Table Mountains of Cape Town

Table Mountains of Cape Town


Cape Town is one of the most populated cities of South Africa and the regional capital of Western Cape. The City of Cape Town forms an important part of the metropolitan municipality. The metropolis is famous for the natural scenery and the harbour in the Cape floral kingdom, along with various landmarks such as Cape Point and Table Mountain. Cape is originally located on the coast of Table Bay, was developed by the company called as Dutch East India Company as a sailing supply station for Dutch ships to East Africa and the Far East. In 1652, Cape Town emerges as the first European settlement at the Castle of Good Hope, further the cultural and economic hub of the Cape Colony.


Along with the Cape Town in South Africa, Table Mountains is the prominent landmark of flat topped mountains. Table Mountains are featured in the Flag of Cape Town and in the insignia of various other local governments. It is an important tourist’s attraction, with people climbing on the top using the cableway. Table Mountain forms a very beautiful epic scenic view in Africa. So these mountains form the part of the Table Mountain National Park. The main aspect of Table Mountain is the levelled ground which is around 3 kilometres from all the sides. The plateau is lined by Lion’s Head to the west and by Devil’s Peak to the east which finally forms a dramatic environment in Cape Town. The broad sweep of mountainous heights along with the Signal Hill forms the natural amphitheatre of the Table Bay and the City Bowl. The highest peak of Table Mountain is in the direction of the eastern side of the plateau which is further marked by Maclear Beacon, a stone structure made by Sir Thomas Maclear in 1865 for the trigonometrical survey. Maclear Beacon is 3,563 feet above the sea level, around 19 metres above the cable station in the western side of the plateau.


The top of mountains is enclosed by aerographic clouds formed by the south eastern winds that are directed in the slope of mountains in the colder region. The moisture band of the mountains appears as the table cloth of mountains by clouds. In myths the phenomenon is said as the smoking fight between the Devil and a native Pirate named Van Hunks. The mountains are situated at the northern end of the sandstone in the mountain ranges so called as the Spine of the Peninsula Cape. In south the main plateau is called as the Back Table which is the lower region of the mountain ranges. The last point of the range is the Cape Point.


Table Mountain is also famous for its rich biodiversity. Some of the main vegetation type is the Peninsula Sandstone Fynbos which is endangered now, whereas Afromontane forest, Peninsula Shale and Peninsula Granite Fynbos are critically endangered in smaller parts of the mountains. The vegetation of the mountains forms an important part of the protected areas of the Cape Floral Region. There are around 2,200 different types of species of plants in the Table Mountains which is more than that exist in the complete of the Unites Kingdom. For these reasons it is the most protected site of World Heritage. Many of the species here are so exclusive which can be found nowhere else in the world. In addition to this, the Table Mountains has the highest number of species of any other continental region of the equivalent size. However, many of the indigenous forest have been felled down and get replaced with the commercial plantations. Various types of fynbos tend to control on the exposed part of the Table Mountains on the regions where conditions are so much dry and harsh for the forest such as the area above the city. The natural cycle of mountain’s wildfire burns occasionally and which further rejuvenates the vegetation of fynbos on the exposed slopes.


The Table Mountain Cableway lifts passengers from the lower cable station which is situated on the Tafelberg Road about 320 m on the sea level from the plateau at the top of the mountain. The upper cable station covers the complete view of the Cape Town, Robber Island and Table Bay in the north side; whereas west and south is covered with the Atlantic Seaboard. These cableways are constructed in the year 1926 and were officially started in 1929. Various types of new cars were introduced which carries 65 in place of 25 passengers in further years and the structure was upgraded consistently. These new cars provide a faster journey to the peak and give a panoramic view of the city while rotating through 360 degrees. These new top cable stations provides you with various curio shops, restaurant, viewpoints and the walking trails of varying length.

Other then the cableways, Table Mountains offers various other activities such as Hiking, Rock Climbing, Mountain Biking and Caving. Rock Climbing on Table Mountains is a very popular sport among the local people and tourists of the Cape Town. Mountain Biking is also a lot fun because of the steep slopes. Many jeep tracks of the Table Mountain offers Mountain Biking and guide the route to follow.


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