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Five reasons to visit Table Mountain in Cape Town

No visit to Cape Town is complete without a trip to the top of Table Mountain. From this famous landmark, which is 3,567 feet (1087 meters) above sea level, you truly experience what it feels like to be on top of the world.

Dramatic views all around

Dramatic views all around

Below, I’ve listed five reasons why I think you should add this attraction to your to-do list.

The climb

A huge part of any journey is the anticipation involved. Some people get anxious. Others, like me, are like high-spirited horses who chomp at the bits to gallop away.  I am a keen observer of people and those differences were apparent during the five-minute cable ride to the peak.

Cable ride

Cable ride

As we took that feet-tingling ride up the mountain, you could see the fear of heights in the eyes and body language of the some people in the 65-person-at-capacity cable car. In others, especially the palms-splayed-wide-on-the plexi-glass-kids, the overarching emotion was uninhibited delight.

Going up...and up...

Going up…and up…

The hike

If you are a true adrenaline junkie, you don’t have to take the cable car. Hiking and exploring at your own pace is the way to go. There are three trails to the top of the mountain and if you choose that option, you are encouraged to complete the hike in groups.

Fearless hiker

Fearless hiker

You can trek both ways, take the cable car up and hike down, or do it the opposite way. The truth is, even if you don’t plan to hike down you might have to.  I found out AFTER I visited that daily weather conditions determine if the cable car runs, so a return ticket doesn’t necessarily guarantee you a ride down on an extra windy day. Yikes!

The view

Words fail me when I try to describe the 360-degree view from the top of Table Mountain.

The view from the top

The view from the top

While the far-away outline of the city lies below you, there also are craggy cliffs and dramatic scenery that stretch out for miles on either side.

Craggy cliffs

Craggy cliffs

It’s stunning, jaw-dropping, breath-taking, AND awe-inspiring all at the same time; a physical onslaught to the senses.

Majestic mountain range

Majestic mountain range

The flora and fauna

As part of a World Heritage Site, Table Mountain has an abundance of flora and fauna that makes it a treat for the nature lover. Reported to have more than 1,400 different species of plants, one of the most vibrant and distinctive is the yellow Fynbos, which is Afrikaan for ‘delicate bush’.

The "delicate bush". Such a vibrant yellow!

The “delicate bush”. Such a vibrant yellow!

Find a hidden cubby hole or look over a rocky edge and you also could spot frogs, tortoises and different lizards in their natural habitat. If you’re lucky, you might even get to see a Tahr, an animal that closely resembles a goat.

The sunset

Last but by no means least, is the sunset.  You’ve heard the saying: a picture says a thousand words, right? In that case, let’s do this the easy way – I’ll share two thousand words with you right now.

Sunset

Sunset

Another angle

Another angle

Editor’s Note:

There is Sunset Special that runs from November 1 to December 19, and from January 8 until February 28. After 6pm, return tickets are half price.  The regular rate for an adult is R225 roundtrip and R115 one-way. Children aged four to 17 pay R11 one-way and R58 one-way.

Other things I suggest while in South Africa are:

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