags across (and up) the mountain, every time you think you are close you will round the corner to see another incline and your legs will be a dead weight that you have to keep lifting. I'm not going to lie - this is a challenging walk and you would need to have a good level of fitness to even attempt it. Our guide has seen people turn back in tears because they found it too hard. However, the challenge is part of the appeal to some, and I felt an amazing sense of achievement.

      Our party of ten split into three groups: The first chap reached the two-hour marker in an hour and twenty minutes, (I think he was a gazelle in a previous life), the next five did it in just about the two hours, and my group of three plus our guide took about two hours and 20 minutes. It is worth noting that the two-hour mark isn't actually at the top, you have a further climb of 10-15 minutes to the next level and the walk to the Cable Car station where you will find toilets and refreshments. This time included lots of stops for water/snacks and photos.

      You can, of course, climb down again if you so wish but I think it would be very hard on the knees and risky for your ankles where stones may be uneven. The Cableway is a unique experience and a worthy reward. When we got to the top the clouds were obscuring our view so some of us went to the ladies' loos to dry our T-Shirts under the hand dryer. I was too de-hydrated to need it for anything else. There is a self service café at the top and you can buy alcohol if you wish to celebrate your achievement. They also do full meals, as well as sandwiches and nibbles like crisps or chocolate. It wasn't the cheapest café I had ever visited but wasn't extortionate in the circumstances - my diet coke and chocolate was just under £3. But I deserved them. Don't be fooled by all the people in the café dressed like they climbed the mountain. They are frauds and can be spotted easily as they are not dishevelled enough. Beside they can get up from their chairs in one swift movement whilst we had all promptly seized up and had to drag ourselves upright. There is also a gift shop at the top; there are many gifts that you will see throughout the region, but also a range of attractive T shirts and sweatshirts with the Table Mountain branding.

      After our rest the clouds had lifted and we now had a lovely view of the city. Our cable car down was ZAR95 (£8.25/$12.70) which is quite pricey but it is rather special (well, if you like heights/cable cars...). The journey only takes three minutes or so but the car revolves. You just stand on the round platform (don't hold the sides) and the platform revolves allowing you a 360 degree view during your journey. It is not fast enough to make you feel dizzy, but you can view the mountain and the bay whilst snapping photos without worrying that you are missing anything.

      If you are planning on hiking the gorge to the top of Table Mountain, here are some tips based on my own experience:
      -Take more water than you think you'll need. We all finished our water before we got to the top (and that was on a day that was overcast) due to the exertion being more than we had anticipated.
      -Take a sweater and waterproofs as the weather is changeable as you climb
      -Take a hat, sunglasses and sun cream especially if hiking in the morning when the gorge gets the sun.
      -Take a camera with batteries and memory cards. Take the pictures when you see a good view, don't wait thinking there will be a better vantage point further up. On an overcast day the clouds could have obscured you view by the time you have got there.
      -Take a few nibbles for sustenance - energy bars, nuts, chocolate etc. Take any rubbish with you to dispose of at the top.
      -If you wish to get the cableway down then check it is open; and allow enough time to come down by foot should it close.

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        01.04.2012 10:54
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        A once in a life time experience

        ~~My experience of Table Top Mountain~~

        I had just touched down in Cape Town International Airport and it was a beautiful hot clear day. I was scared, terrified infact knowing that in a matter of two hours I will be going in a cable car up to the very top of table mountain. As I hate heights it was one thing I wasn't looking forward to I was dreading it. We dropped our luggage off at the hotel and got on our coach and started to head towards the cable car entrance. Going up to this wasn't easy as I imagined as it was twisting and turning road and we were close to the edge of the road. The views while going up to the entrance were amazing looking over at the hole of Cape Town it was perfect. I just wanted to try and imagine what it would look like from the top because I was already blown away. So it was that time, that time to get off the coach and get ready to board the cable car. I was already 360 metres above sea level so I was terrified about going into a cable car with about 40 more people. After a quick stop at the toilet ( which weren't very clean) I was ready to get my ticket and go to the top.

        As my college booked the tickets online and got us all on for children we only had to pay 85 rand which about 8 pounds in our money. Adult prices are 195 rand which is about 19 pounds. You might think this is a bit expensive but it really is worth every single penny. It is one of the most amazing views I think I will ever see in my life. Also booking online is cheaper than paying on the day. I had my ticket now and was ready to board the cable car. Before we were to do this though we had our picture taken as if we were in a cable car going up to the mountain. I think this was to make a bit more money from us but it is something to remember the visit by. Luckily there wasn't much of a queue to get onto the cable car so the group of 35 and some other people joined us and we were on our way up. I was starting to shake by now holding my friends hand tight as possible I managed to take a sneak peak of the view and wow! It was beautiful, in fact words can't describe it. It is one of those things that you just have to see.

        As we were going up in the cable car the floor revolves so that you get a view from every angle. I was beginning to feel more at ease by now. Before I knew it after about 2 minutes if that we were at the top and it was time to walk around. I stepped out the cable car and onto the pathway we had 2 hours to walk around and to go and visit the little restaurant and gift shop for any presents that we wanted to take back home. At this point in my life I felt like I was on top of the world, I was managing to look across the hole of Cape Town from way above in the sky it was perfect. Nothing could fault the view at all. We started to walk around and went a little higher on the footpath, suddenly a big gust of wind come and blew my hate off. At this moment in my life I honestly thought I was going to die I thought I was going to be blown off too. So my hat blew off and was heading towards going off the mountain. I screamed like it was me being blown off. Luckily enough somebody caught it and it was back in a safe place, my bag! It was so windy up there even though it was a beautiful day and the table cloth wasn't there it was windy. The paths can be a bit steep the further you go. If you are lucky you may see some wildlife I saw a lizard while I was at the top.

        After walking around and being able to see Robben Island and the world cup stadium we decided to go and visit the gift shop. They sell everything from sticks of rock to clothes and jewellery. They can be a bit expensive but they are definitely worth it as something to remember your visit by. When I went into the restaurant to get some refreshments and ice cream they had sold out and it was rather busy but the staff were apologetic and couldn't help me enough to get what I wanted.

        ~~Remember to do the following!!~~

        -Take sun cream it might be windy but I burned my legs this day!
        Take a jacket, or cardigan or something long-sleeved just in case it gets a bit chilly up there
        remember your camera! The views that you will see that day will be ones you will never forget so capture the moment.
        Food and water and lots of water! The shop can be expensive and can run out of stock quickly so just to be on the safe side take a packed lunch. There are benches and tables all around.
        Before you plan on going to the cable car ensure that it is open because sometimes if it is too windy then it is closed. The cable cars often have maintenance to ensure that they are working properly and the service can be improved.


        Overall, table top mountain is one of the places I will never forget in my life. It has stunning views of the whole of Cape Town it is a beautiful and clean place with friendly staff around to make sure your having a good time. Be careful of the wind though you want to make sure you have your hat by the end of it. Also as it is a top tourist attraction in Cape Town don't hesitate to go thinking that it might be too busy there is plenty of room to walk around. I know this might sound silly also but I think my time at the top of the mountain has made my fear of heights almost disappear because something so amazing like the views I seen that day. Cape Town is a gorgeous place and the mountain is only just part of this.

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          24.08.2010 18:28
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          100% recommended

          It goes without saying that no trip to Cape Town would be complete without a visit to it's number one landmark - Table Mountain. If you are there long enough, I'd suggest more than one visit. Not that there is much to do, apart from admire the view from 1km above the city and surrounding area, enjoy the clean air, walk along the flat 3km roof of the mountain, spot wildlife, so not much.

          I absolutely loved it. I spent a year in South Africa and the mountain was on my doorstep. As I left for work each morning, it glanced down at me and I felt an amazing feeling that I was lucky to be surrounded with such a wonder of the world. Not that it is officially, but it's been nominated as one of the 7 new wonders of the world, so you kind of appreciate it's grandeur. It's been there for approximately 260 million years, so imagine the number of people it has looked down upon. Sometimes you can see a layer of cloud apparently clinging to the top of the mountain, this is known as the "tablecloth".

          Getting here is simple (assuming you are already in Cape Town). Any cab driver will take you to the lower cable station (you are already at 360 metre above sea level here) where you can decide to hike the mountain or take the cable car. Be wary though, tourists will be taken advantage of, check the price before you get in. Normal cab fares are around the 10 rand per km mark, so it shouldn't really be costing you much more than 50 rand from the centre of the town. Only the most able should take the hike, although it's not exactly mountain climbing there are fatalities each year, mainly novice hikers. There are plenty of easier mountains to walk up such as nearby Lions Head at the top of Kloof Nek Road, which peaks at just 669 metres for those who are less able. Either way, take yourself plenty of water, some food and rainwear just in case. Obviously take your camera.

          A very relaxing, much safer and unique way of reaching the top is the cablecar. The original cableway was built in the 1920's, but a much more modern, and higher speed/capacity affair was introduced in the 1990's. It's an interesting fact that the cars travel at a max speed of 10 metres per second. There can be a queue at times, so expect to wait for up to 30 minutes before you get your turn. You can now join up to about 60 people in a capsule which rotates 360 degrees as it ascends. Some of the windows are open so you can take fantastic shots of the view, as well as the other cable car going in the opposite direction. The rates are reasonable for this unique ride, 160 rand for a return trip. Concessions are available for children and students. It's worth checking to make sure that the cars are running as there are periods of maintenance, sometimes for a week or more. The weather is the other factor, and if it is extremely windy, it will not run for safety reasons. Don't go up on a cloudy day either, as the only view you'll be seeing is cloud. There is a number you can call to get an update, or if you glance in the direction of the mountain you should be able to see the cars going up and down (or not).

          The thing that amazed me the most was the vastness of the top, as well as how quiet it is up there (apart from the other tourists of course). You can walk around for hours it seems, take plenty of photos and really take in that clean fresh air. Don't expect the place to yourself though, as there will be several hundred tourists and locals alike also enjoying the views. There's plenty of space to go round though. There are a number of set walks, with guides for those of you who can't find your way around. They will of course point out interesting wildlife, flowers and so on.

          The things I didn't expect to see on top of the mountain was a gift shop, nor the restaurant, or ample toilets either. You can't see these from below of course. The restaurant, although it has surely one of the most lovely locations in the world doesn't serve particularly lovely food, although I did only ever try the breakfasts. I'm sure a change in staff and management can sort out this minor issue however.

          It's certainly one of my favourite experiences of my year, and one I just had to repeat on several occasions. Absolutely nothing negative to say about the whole experience, so don't think twice. Even if you don't particularly like walking or nature the sheer thrill of looking down from the viewpoints at the top will make your day, if not your entire trip.

          Respect the mountain, don't smoke, litter or stray too close to the edges, and it will still be there in all it's glory in another few hundred million years for others to enjoy.

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            20.03.2010 22:01
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            A must see sight when visiting Cape Town

            Table Mountain and the cable car in CAPE TOWN, South Africa

            CapeTown has one of the most dramatic settings of any city in the world with the flat topped Table Mountain, Devil's Peak, Lion's Head and Signal Hill as its back drop and the Atlantic Ocean to the front. Cape Town is a very cosmopolitan colourful city welcoming 60% of South Africa's tourists.

            No visit to Cape Town would be complete without a trip up Table Mountain and the day after we arrived it was a fantastic sunny, clear day so we headed for our visit as it is not always clear and the views both of the Mountain from the bottom and the views of Cape Town from the top are obviously best enjoyed when it is clear and Table Mountain has not got its table cloth covering it.

            Luckily we had no trouble getting to the cable car as the Peninsula Hotel offered an excellent, free shuttle service to the Mountain which also collected us and took us to the V&A waterfront and then again collected us for our return to the hotel.

            We bought tickets for the cable car which operates daily from 8.30 till 22.00 daily provided the weather is suitably not windy. The cost was 75 Rands per person (11 Rands to the £1 when we were there) which was pretty reasonable for a return journey and entrance to the Table Mountain part of the Cape Peninsular National Park.

            The cable cars are huge and hold 65 people. They are circular with windows all around and apparently have water in the bottom to help stabilise them when it is windy. On the way up the floor revolved so that everyone had a chance to view downwards and upwards. It did revolve quite slowly so you were not spinning as you ascended but it was quite a strange sensation none the less. On the way down our cable car floor didn't revolve but I'm not sure if that was always the case or if it was because the cable car 'driver' was busy chatting to a couple of kids and let them talk on the phone and push buttons!

            When we got to the top we walked around looking at the various views of the city, the peninsula and Robben Island. There were terrific views of the Lion's Head Mountain which actually looks like a male lion sitting to me) and the new football stadium built for the World Cup 2010.

            There was a variety of flora on the Mountain top but we only saw a few lizards in the way of animal life. It was quite cool up on the top with a swift breeze so that we were unaware of quite how much sun we were getting and the two boys were quite burnt, we seemed to be okay but have been exposed to more sun recently I suppose. The boys spent the next day suffering a little with red noses and arms but they survived although their noses will probably peel!

            You could spend 10 minutes on the top or hours depending on how long you want to walk around for. There are several trails and lots to see so we spent about an hour and a half up there. There is a gift shop and a restaurant but we didn't visit either of these, we had taken our own bottles of water with us so had no need for any purchases. There are also shops and cafes at the bottom of the Mountain which sold various souvenirs if you were interested.

            This is just something you must do if you ever visit Cape Town as it is just so much a part of this city.

            This review may be posted on other sites under my same user name

            © Catsholiday

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              01.02.2009 13:35
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              A must for any visitor to Cape Town

              One of the world's most famous sights - table mountain towering over Cape Town and the surrounding area.
              After having travelled through South Africa for 3 months, finally arriving in Cape Town was exciting. In the car on our final leg of the journey, we played a game - "who can spot Table Mountain first?". Sadly, none of us could as it was shrouded in the famous "table cloth" - a misty haze of clouds that settles on the famous landmark.
              But sure enough, after being in the city a couple of days, the cloth lifted to reveal the most spectacular sight. We raced up to the cable car to make the most of the clear weather. It was our last day before flying back to the UK so we wanted to get up there while we had the chance.
              We queued for a short while (possibly 5 minutes), paid our entrance fee and then boarded the stand-up enclosed cable car to the top. What an incredible, but frightening experience. As you near the top, the whole of Cape Town spreads out in front of you in all directions, and you really feel as if you could be flying.
              At the top, a rather expensive tourist shop sells the usual tat, and there is a cafe for getting out of the cold wind. Take a jumper, it was a lot colder up there than down in the city.
              It was an amazing end to our trip, and I am glad we made it up there. I have some incredible photos from up there which have been framed and are on the wall.
              One word of warning though - you can hike up the mountain, although if you do this you must go with a guide, as the route can be treatcherous with many muggings taking place. People have even been mugged when they had dogs with them.

              The best mountain-related thing in Cape Town though? Our "toilet with a view" in our backpackers hostel - complete with panoramic views of the mountain from the "throne" and binoculars!

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              19.01.2009 12:17
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              You wouldn't regret it.

              'Look at the table cloth which is covering the mountain now!' For a moment, I wondered what my cousin was saying. Then it strikes me that she was talking about the mystical white cloud covering the top of Table Mountain from a distance.

              Table Mountain is a symbolic landmark in Cape Town, South Africa. The level plateau, surrounded by steep cliffs and spectacular views of the Atlantic Ocean, the city, sand dunes and silhouette of mountains in the distance. Table Mountain is a World Heritage site.

              The highest point on Table Mountain is towards the eastern end of the plateau which is 3,563 ft above sea level. The flat top of the mountain is sometimes covered by clouds or fog and its spill over give the mountain the effect of a table cloth. Though, it is lovely to see the table cloth effect away from the mountain, it will be disappointing to be at the top of the mountain when it happen.

              There are two ways to get to the top of the mountain. One is by cable car and the other is hiking. The Table Mountain Cableway station lies about mid range in the mountain. The cableway has been in operation since 1929 and it was extensively renovated in 1997. The cableway carries 65 passengers to and from the summit and the ascent to the top is about 10 minutes.

              The glass window which rotates 360 degrees gives passengers a panoramic view of the city and the mountain. The cleverly constructed glass panel with 2 sections that is without glass allow passengers to take pictures without any obstruction. The only down side is you have to make sure you are standing in a good position to take the pictures, it is mostly standing space with a few seats near the control and it is usually full.

              Hiking up the mountain is another popular choice. There are a number of trails ranging from easy to difficult. However, it is good to note that a considerable level of fitness and stamina is needed to complete the hike. As there are many steep cliffs around the summit, the time taken to reach the summit varies according the route taken and the fitness level.

              The straightforward route is the Platteklip Gorge and it takes about 1 to 3 hours to ascent to the summit. The other route which is a longer route to the summit is from the south of the main plateau starting at Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden (a interesting place to explore different types of local flora and fauna). Another popular ascent is from Kasteelspoort which is a gorge from the Atlantic side of the mountain.

              The top of the mountain offer different spectacular view point like Cape Town, Cape Pennisula, Cape Flats and Table Bay. There are 3 different choices of walks on top of the mountain, they are:
              -Dassie Walk with views of north, south and west
              -Agama Walk with spectacular 360 degree views of Cape Town and Cape Pennisula
              -Klipspringer Walk with views along the plateau edge to above Platteklip Gorge.

              There are free guided tours which operate at 1000hrs and 1200hrs if you want to know more about the history of Table Mountain and its botanical make up.

              There is also a cafe in the summit to escape from the heat and to carry on enjoying the views. And if you fancy sending a postcard from Table Mountain, there is a souvenir shop and a red post box (like the one we have here) for you to post the card.

              There is a magical and yet serene feeling at Table Mountain. Perhaps it was the flatness at the peak, totally unblocked and the distance silhouette of the mountains is so picturesque. I could stay on the summit for hours and enjoy the view.

              Luckily, we bought hats as it became very hot. There are no shelters except the cafe on the summit. It is not possible to take shelter under trees as there aren't any tall trees. There are mainly alpine plants and the unique fynbos variety.

              There are many bird species and the most commonly seen is the Red-winged Starling. Initially, we were fascinated by the tinged of orange red at the tip of the wings and we thought they were very friendly. The red wing starling actually snatched a small piece of pie from my hand just as I was about to eat it.

              Of course, I am not put off by the red winged starling; Table Mountain is too beautiful to be put off by the heat and the starling. Anyway, the red winged starling are everywhere in Cape Town and there is not escape from them especially when there is food.

              To get the best of Table Mountain, it is important to check the weather as it can get foggy and misty and the view will be obstructed. Beware too of high winds as it can get chilly.

              You can get to Table Mountain on your own by taxis or you can join the local tours. We took a taxi from Waterfront and it costs 85Rand which is about £6 one way.

              The rates for the Cableway from 1 October 2008 - 30 September 2009 is:
              Adult - Return: R145.00
              Children (under 18 years) - Return: R76.00
              Children under 4 years travel free

              For opening hours, check before visiting as it varies according to weather and seasons.
              http://www.tablemountain.net/

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                14.12.2008 02:16
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                Cape town without its mountain would just be another city

                Every great city in the world, has its own unique landmark. Paris has the Eiffel Tower, London has Big Ben, Rio de Janeiro has Christ the Redeemer, but Cape Town has Table Mountain.

                Cape Town for me is one of the greatest cities in the world. It has everything! Sea, sun, sand, beauty, people, style, wine....name it, and it is there. And over all of that, Table Mountain keeps guard. It towers above the city, and from every corner it greets you with its beauty and splendour.

                Spread over the world, at least 18 other mountains are named Table mountain, but none has captured the imagination as much as the most spectacular one located right here in Cape Town.

                The sheer beauty of Table Mountain itself is enough to take your breath away. One of the most amazing sites in the world must be sunset over Table Mountain. The "top" of the mountain itself, is at least 3 kilometres long, and its sheer size adds to the absolute majestic image it creates towering over the city.

                Table Mountain was first scaled as far as we know by Antonio de Saldanha, in 1503. He was the first European to land in The Cape of Good Hope, and named the mountain after scaling it.

                Today there is of course a much easier way to scale Table Mountain. There is a very modern cable way that replaced the original cableway opened in 1929. Today the cableway is open 365 days a year, with opening times depending on the season. Cars depart every 10-1 minutes, and takes 10 minutes to reach the top. The acres slowly rotate, so that viitors can get a full view of the surrounding scenery. Each car is big enough to take 65 passengers, and it must be one of the smoothest cableways I have ever been on.

                Rates are as follows: (Return / One Way)

                Adult R145.00 / R74.00
                Children (Under 18 years) R76.00 / R38.00
                Student ( With valid student card) R98.00 / R50.00
                SA Senior Citizens R76.00 / R38.00
                Family Ticket R370.00 (2 adults & 2 children under 18 years)
                Toddlers : Children 3 years and under travel free of charge
                The current exchange rate is about R15 to a pound.

                Once you get to the top, it is certainly not over! Make sure you dress comfortably, and even if it is a boiling hot day, make sure you take something warm to wear, as the wind up there can really be very chilly. I recommend dressing comfortably, as it is obviously quite uneven ground, and worth taking a good walk around, and you dont want to do that in your Christain Louboutins!

                There are free guided tours available to join every day between 10am and 12, but if you would rather explore on your own, three walking routes have been marked out, that will give you different views of the Mountain and the surrounding city. And belive me the views from up there are just spectacular!

                Beautiful fauna unique to South Africa and the Cape region can be seen on all its glory on Table Mountain. Proteas, the national flower of South Africa, bloom in springtime, surrounded by fynbos, the unique shrubland vegetation covering most of the Western Cape.

                And dont forget to keep an eye out for the little dassies sunning themselves on rocks. Dassies, or Rock Hyrax, are about the size of a big rabbit, but without a tail, and live on the vegetation found on top of the mountain.

                If all that walking and dassie spotitng makes you hungry, dont worry, as there is a really lovely cafe on top, that seves a variety of hot and cold meals, pizzas and sandwiches, with a modern coffee bar. For those of you planning a wedding, there are 2 inside, and 3 outdoor venues, and catering can also be provided. The only warning here would be to remember that on a very windy day, the cable way is closed, which might mean the end of your planned function!

                Talking of the weather, some days the mountain is covered in a thick cloud, or as the locals say, the table cloth is up.There is a lovely little legend referring to the cloud, that dates back to the days when Cape Town was a Dutch colony, and a very rich man called Van Donk was living there. One day Van Donk and the Devil made a deal. The Devil wanted Van Donk's soul, but they agreed to have a smoking contest for his soul, and today when the mountain is covered by a cloud, the legend is still that Van Donk and the Devil are smoking for his soul.

                Once you have enjoyed your trip up Table Mountain, and you want to have another look at this beautiful mountain, I suggest a trip to Bloubergstrand. This seaside town is about 30km north of Cape Town, and on a clear day, is the best place to appreciate the mountain in all its glory. Stay there for sunset, and you will understand why this Table Mountain, is the only one we all really care about!

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                  12.09.2006 11:15
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                  A must see sight in Cape Town.

                  Well Table Mountain is definately a must see in Cape Town.

                  As you descend into CapeTown the views of the mountain can be seen.

                  The weather can be difficult to perceive as it changes very quickly and the mountain tends to be surrounded by a lot of low cloud. Fortunately the day that I was ascending the mountain was perfectly clear.

                  Costs:-

                  CABLEWAY RATES

                  2004/2005
                  1st Oct 2004 - 30th Sept 2005 RETURN ONE WAY
                  Adults R110.00 R57.00
                  Students with valid student card R80.00 R40.00
                  SA Pensioners R58.00 R30.00
                  Children Under 18 yrs R58.00 R30.00
                  Family Ticket (2 Adults & 2 Children U 18) R280.00


                  2005/2006
                  1st Oct 2005- 30th Sept 2006 RETURN ONE WAY
                  Adults R115.00 R60.00
                  Students with valid student card R84.00 R42.00
                  SA Pensioners R60.00 R30.00
                  Children Under 18 yrs R60.00 R30.00
                  Family Ticket (2 Adults & 2 Children U 18) R295.00

                  Currently it is 5Rands to 1GBP.

                  The cable car has a rotating platform to the base and this enables you to obtain a panoramic view whilst ascending Table Mountain and it also does the same on the descent. In my opinion this gives you the best view possible and allows you to really get an eyeful of Cape Town.

                  The cable car was replaced on 4 October 1997 and carries 65 persons compared to the previous cable cars which only carried 25 persons they really fill the cable cars as well so make sure if you are short you get close to the front to ensure that you get the best view.

                  Once you get to the top of Table Mountain the highest point being 1085m you have at least 12 accessible view points offering you magnificent views of Cape Town, only 2 of the viewing points were not accessible by Disabled Customers.

                  Once we got to the top of the mountain the view was breath taking and despite it being breezy on the top the mountain is pretty flat and there is a wall surrounding the path ways as well as safety banisters in some areas.

                  We had a tour guide with us so we were able to learn where places were and the names and even learnt the history whilst we were up there. We even spotted our hotel whilst we were up there!

                  It would be a good idea to wear suitable footwear as walking along the mountain the pathways are quite rocky and you could easily lose your step should you be in heels!!
                  I found that trainers were the bet option as there were some slopes towards the viewing areas and you also want something comfortable to walk about in.

                  There are quite a few places to grab something to eat whilst on top of Table Mountain but our tour was fairly short and did not incorporate time to have a bite to eat.

                  South Africa does offer great value for money and a visit to Table Mountain is a must, I was fortunate enough to pre-book the tour with SpringbokAtlas Tours and a guide explained the sights from each viewpoint on top of the mountain.
                  12 Apostles mountain range, Robben Island, Winelands, Signal Hill, and Lions Head amony many many more sights that I can no longer remember!!!

                  Excellent facilities for diabled visitors which include priority car parking spaces and all but 2 of the view points are accessible.

                  I recommend that you do visit as part of an organised tour so that you can learn so much more, the view is magnificent but learning the history as well makes it much more worthwhile and a definate sight to be seen.

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