Table Mountain’s fynbos

Table Mountain’s fynbos

Fynbos (literally fine bush), known for its hard, tough and leathery-to-the-touch small leaves, is endemic to South Africa’s Western Cape.

It is an ancient type of vegetation that has developed over a period of about 60-million years.

Covering around 80% of the Cape Floral Kingdom – about 90 000km2 – fynbos is made up of four primary plant groups – proteas (large, broad-leafed shrubs), ericas (low-growing shrubs), restios (thin, reed-like plants) and geophytes (bulbs).

The vegetation is dependent on controlled fire that needs to burn approximately every 15 years for seed dispersal and to stimulate growth. However, the Cape Floral Kingdom often experiences frequent fires that can have a negative effect on the ecosystem, as young fynbos seed banks become depleted, which has an impact on the diversity of plant species.

You can find fynbos on the mountain ranges of the Western Cape, including, of course, on Table Mountain, which forms part of the Cape Floral Kingdom.

With approximately 9 000 species of fynbos within the Cape Floral Kingdom, around 1 500 of which grow on Table Mountain, there are a number of fynbos species to look out for while visiting the mountain.

Join us on one of our free, daily, guided walks that leave from the Upper Cable Station at 10h00 and 12h00 and you can spot an array of fynbos and fauna. Expect to see proteas, ericas and disas, and some of the fauna and insects that help make this region a biodiversity hot spot, such as birds, dassies, lizards, tortoises, butterflies, spiders and even snakes.

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