Good times to visit
Cape Town enjoys a Mediterranean climate, with hot, dry summers and cold, wet winters. November, December, January, February and March enjoy the lowest average monthly rainfall. The long sunny days and late sunsets make these the best months of the year to take a ride on the Cableway and spend time exploring the mountain.
Table Mountain soars 1,085m (3,559ft) above Cape Town and the Lower Cableway station lies at 363m, which means that weather conditions often vary considerably between the base and the summit. Before leaving home, check the weather conditions on the webcams at both the Lower and Upper Stations. Remember to take a warm jacket with you because it can get very cold topside, even on sunny days.
The Cableway does not operate in strong winds. Please call our Information line on +27 (0)21 424 8181 to ensure that we are open on the day of your planned visit.
What to take
- Warm jacket
- Sun-tan cream
- Good walking shoes
- Camera for making the most of fantastic photographic opportunities
The first cable car departs at 08h00 (except from May 1- September 15), affording the family an early morning bird’s-eye view of the Mother City. Children are always fascinated by the rotating floor of the cable car, which turns a full 360º during the five-minute ascent.
Check on the Cableway
It’s important to bear in mind that the Cableway can be closed at any time due to high winds, so never assume that it will be open when you arrive at the station. Due to the swift and unexpected changes in the weather on the mountain, it’s advisable to always ensure that you have sufficient time to make it down before nightfall.
Let’s get physical
Plan your walk over breakfast and bear in mind that pathways along the top are wheelchair-friendly. Guided walks are free of charge if you prefer the company of an expert and depart from the Twelve Apostles Terrace (below the Shop at the Top and the Table Mountain Café) on the hour from 9h00 – 15h00.
The walks are not too long or strenuous, so you might like to include more than one. Each route has been named after an indigenous animal found on the mountain.
Dassie Walk promises spectacular views to the north, south and west.
Agama Walk is popular and rewards walkers with 360° aerial views of Cape Town and the Cape Peninsula.
True to its namesake, the Klipspringer Walk takes hikers along the edge of the plateau to the top of Platteklip Gorge.
Make the most of longer days
The summer months are ideally suited to spending the day as close to heaven as you can get in Cape Town. The last cable car departs at 21h00 in December and January, at 20h00 in February and at 19h00 in March.
Keepsakes and curios
A selection of gifts and curios are on sale at the Shop at the Top. Pop in and find something special to remind you of your visit to the highest point in Cape Town.
In summer it’s worth taking a stroll along the pathway leading to the Platteklip Gorge to see the sunshine cone bush in full bloom.
Take the last cable car up the mountain in mid-summer, head for a good vantage point and slowly sip your favourite sundowner as you take in the magnificence of a leisurely Cape sunset. If you’re planning a marriage proposal, this is definitely the place to pop the question.
The last cable car down leaves at 21h00, an hour after sunset in summer, so be sure not to miss it after taking in the twinkling lights of Cape Town by night.
Celebrate the New Year in Cape Town style. A special trip heads up at 23h00 and returns at 01h00. Make sure you book early and have the champers on hand.
Take a short hike up the base of the mountain, where you can come across s flowering fynbos species at any time of the year.
If it’s a variety of flowers that you really want to see, then spring (September and October) is the best time to visit.
The black eagle (Verreaux’s Eagle) raises its young in autumn, when it preys on more dassies than usual to feed its chicks.
Bird watching is an activity that can be enjoyed at any time of the year, but in summer you’re likely to see more species out in the open, preying on insects and feeding on the nectar of flowering plants.
Cape Town Tourism
Cape Town Big 6
Table Mountain National Park