Table Mountain, Cape Town, South Africa

No trip is complete to Cape Town unless the icon of the Mother City, Table Mountain, is visited. Be it by foot or by cable car, you cannot leave the city until this natural wonder is enjoyed and fully explored.

The weather is always a factor when visiting the mountain. As can be par for weather in Cape Town during August, the morning started out overcast and cool, but by 10AM, the clods broke and we took the opportunity to drive from Hout Bay, Read More past Llandudno, down Victoria Road past the Twelve Apostles, through Camp’s Bay and up to the parking deck at the base of where the cable car trip begins. Joined by Ian, Juliet and Will, we purchased our tickets and overcame the fears of my mother’s dislike of heights.

From the view at sea level, Table Mountain looks like a flat precipice, not for the faint at heart. However, once the ascent is made, visitors need not worry about safety issues as the flat top of Table Mountain is vast that days could be spent there before exploration of new territory would be lost.

The mountain stands over 3,000 feet tall and serves as the backdrop for Cape Town. Table Mountain is framed by Lion’s Head and Devil’s Peak, each standing sentinel on either side. All this heightened wonder stands less than a mile from the white sand beaches and palm trees of Camp’s Bay. For an east coast American like me, this combination of mountains and beach is unknown in our expanse of coastline running from Florida to Maine. To get a perspective, Table Mountain’s proximity to the ocean would be like taking the Blue Ridge Mountains and putting them a mile behind the best beaches in Florida.

With a 5 year old and a 2 year old in tow, we boarded the cable car and reminded one another to keep an eye out for the over inquisitive children we were traveling with possibly taking too bold a peak. The temperature at sea level was 60 degrees and 50 degrees at the top. The wind was not blowing and the sun was out so we were not challenged whatsoever by the weather.

Exhibits describing the flora and fauna are spread throughout various viewing points. There are a number of other tourists with which to share the experience but given the length of Table Mountain (over a mile long), there is never a feeling of being overwhelmed by the others on top. A restaurant is onsite as well as a small bookstore.

Sitting atop Table Mountain, views to the west offer never ending seas, to the north, the city of Cape Town spreads out before us like a picnic on a blanket rolling into Table Bay, to the east, we are offered a view of Cape Point and False Bay and to the south we can see the Twelve Apostles, Hout Bay and Kommetie. We are viewing the best of what Cape Town offers from the best seat in the city.