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July 21, 2009

Table Mountain shortlisted for “Seven Wonders” spot

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Photo courtesy Andrew Miller

Table Mountain has made it into the final round of the “New 7 Wonders of Nature” contest, beating the Atacama Desert in Chile, the Azure Window in Malta and the Rock of Aphrodite in Cyprus for a spot on the shortlist.

The top 28 natural wonders from around the world were announced on Tuesday July 21 by the Switzerland-based New7Wonders Foundation. The finalists include legendary sites such as the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, the Grand Canyon in the US, the Amazon in South America – and Table Mountain.

“We were really excited when our mountain made it through to the list of 77 sites which were voted in by the public. And we are now delighted that the judges have shown their appreciation for this World Heritage Site and given Table Mountain a chance to compete against other incredible natural phenomena,” says Sabine Lehmann, CEO of Table Mountain Cableway, which, with Table Mountain National Park, formed an official supporting committee to champion the mountain’s cause.

Table Mountain is the one of only two African sites to have made the prestigious list, along with Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. The much-loved landmark beat fellow contender Sossusvlei in Namibia in round three of the international competition.

The campaign is run by the New7Wonders Foundation, which works to document monuments and conservation efforts worldwide. The New 7 Wonders of Nature campaign aims, specifically, to raise awareness of the incredible variety and beauty of nature around us.

Candidates in the New 7 Wonders of Nature campaign are clearly defined natural sites that have neither been created by nor significantly altered by humans for aesthetic reasons.

The choice of the 28 official finalists was advised by the New7Wonders panel of experts, under the leadership of Professor Federico Mayor, former director-general of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation.

As in the early round of the contest, the final seven will be chosen by popular vote, with the top seven natural wonders being announced in 2011.

“Thank you to all the people who voted Table Mountain onto the top 77 list,” says Lehmann. “Now that we are in the final list of 28, we will put all our energy behind drumming up support from around the world to see that Table Mountain makes it to the final seven.”

A number of South African celebrities and sports stars showed their support for Table Mountain in the earlier round. The Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, comedian Marc Lottering, radio DJ Natalie Becker and the Proteas cricketers all cast their vote for Table Mountain.

Voting for the New 7 Wonders of Nature will now resume and continue throughout 2010 and into 2011, when the Official New 7 Wonders of Nature will be announced. People who voted in the initial stage must cast their vote again in the final phase to name the top seven sites – and ensure that our natural treasures can be preserved for future generations.

To vote for Table Mountain visit www.new7wonders.com or call 0041 77 312 4041 and select Table Mountain’s four-digit code, 7725.

Calls to the New7Wonders Swiss mobile voting number will cost R3,29 a minute in peak times (7am-7pm) and R2,92 a minute off-peak (7pm-7am).

For information contact the Table Mountain Cableway on 021 424 0015 or visit www.new7wonders.com.

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