Tips for a memorable experience on Table Mountain
With the warm weather and the city enjoying clear, blue skies more often Table Mountain Cableway is excited to welcome an increased number of visitors to Cape Town and Table Mountain.
Travelling with the cable car to the summit of Table Mountain affords you spectacular views, both from the cable car and the top of the mountain. While there, you will of course come across a number of our local inhabitants, including dassies and lizards, and you may even see a few spiders and a klipspringer or two along the way.
Table Mountain forms part of Cape Floral Region, a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation World Heritage Site that covers approximately 55 000 hectares. Home to more than 9 000 plant species, the area is rich in biodiversity and while within the Table Mountain National Park you will no doubt be treated to an array of blooms, insects and feathered beauties.
To make the most of your experience with Table Mountain Cableway and the mountain, we’ve compiled a guide to help keep you happy and safe.
Think ahead and buy tickets online
During peak season we have an abundance of visitors who want to soak up the glorious views of Cape Town from atop Table Mountain. This means that the queues can sometimes test your patience, which is why one of the best tips we can give you is to buy your cable car tickets online. Not only will you save money, you will also beat the queues!
If you would prefer to buy your ticket at the Lower Cable Station, be sure to visit us between 14h00 and 16h00 when there is usually a lull in visitors. You should spend less time in the queue and have a lovely experience at the top.
Cape Town has a Mediterranean climate and summer temperatures can hit the 35ºC mark. However, as the summit of Table Mountain is 1 085m above sea level, the temperature at the top can be up to 5ºC colder than that at ground level.
Remember that even though the sun shines clouds can roll in fast, which then means the temperature can drop significantly. So please be sure to bring sunblock and wear a hat and light clothing to manage the heat, and bring a light jacket in case the weather changes rapidly. If you have a small backpack you can easily pack it away and instead pick up your camera and practise your photographic skills.
If you’re thinking of walking along the summit of Table Mountain for short or long distances, high heels and platform shoes may not be the best choice of shoes. Rather stick to comfortable walking shoes, even hiking boots or sports shoes, if you are planning to explore any of the routes or simply manoeuvre the rough terrain.
Of course all that walking will make you slightly parched, especially on a warm day and while the water on top of the mountain is safe to drink, you are advised to bring your own bottled water if you’re planning to go on any of the walks.
If you’re hoping to get your adrenaline pumping and take in the views of the city from a slightly different angle, you may want to dabble in abseiling. You don’t need previous experience; all you need is a healthy dose of guts to help you move past your fears. Sound thrilling? Well, head over to the experts at Abseil Africa and they’ll get you started on your exciting adventure.
Be sure to take advantage of the specials the Cableway has on offer. In addition to the Birthday, Senior Citizen and Student special, the Cableway’s Sunset Special is popular during the summer months. From January 4 to February 28 2013, return tickets for both South African adults and children can be purchased at half-price at the Cableway’s ticket office from 18h00.
As part of the Table Mountain National Park Table Mountain is an urban park, which means you should exercise caution on and around the mountain.
Do not hike alone on the mountain – a group of four is preferable.
Do not openly display cash, cameras or other valuables.
In the unfortunate event of you being confronted by a criminal, do not resist. Calmly hand over your goods as resistance is likely to lead to violence.
Be sure to programme emergency telephone numbers into your cellular telephone before your hike and pay attention to the route you took so that you can find your way back.
The park has around 50 trained staff members who patrol the park with dogs, vehicles and radios and they work closely with the South African Police Service.
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