Exploring Table Mountain

Overlooking the beautiful city of Cape Town is one of South Africa’s most visited attractions. In fact, you can’t really visit the Mother City without visiting Table Mountain.

 Surrounded by Devil’s Peak to the east and Lion’s Head to the west, the dramatic backdrop of mountains is almost picture perfect. As the name suggests, Table Mountain resembles just that – a flat three-kilometer level plateau on the top. The area is home to over 1470 different plant species, many of which are endemic to the region. Here are 15 interesting facts about Table Mountain.

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Table Mountain, as its name suggests, is a flat topped mountain.

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The mountain is over 260 million years old. In fact, it is older than many other famous mountains such the Andes, Alps and Himalayas.

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The aerial cable way opened in 1929.

Each cable car ride can transport 65 people at a time.

Approximately 800 000 people are thought to visit Table Mountain each year.

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Clouds covering the mountain are often referred to as a ‘Table Cloth’.

There are around 2200 species of plants found on the mountain. Many of these species are endemic to the mountainous area.

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The most common vegetation type found here is fynbos which is a fire-dependent species that needs to be burnt every few years for proper growth.

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Look out for the famous Dassie which can be found on the mountain. It resembles a big rat even though its closest ancestors are the elephant.

Other animal species which can be found on Table Mountain include the Table Mountain Ghost Frog.

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It is the only terrestrial structure in the world to have a constellation named after it. The southern constellation Mensa was originally known as Mons Mensae which is Latin for Table Mountain.

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The highest point on the mountain is known as Maclear’s Beacon and is approximately 3563 feet above sea level. It is named after the man who built a stone cairn at the same spot.

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There are over 350 different trails leading to the top of the mountain.

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There are many sandstone caves that can be found around Table Mountain.

The original name of Table Mountain was ‘Howrikwaggo’ which can be translated into mountain in the sea’. This name was given by the Khoisan people of the Cape.

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Have you explored Table Mountain?!

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Hi World! I'm Shal - an environmental microbiologist, writer, teacher and artist from Durban, South Africa. I've spent the last two years traveling and teaching Chemistry and English to young kids in Asia. Life of Shal was founded as a way to share travel experiences, tips and other worldly magic with you! Join me on my journey!

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