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Table Mountain and Half Day City Tour of Cape Town


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South Africa . 2017 . May 21


This post is part of our South Africa / Zimbabwe / Botswana Trip Report and Itinerary. Do check out the full itinerary and our reviews here

The most prominent icon of Cape Town must be the world-famous Table Mountain, which is listed as the New 7 Wonders of Nature.

There are so many lists of wonders of the world that I am somewhat confused by now.  The first list that we saw at the Victoria Falls was the 7 Natural Wonders of the World which consists of the Northern Lights - Aurora Borealis; Grand Canyon; Paricutin Volcano; Harbour of Rio de Janiero; Mount Everest, the Great Barrier Reef and of course, the Victoria Falls.


Over here at the Table Mountain, they have listed themselves as the New 7 Wonders of Nature, the other 6 being the Amazon Rainforest, Halong Bay, Iguazu Falls, Jeju Island, Komodo and Puerto Princesa.  At least we can say that out of both these lists, we have been to 3 out of 7 of them!

First Up, Table Mountain

Today, we have a guided half day tour of Cape Town, and our first destination was Table Mountain. There’s a cable car that would bring one up to the table top, but the fitter and more adventurous ones can try hiking up the mountain as well.


There’s a catch though.  The cable car will not operate during times of inclement weather, meaning that if its too foggy for the cable car to operate within its safety limits, then all rides up the mountains will be closed.  We were extremely lucky though, throughout our 3 day stay at Cape Town, the view of Table Mountain as seen from our window at the Cape Town Hollow Boutique Hotel was clear and distinct, especially on this day when the sun was extremely bright and cheery.


There’s a cost involved, of course, in taking the cable car vs hiking up the Table Mountain yourself, which is not covered with our half day tour.  It cost R255 (approximate SGD$11.50) per adult at the time that we were there.  Not too expensive for a round-trip vs having to hike up on your own.


One thing though, the queue to take the cable car can be madly long, so do try and get there as early as they open, otherwise you will spend your precious time in the queue rather than taking in the beautiful sights from the top of Table Mountain.


The ride up the Table Mountain is an experience in itself.  It is a 360 rotating car which gives you splendid views of the area wherever it turns, so there’s no need to shuffle yourself around the car.  Just stay put at the window and you are guaranteed a full view of the region.



People hiking up the Table Mountain.  Good luck and see you at the top!


We had a jolly good time on the cable car, the journey of which took less than 10 minutes.



Inside the rotating car, as we gawk at the wonderful view below.


It was like ascending up to heaven.


Standing at the table top of the Table Mountain.


Table Mountain is home to a large array of fauna and flora, many of which are endemic.


I wonder if this adorable creature knows that he has a home with a million-dollar view.



There are dare-devils everywhere - a slip here will definitely mean the end of you.  And it’s lucky that there’s clear weather today where people like this can watch their step.  Imagine if the weather had turned foggy at that very instant.  I wonder if they can get themselves back to safety in those kind of conditions.


The incredible beauty from the top of Table Mountain.  The view is facilitated by many boardwalks and viewing points, all built for visitors to have a good view and photo-taking opportunity without compromising on safety.



My own personal favourite view from the top of Table Mountain. Visible in this picture are the Lion's Head, Signal Hill, Robben Island, the Cape Town city centre, Table Bay, and Devil's Peak.


If you do not already know, Robben Island was where the former President of South Africa, Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for 18 of the 27 years he served behind bars before the fall of apartheid.

Today, Robben Island is a tourist attraction by itself - it is possible to take a ferry across the bay to see the living conditions of the cell that used to house former President Nelson Mandela.


At times, the landscape beneath our feet can morph into such heavenly beauty as this.


The Cape Town Stadium which was built for the 2010 FIFA World Cup.   It is close to the city centre and to the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront, more popularly known as the V&A.


Taking a last look at the incredible scenery around us, before we make our descend via the same cable car that brought us up.


The Lion’s Head as seen from the cable car. This was the closest that we could get to it.



Next Stop, Signal Hill

Next up on our itinerary after spending half the morning at the Table Mountain was Signal Hill, also known as Lion’s Rump, since together with the Lion’s Head, it looks like a coaching lion sphinx.


Signal Hill was so named because it used to be the place where signal flags were placed to communicate weather warnings as well as anchoring instructions for visiting ships so that they are prepared for the stormy weather in the bay.


Today, Signal Hill looks like any other tourist spot that overlooks a beautiful bay, and one where paragliding activities are carried out.


From Signal Hill, looking up towards the Lion’s Head, the Table Mountain and the valley beneath.



Great views of the city from Signal Hill.


The Cape Town Stadium, as seen from Signal Hill.


One of my favourite pictures taken at Signal Hill.



Final Stop, Bo Kaap

The last destination of our half day tour was Bo Kaap, which was located very near to Signal Hill, and formerly known as the Malay Quarter.  Yes, South Africa has a Malay community, established primarily decades ago when cheap manual labour was imported from parts of Asia.


Bo Kaap is now well known for its brightly coloured houses and cobble stone streets.  and has now become an expensive piece of real estate due to its picturesque streets and unique architecture and wonderful scenery in its surroundings.



Bonus Stop for Coffee Lovers

If you ever find yourself in South Africa, and you happen to be a coffee lover, then you must try this local coffee chain called Truth Coffee.  It was recommended by our guide and it sure lives up to its reputation as being the best coffee in town.


This concludes our half day tour of Cape Town and Table Mountain.  Join us next as we venture to the Victoria and Albert Waterfront, also known as the V&A for a free and easy half day on our own.

This post is part of our South Africa / Zimbabwe / Botswana Trip Report and Itinerary. Do check out the full itinerary and our reviews here


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