The large plateau of Table Mountain looming over the peninsula has always been an iconic symbol of Cape Town. Located within Table Mountain National Park, it is one of the major tourist attractions for the Cape region and South Africa as a whole. Visitors can hike to the top, or for a comfortable ride, use the aerial cable car. A magnificent view of Table Mountain in Cape Town can be seen from the beach at nearby Bloubergstrand.
Table Mountain silently keeps watch over Cape Town as visitors come and go. A dominant characteristic of the city flag, it is an everlasting symbol of the Cape. Archeological evidence of life in this area dates back to the Stone Age, and in more recent years, Bushmen inhabited the area as they hunted and gathered food along the seashore. The first European to arrive in this area was Antonio de Saldanha, who scaled the plateau in 1503 and named it Table Mountain. During the British occupation, the king had three houses built: one for himself, one for the Prince of Wales, and one for the Duke of York, which was later renamed for the queen.
Plans for the aerial cable car date back to 1912. Several delays ensued, including the Anglo-Boer War and World War I, preventing the completion of the project until 1929, and since then, more than 16 million people have ridden the cable car to the top of Table Mountain in Cape Town. Like the mountain itself, the cableway has become something of an icon of Cape Town.
A number of trails line the way to the summit, and hiking up Table Mountain in South Africa is another option for reaching the top, and all the while visitors can enjoy an up-close experience with the local wildlife. Another popular activity is rock climbing on the climbing routes, which include various standards of difficulty. Unique sandstone caverns lie hidden inside this rocky plateau; the largest is the Wynberg Caves.
Visiting and budding photographers may want to take advantage of the stunning vistas from atop and below the black giant. At the summit, views of Cape Town and Table Bay dazzle the eyes of every visitor. For a view of Table Mountain in Cape Town, many visitors trek out to the V&A Waterfront or even further up the coast to Bloubergstrand for a panoramic photo or two.
Table Mountain National Park stretches south from Cape Town to Cape Point, near the Cape of Good Hope. The coastal area is a restricted zone to protect the marine animals, and of course, the park is a reserve for the protection of the land animals in the area. Safety at Table Mountain National Park is a little different. While visitors may hike and walk around in the area, they should keep a watchful eye out for one type of mischievous creature, the chacma baboon. These animals will approach tourists for food, and you are advised to back away slowly if on foot or secure windows and doors of vehicles, as the baboons will often attack.
This great plateau mountain is sure to be an experience to remember, as it is rich in history and adventure. Cameras are a must to capture the marvelous beauty of area. Whether you choose to trek or take a ride on the cableway, Table Mountain in South Africa offers something for everyone. Visiting the mountain is one of the top things to do in Cape Town, in addition to being one of the best-known attractions in the country, and it is possible to find hotels in Cape Town near this stunning sight.