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November 30, 2012

Seven reasons why Table Mountain is a worthy New7Wonder of Nature

Photo courtesy barbourians

Cape Town has a number of attractions to entice any would-be visitor to come to our shores, and locals to leave the comfort of their homes and venture out, but one of the Mother City’s most treasured possessions is Table Mountain.

We’ve compiled a list of seven reasons why Table Mountain is by far a worthy wonder of nature.

1. Touch the clouds

Photo by Stuart Buchanan

With the summit at 1 067m above sea level, the clouds can often come rolling in with simply a moment’s notice. Within the blink of an eye you can literally be amongst the clouds and experience nature at its best. Very often the clouds pass over in a matter of minutes and settle just below the summit, leaving a beautiful, blue sky behind, making for great photo opportunities.

2. Awe-inspiring views

Photo courtesy G Bayliss

Of course, you simply have to appreciate the stunning views on offer when you are at such great heights. From various spots at the summit you can see awesome views of the Atlantic Ocean, 12 Apostles Mountain Range, Robben Island, the city of Cape Town and even Bloubergstrand in the distance. The views make for fantastic photo opportunities during the day, or even at sunset.

3. World Heritage status

Photo courtesy Rainbirder

Table Mountain, a World Heritage Site, forms part of the Table Mountain National Park, which means that the area is rich in biodiversity. From endangered species such as the Table Mountain ghost frog to our other fauna, including dassies, lizards, snakes, sunbirds, eagles, spiders, insects and klipspringers, and the gorgeous and endemic fynbos, the area is a must for lovers of nature.

4. Diversity of flora

Photo courtesy SA-Venues.com

The mountain’s area may only be around 57km2 but close to 1 500 plant species have been recorded in the space, compared to the same number of plant species recorded in the entire British Isles! Table Mountain National Park also forms part of the Cape Floral Region, a biodiversity hot spot which covers 553 000 hectares and contains almost 20% of Africa’s flora, according to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation.

5. You can have fun on the mountain

Photo by Ingrid Sinclair

Besides soaking up the views, you can also indulge in a little adrenalin-pumping action atop Table Mountain. Abseiling may not be for the faint-hearted, but it is a fantastic way to see the views from a different angle.

6. Hiking 

Photo courtesy hugovdm

The mountain has a number of hiking trails with which to get to the top, including the popular Platteklip Gorge, as well as Skeleton Gorge and the dangerous India Venster. You may even be able to spot one of the mountain's rare sandstone cave systems.

7. The cableway 

Photo © Table Mountain Cableway

Table Mountain Cableway transports close to 800 000 visitors per year in two cable cars that counterbalance one another. They travel at a maximum speed of 10m per second, and the five-minute trip to the top offers fantastic views of the city – and you might even be able to spot a few hikers making their way to the top.

Other enticing attractions in Cape Town include the Two Oceans Aquarium, the V&A Waterfront, Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden, the Company’s Garden, a number of beaches, bars, nightlife and so much more, which means there are plenty of reasons to make Cape Town your home or holiday destination.

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