Did you know that the first sailor on a boat to see Table Mountain in the distance won ten guilders and six bottles of wine? Similarly the first European to climb it was the wife of the Governor General of the Indies, Ryklof van Goens. The rocks that make up Table Mountain are plus minus 600 million years old. One cannot begin to describe its awesome majesty as it looms over Cape Town. King George 6th and Queen Elizabeth have both visited the top of top of the mountain; the mountain is the first thing you see when you arrive in the city and the last thing you see when you leave by boat. Cape Town is snugly nestled at the foot of the slope. Residents of the Cape feel a special connection with the mountain and some 800,000 people visit the site annually.
Fitness required up Table Mountain
There are lots of attractions and if you like walking there is full-day and half-day hikes which include lunch and entry to Kirstenbosch Gardens. Hiking time from Skeleton Gorge to Maclears Beacon is about five hours. As far as the level of difficulty a certain fitness is required; there are ladders on Skeleton Gorge and some rocks to scramble over but you still need strength. You can descend via the cable car or Platteklip Gorge to get back into the city. The cable car ride starts from high up on the mountain all the way down to the cable station. You sweep down the mountain and over part of the city and have some spectacular views. A whole day spent on or around Table Mountain enjoying the fresh air and nature will be a wonderful experience and do you good.
Endangered species, plants, flowers
The International Union for the Conservation of Nature has released a list naming the hundred most endangered species on the planet. The Table Mountain Ghost Frog is on the list as an amphibian found only on Table Mountain and lives in the fast flowing streams on top of the mountain. The creatures’ presence indicates the pure quality of the air and the water. There is much to do in Cape Town as far as nature walks and hiking and the weather is great for it. Spring started in September in Cape Town and even though it might rain sometimes it is always warm.
A shipwreck hike
Cape Town is a great place to visit and home to many cultures. The people are friendly, the weather is good, and there is a lot of fun and activities one can engage in. It is not often one gets the opportunity to go on a shipwreck hike along the Cape coastline – where it is rocky and treacherous and many ships have run aground. Currently, a cargo vessel waits in False Bay for engine repairs. The owners apparently have run out of funds. There are many nooks and crannies in the Cape and the mountain holds many secrets of days gone by of owners and slaves – some of them buried on the mountain slopes of the Cape. It is official; Table Mountain is now one of the New Seven Wonders of Nature in the world.