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Table Mountain

Table Mountain towering above the fog over Cape Town

Table Mountain is undoubtedly Cape Town’s pride and since 2011, one of the World’s 7 Natural Wonders.

Not many cities in the world can compete with a natural feature as well-known as Table Mountain. Hoerikwaggo, the Khoisan name meaning “mountain in the sea” is just as suitable as the name we know today. A level plateau of approximately 3 km from side to side, depicts a table. Together with Lion’s Head to the West and Devil’s Peak to the East, the Cape Town City Bowl is lying in a natural amphitheatre, surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean.

At approximately 550 million years old, Table Mountain is one of the oldest mountains in the world.

We are talking about 6 times older than the Himalayas! The oldest rock formation in the area is the Malmesbury Group formation, consisting of layers of shale and sandstone. This formation is below the thin layer of the Graafwater formation. The top layer, is made of Table Mountain sandstone.

South Africa boasts with unique vegetation in this area. In the Table Mountain and the Cape Peninsula range alone, you can find an estimated 2285 different plant species. A great proportion of those species are endemic to these mountains, therefore cannot be found anywhere else in the world.

In a mere 57 square km area, there are more plant species than in the entire United Kingdom.

Table Mountain National Park is also home to a variety of mammals, snakes, lizards, amphibian, tortoises and birds. Dassies are happy inhabitants here. They are usually sunbathing on the rocks, aware not to become a bird’s prey. While the orange-breasted sunbirds drink nectare from Proteas or Ericas, the blue-headed agamas jump from rock to rock. Always in search for some sun. On very rare occasions, the Himalayan Tahrs make their appearance. All the interesting, living creatures, make every hike memorable.

With an endless variety of trails to choose from, Cape Town is a hiker’s paradise!

However, Table Mountain should never be underestimated. The routes vary in difficulty and exposure. Some trails are easy walking, without the need to climb up rocks. Apart from that, there are scramble routes, without too much exposure to heights. And for the fearless, there is the more mentally challenging route. Where you will not only scramble, but also walk next to sheer drop-offs, squeeze through narrow cracks, crawl through chimneys and walk on ledges. For more information, read more on the trails we offer.

On top of Table Mountain, visitors can expect a restaurant, a WiFi lounge and bar and two curio shops.

Whether you want that holiday souvenir, a gift for someone special or to purchase a thick jacket against the unforeseen weather.

Last, but not least, you have the Table Mountain Aerial Cableway on top. The floor of the cable car rotates and ensures a 360° view over Cape Town during the ride down. Certainly the best way to descend the mountain after hiking up. And possible with most of the hiking routes offered by Like2Hike.

Come hike with Like2Hike and learn more about this magical mountain in the sea!

Maretha, mountain guide, between flowering Watsonias on Fountain Ledge.

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