Table Mountain is the most iconic landmark of South Africa.
It is also the country’s most photographed attraction and its famous cable car took millions of people to its top.
The main feature of Table Mountain is the level plateau approximately 3 kilometres from side to side, edged by impressive cliffs. The plateau, flanked by Devil’s Peak to the east and by Lion’s Head to the west, forms a dramatic backdrop to Cape Town. This broad sweep of mountainous heights, together with Signal Hill, forms the natural amphitheatre of the City Bowl and Table Bay harbour.
The highest point on Table Mountain is towards the eastern end of the plateau and is marked by Maclear’s Beacon, a stone cairn built in 1865 by Sir Thomas Maclear for trigonometrical survey. It is 1,086 metres above sea level, about 19 metres higher than the cable station at the western end of the plateau.
But this mountain hides many surprises that wait to be discovered.
It is much more than a scenic photograph background or a place from where you can take a breathtaking photo of Cape Town.
There are about 2,200 species of plants found on Table Mountain and 1470 floral species. Many of these plants and flowers are endemic to this mountain.
In November 2011, Table Mountain was named one of the new seven wonders according to votes received.
A curiosity, Table Mountain is the only terrestrial feature to give its name to a constellation: Mensa, meaning The Table. The constellation is seen in the Southern Hemisphere, below Orion, around midnight in mid-July. It was named by the French astronomer Nicolas de Lacaille during his stay at the Cape in the mid 18th century.