TABLE MOUNTAIN (
Khoikhoi : Hoerikwaggo,
Afrikaans : Tafelberg) is a
flat-topped mountain forming a prominent landmark overlooking the city
Cape Town in South Africa. It is a significant tourist attraction ,
with many visitors using the cableway or hiking to the top. The
mountain forms part of the Table
Mountain National Park . Table
Mountain is home to large array of fauna and flora, most of which is
* 1 Features
* 2 Geology
* 3 Flora
* 4 Fauna
* 5 History
* 6 Cableway
* 7 Activities
* 7.1 Hiking on Table
* 7.3 Caving
* 8 "Mensa" constellation
* 9 Image gallery
* 10 Foot note
* 11 See also
* 12 References
* 13 External links
Mountain seen from Lion\'s Head with low-lying cloud cover
over Cape Town. Play media
Cape Town under the clouds
The main feature of Table
Mountain is the level plateau approximately
3 kilometres (2 mi) 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
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 (3,563 ft)
above sea level, and about 19 metres (62 ft) higher than the cable
station at the western end of the plateau.
The cliffs of the main plateau are split by Platteklip Gorge ("Flat
Stone Gorge"), which provides an easy and direct ascent to the summit
and was the route taken by
António de Saldanha on the first recorded
ascent of the mountain in 1503.
The flat top of the mountain is often covered by orographic clouds,
formed when a south-easterly wind is directed up the mountain's slopes
into colder air, where the moisture condenses to form the so-called
"table cloth" of cloud. Legend attributes this phenomenon to a smoking
contest between the
Devil and a local pirate called Van Hunks. When
the table cloth is seen, it symbolizes the contest.
Mountain is at the northern end of a sandstone mountain range
that forms the spine of the
Cape Peninsula that terminates
approximately 50 km to the south at the
Cape of Good Hope
Cape of Good Hope and Cape
Point . Immediately to the south of Table
Mountain is a rugged
"plateau" at a somewhat lower elevation than the Table Mountain
Plateau (at about 1000 m), called the "Back Table". The "Back Table"
extends southwards for approximately 6 km to the
Constantia Nek -Hout
Bay valley. The Atlantic side of the Back Table, is known as the
Twelve Apostles, which extends from Kloof Nek (the saddle between
Mountain and Lion\'s Head ) to
Hout Bay . The eastern side of
this portion of the Peninsula's mountain chain, extending from
Devil\'s Peak , the eastern side of Table
Mountain (Erica and Fernwood
Buttresses), and the Back Table to
Constantia Nek , does not have
single name, as on the western side. It is better known by the names
of the conservation areas on its lower slopes: Groote Schuur Estate,
Newlands Forest ,
Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens ,
Cecilia Forest ,
Constantia Nek . Panorama from the top of Table Mountain.
From left to right are visible Lion\'s Head , Signal Hill , Robben
Island , the
Cape Town city centre,
Table Bay , and Devil\'s Peak .
Devil\'s Peak , Table
Mountain and the Back Table seen from the Cape
Flats . In this view Table
Mountain is seen "side on" from the east.
It is the view of the mountain that greets a visitor to Cape Town
arriving by road (particularly along the N2). The distance from
Constantia Nek to the lower slopes of Devil's Peak on the right hand
side of the photograph is 9 km (as the crow flies).
Cape Peninsula § Geology Main article: Cape Fold
Mountains Main article: Marine geology of the
Cape Peninsula and
False Bay Geological structure of Table Mountain. Compare with
map on the left. Geology of Table
Mountain in relation to the
geology of the rest of the Cape Peninsula.
The upper approximately 600 m portion of the 1 km high table-topped
mountain, or mesa , consists of 450-510 million years old (Ordovician
) rocks belonging to the two lowermost layers of the Cape Fold
Mountains . The uppermost, and younger of the two layers, consists
of extremely hard quartzitic sandstone , commonly referred to as
Sandstone " (TMS), or "Peninsula Formation Sandstone"
(as it is known as at present), which is highly resistant to erosion
and forms characteristic steep grey crags. The 70 m thick lower layer,
known as the "Graafwater Formation", consists of distinctively maroon
colored mudstones, which were laid down in much thinner horizontal
strata than the Table
Sandstone strata above it. The
Graafwater rocks can best be seen just above the contour path on the
front of Table Mountain, and around Devils Peak . They can also been
seen in the cutting along Chapman\'s Peak Drive. These rocks are
believed to have originated in shallow tidal flats, in which a few
Ordovician fossils, and fossil tracks have been preserved. The
overlying TMS probably arose in deeper water, either as a result of
subsidence, or a rise in the sea level. The Graafwater rocks rest on
the basement consisting of Cape
Granite . Devil\'s Peak , Signal Hill,
City Bowl and much of the "Cape Flats", however, rest on heavily
folded and altered phyllites and hornfelses known informally as the
Malmesbury shales . The Cape
Granite and Malmesbury shales form the
lower, gentler slopes of the Table
Mountain range on the Cape
Peninsula. They are of late
Precambrian age, pre-dating the
"Graafwater rocks" by at least 40 million years. A west-east
(left to right) geological cross section through Table
Mountain on the
Cape Peninsula , the
Cape Flats (the isthmus connecting the Peninsula
to the African mainland) and the
Hottentots-Holland Mountains on the
mainland. It indicates how the
Cape Fold Mountains have been eroded in
this region, leaving what was once the bottom of a valley to form
Mountain with its flat table-top structure.
The basement rocks are not nearly as resistant to weathering as the
TMS, but significant outcrops of the Cape
Granite are visible on the
western side of Lion's Head, and elsewhere on the Peninsula
Chapman's Peak Drive, and The Boulders near Simon\'s
Town ). The weathered granite soil of the lower slopes of the
Mountain range are more fertile than the nutrient-poor soils
derived from TMS. Most of the vineyards found on the Cape Peninsula
are therefore found on these granitic slopes of the Table Mountain
The mountain owes it table-top flatness to the fact that it is a
syncline mountain, meaning that it once was the bottom of a valley
(see diagram on the right). The anticline , or highest point of the
series of folds that Table
Mountain was once part of , lay to the
east, but that has been weathered away, together with the underlying
softer Malmesbury shale and granite basement, to form the "Cape
Flats". The "Cape Flats" form the isthmus that connects the Cape
Peninsula to the Mainland. The Fold Mountains reappear as the
Mountain range on the mainland side of the "Cape
Flats". What has added to the mountain's table-top flatness is that
it consists entirely of the very hard, lower layer of the Table
Sandstone Formation . Originally this was topped by a thin
glacial tillite layer, known as the Pakhuis Formation (see the diagram
above, left), above which was the upper layer of Table Mountain
Sandstone. Both these layers, but especially the tillite layer, are
softer than the lower layer of Table
Mountain Sandstone. When these
softer layers eroded away, like a cream-topping on a cake, they left a
very hard, flat erosion-resistant quartzitic sandstone platform behind
which, today, forms Table Mountain's top.
Mountain is the northernmost end of a 50 km long, and roughly
6–10 km wide, Cape Fold
Mountain range that forms the back bone of
the Cape Peninsula, stretching from the
Cape of Good Hope
Cape of Good Hope in the south
Mountain and its flanking Devil's Peak (to the east) and
Lion's Head-Signal Hill (to the west) in the north. Table Mountain
forms the highest point of this range. The range runs parallel to the
other Cape Fold
Mountain ranges on the mainland to the east.
A king protea growing in Peninsula
Fynbos on Table
Mountain Silver trees (Leucadendron argenteum) only occur
naturally on the granite and clay soils of the Cape Peninsula,
Mountain and the Back Table. A few tiny patches,
possibly planted there early in the Cape Colony's history, occur near
Stellenbosch, Paarl and Somerset West. This photo was taken on Lion's
Head, looking towards the Twelve Apostles. The
Disa uniflora ,
also known as the Pride of Table
Mountain is a showy orchid that
blooms under waterfalls, along streamlets and seeps on the top and
upper slopes of Table
Mountain and the Back Table, in January–March.
Indigenous forest on Table Mountain, with Devils Peak visible
in the distance
Mountain and the Back Table have an unusually rich
biodiversity. Its vegetation consists predominantly of several
different types of the unique and rich Cape fynbos . The main
vegetation type is endangered Peninsula
Fynbos , but
critically endangered Peninsula
Fynbos , Peninsula Shale
Afromontane forest occur in smaller portions on the
Table Mountain's vegetation types form part of the Cape Floral Region
protected areas. These protected areas are a
World Heritage Site
World Heritage Site , and
an estimated 2,285 species of plants are confined to Table Mountain
Cape Peninsula range, of which a great proportion, including
many species of proteas , are endemic to these mountains and valleys
and can be found nowhere else. Of the 2,285 species on the Peninsula
1,500 occur in the 57 km2 area comprising Table
Mountain and the Back
Table, a number at least a large as all the plant species in the whole
of the United Kingdom. The
Disa uniflora , despite its restricted
range within the
Western Cape , is relatively common in the
perennially wet areas (waterfalls, streamlets and seeps) on Table
Mountain and the Back Table, but hardly anywhere else on the Cape
Peninsula. It is a very showy orchid that blooms from January to
March on the Table
Sandstone regions of the mountain .
Although they are quite widespread on the Back Table, the best (most
certain, and close-up) place to view these beautiful blooms is in the
"Aqueduct" off the Smuts Track, halfway between Skeleton Gorge and
Remnant patches of indigenous forest persist in the wetter ravines.
However, much of the indigenous forest was felled by the early
European settlers for fuel for the lime kilns needed during the
construction of the Castle . The exact extent of the original forests
is unknown, though most of it was probably along the eastern slopes of
Devil\'s Peak , Table
Mountain and the Back Table where names such as
Rondebosch, Kirstenbosch, Klassenbosch and Witteboomen survive (in
Dutch "bosch" means forest; and "boomen" means trees).
Hout Bay (in
Dutch "hout" means wood) was another source of timber and fuel as the
name suggests. In the early 1900s commercial pine plantations were
planted on these slopes all the way from the Constantiaberg to the
front of Devil’s Peak, and even on top of the mountains, but these
have now been largely cleared allowing fynbos to flourish in the
regions where the indigenous
Afromontane forests have not survived, or
Fynbos is a fire adapted vegetation, and providing fires are not too
frequent, regular or intense, they are important drivers of fynbos
diversity. Regular fires have dominated fynbos for at least the past
12 000 years largely as a result of human activity. In 1495 Vasco da
Gama named the South African coastline Terra de Fume because of the
smoke he saw from numerous fires. This was originally probably to
maintain a productive stock of edible bulbs (especially watsonians )
and to facilitate hunting, and later, after the arrival of
pastoralists , to provide fresh grazing after the rains. Thus the
plants that make up fynbos today are those that have been subjected to
a variety of fire regimes over a very long period time, and their
preservation now requires regular burning. The frequency of the fires
obviously determines precisely which mix of plants will dominate any
particular region, but intervals of 10–15 years between fires are
considered to promote the proliferation of the larger
a rare local colony of which, the Aulax umbellata (Family: Proteaceae
), was wiped out on the Peninsula by more frequent fires, as have
been the silky-haired pincushion, Leucospermum vestitum, the red
Protea grandiceps and Burchell's sugarbush, Protea
burchellii, although a stand of a dozen or so plants has recently been
"rediscovered" in the saddle between Table
Mountain and Devil's Peak.
Some bulbs may similarly have become extinct as a result a too rapid
sequence of fires. The fires that occur on the mountains today are
still largely due to unregulated human activity. Fire frequency is
therefore a matter of chance rather than conservation.
Despite intensive conservation efforts the Table
Mountain range has
the highest concentration of threatened species of any continental
area of equivalent size in the world. The non-urban areas of the
Cape Peninsula (mainly on the mountains and mountain slopes) have
suffered particularly under a massive onslaught of invasive alien
plants for well over a century, with perhaps the worst invader being
the cluster pine , partly because it was planted in extensive
commercial plantations along the eastern slopes of the mountains,
north of Muizenberg. Considerable efforts have been made to control
the rapid spread of these invasive alien trees. Other invasive plants
include black wattle , blackwood, Port Jackson and rooikrans (All
Australian members of the acacia family), as well as several Hakea
species and bramble . Dassies (rock hyrax)
The most common mammal on the mountain was the dassie (the South
African name, from
Afrikaans , pronounced "dussy"), or rock hyrax .
Between about 2000 and 2004 (no one is certain about the exact year or
years) their numbers suddenly plummeted for unknown reasons. They used
to cluster around the restaurant at the upper cable station, near
areas where tourists discarded or (inadvisably supplied) food. The
population crash of the dassies was in all probability responsible for
the decline in the Verreaux\'s eagle population on the Peninsula ,
which is believed to have consisted of 3 breeding pairs during the
period 1950 to 1990, with only 2 pairs, maximally, ever having been
reported to fledge a chick each in any given year. With the
commencement of formal monitoring in 1993, two breeding pairs were
recorded on the
Mountain Chain in 2004: one below the
upper cable station at the western end of Table Mountain, in
Blinkwater Ravine, the other on the cliffs below Noordhoek Peak. The
nest near the cable station was abandoned in 2006, leaving only the
Noordhoek pair, which continued to fledge chicks reasonably regularly
till 2013, at which point one member of the pair disappeared. From
2013 till January 2017 only a single Verreaux's Eagle, presumed to be
a female, remained on the Peninsula. She continued to maintain the
nest under Noordhoek Peak, but seemed unable to attract a mate. But in
early 2017 a pair of eagles was seen by at least 7 independent
observers during the course of 10 days (27 January - 5 February). It
remains to be seen whether they will breed later in the year. Dassies
are an important part the Verreaux's eagle's prey on the Peninsula.
(See Foot note )
Mountain is also home to porcupines , mongooses , snakes ,
lizards , tortoises , and a rare endemic species of amphibian that is
only found on Table Mountain, the Table
Mountain ghost frog . The last
lion in the area was shot circa 1802. Leopards persisted on the
mountains until perhaps the 1920s but are now extinct locally. Two
smaller, secretive, nocturnal carnivores, the rooikat (caracal ) and
the vaalboskat (also called the vaalkat or
Southern African wildcat )
were once common in the mountains and the mountain slopes. The rooikat
continues to be seen on rare occasions by mountaineers but the status
of the vaalboskat is uncertain. The mountain cliffs are home to
several raptors species, apart from the Verreaux's eagle. They include
the jackal buzzard , booted eagle (in summer),
African harrier-hawk ,
peregrine falcon and the rock kestrel . In 2014 there were four
African fish eagles on the Peninsula, but they nest in trees
generally as far away from human habitation and activity as is
possible on the Peninsula. Their numbers in 2017 is unknown.
Up until the late 1990s baboons occurred on all the mountains of the
Peninsula, including the Back Table immediately behind Table Mountain.
Since then they have abandoned Table
Mountain and the Back Table, and
only occur south of Constantia Nek. They have also abandoned the tops
of many of the mountains, in favor of the lower slopes, particularly
when these were covered in pine plantations which seemed to provide
them with more, or higher quality food than the fynbos on the mountain
tops. However these new haunts are also within easy reach of Cape
Town's suburbs, which brings them into conflict with humans and dogs,
and the risk of traffic accidents. There are now (2014) a dozen troops
on the Peninsula, varying in size from 7 to over 100 individuals,
scattered on the mountains from the Constantiaberg to Cape Point.
The baboon troops are the subject of intense research into their
physiology, genetics social interactions and habits. In addition,
their sleeping sites are noted each evening, so that monitors armed
with paint ball guns can stay with the troop all day, to ward them off
from wandering into the suburbs. From when this initiative was started
in 2009 the number of baboons on the Peninsula has increased from 350
to 450, and the number of baboons killed or injured by residents has
decreased. Rau quagga in the animal camp on the slopes of
Devil\'s Peak , above Groote Schuur Hospital.
Himalayan tahrs , fugitive descendants of tahrs that escaped from
Groote Schuur Zoo in 1936, used to be common on the less accessible
upper parts of the mountain. As an exotic species, they were almost
eradicated through a culling programme initiated by the South African
National Parks to make way for the reintroduction of indigenous
klipspringers . Until recently there were also small numbers of fallow
deer of European origin and sambar deer from southeast Asia. These
were mainly in the
Rhodes Memorial area but during the 1960s they
could be found as far afield as Signal Hill. These animals may still
be seen occasionally despite efforts to eliminate or relocate them.
On the lower slopes of Devil\'s Peak , above Groote Schuur Hospital
an animal camp bequeathed to the City of
Cape Town by Cecil John
Rhodes has been used in recent years as part of the
Quagga Project .
The quagga used to roam the Cape Peninsula, the
Karoo and the Free
State in large numbers, but were hunted to extinction during the early
1800s. The last quagga died in an Amsterdam zoo in 1883. In 1987 a
project was launched by
Reinhold Rau to back-breed the quagga, after
it had been established, using mitochondrial DNA obtained from museum
specimens, that the quagga was closely related to the plains zebra ,
and on 20 January 2005 a foal considered to be the first quagga-like
individual because of a visible reduced striping, was born. These
quagga-like zebras are officially known as Rau quaggas, as no one can
be certain that they are anything more than quagga look-alikes. The
animal camp above
Groote Schuur Hospital has several good looking Rau
quaggas, but they are unfortunately not easily seen except from within
the game camp, which is quite large and undulating, and the animals
are few. The animal camp in not open to the public.
Mountain from Capt. Cook 's ship HMS Resolution by William
Hodges (1772) De Villers reservoir, just to the left as the
Bridle Path reaches the top of the Back Table
Prehistoric inhabitation of the district is well attested (see for
example the article on
Fish Hoek ). About 2000 years ago the Khoikhoi
migrated towards the
Cape Peninsula from the north, displacing the San
and bringing with them their herds of cattle and sheep. It was the
Khoikhoi who were the dominant local tribe when the Europeans first
sailed into Table Bay.
António de Saldanha was the first European to land in Table Bay. He
climbed the mighty mountain in 1503 and named it TABOA DO CABO (Table
of the Cape, in his native Portuguese ). The great cross that the
Portuguese navigator carved into the rock of Lion's Head is still
In 1796, during the British occupation of the Cape , Major-General
Sir James Craig ordered three blockhouses to be built on Table
Mountain: the King's blockhouse, Duke of York blockhouse (later
renamed Queen's blockhouse) and the Prince of Wales blockhouse. Two of
these are in ruins today, but the King's blockhouse is still in good
condition. and easily accessible from the
Rhodes Memorial .
Between 1896 and 1907, five dams, the Woodhead, Hely-Hutchinson, De
Villiers, Alexandria and Victoria reservoirs, were opened on the Back
Table to supply Cape Town's water needs. A ropeway ascending from
Camps Bay via Kasteelspoort ravine was used to ferry materials and
manpower (the anchor points at the old top station can still be seen).
There is a well-preserved steam locomotive from this period housed in
Waterworks Museum at the top of the mountain near the
Hely-Hutchinson dam. It had been used to haul materials for the dam
across the flat top of the mountain. Cape Town's water requirements
have since far outpaced the capacity of the dams and they are no
longer an important part of the water supply.
Arguments for a national park on the Cape Peninsula, centred on Table
Mountain, began in earnest in the mid-1930s. Following a big fire in
1986, the Cape Times started a 'save the mountain' campaign, and in
Cape Peninsula Protected Natural Environment (CPPNE) area was
established. However, environmental management was still bedeviled by
the fragmented nature of land ownership on the Peninsula. Following
another big fire in 1991, Attorney General Frank Kahn was appointed to
reach consensus on a plan for rationalizing management of the CPPNE.
In 1995, Prof. Brian Huntley recommended that SANParks be appointed to
manage the CPPNE, with an agreement signed in April 1998 to transfer
around 39,500 acres to SANParks. On 29 May 1998, then-president Nelson
Mandela proclaimed the
Cape Peninsula National Park. The park was
later renamed to the Table
Mountain National Park .
Fires are common on the mountain. The most recent major fire s
include those of January 2006, which burned large amounts of
vegetation and resulted in the death of a tourist (a charge of arson
and culpable homicide was laid against a British man who was suspected
of starting the blaze), and March 2015.
In November 2011, Table
Mountain was named one of the new seven
wonders according to votes received, but the official result of the
new natural wonders are still to be presented to the world by the
New7Wonders of the World .
Mountain Aerial Cable Car
Mountain Cableway takes passengers from the lower cable
station on Tafelberg Road, about 302 m above sea level, to the plateau
at the top of the mountain, at 1067 m. The upper cable station offers
Cape Town ,
Table Bay and
Robben Island to the
north, and the Atlantic seaboard to the west and south.
Construction of the cableway was first started in 1926, and the
cableway was officially opened in 1929. In 1997, the cableway was
extensively upgraded, and new cars were introduced carrying 65 instead
of 25 passengers. The new cars give a faster journey to the summit,
and rotate through 360 degrees during the ascent or descent, giving a
panoramic view over the city.
The top cable station offers viewpoints, curio shops, a restaurant
and walking trails of various lengths.
HIKING ON TABLE MOUNTAIN
Winter ascent of Table Mountain. Hikers set out on one of the
many popular trails The plaque at Maclear\'s beacon at the
highest point on Table
Mountain (and the
Cape Peninsula ) at 1084 m.
It commemorates Maclear's recalculation of the curvature of the earth
in the Southern Hemisphere. In 1750, Abbé Nicolas Louis de Lacaille
had measured the curvature of a meridian arc northwards from Cape
Town, to determine the figure of the earth , and found that the
curvature of the earth was less in southern latitudes than at
corresponding northern ones (i.e. that the earth was slightly
pear-shaped, with the wider bulge south of the equator). However, when
George Everest visited the Cape in 1820 and inspected the site of
La Caille's measurements in Cape Town, he suggested to Maclear that
the gravitational effect of Table
Mountain could have caused a
miscalculation of the curvature of the meridian. This was based on
Everest's experience in the
Himalayas . Taking this factor into
account Maclear established the curvature of the Southern Hemisphere
was in fact the same as that of the Northern Hemisphere.
Hiking on Table
Mountain is popular amongst locals and tourists, and
a number of trails of varying difficulty are available. Because of the
steep cliffs around the summit, direct ascents from the city side are
limited. Platteklip Gorge, a prominent gorge up the centre of the main
table, is a popular and straightforward direct ascent to the summit.
Par for the course is about 2.5 hours but is done between 1–3 hours
depending on one's fitness level. This route is very hot in summer, as
it is located on the north facing slope of the mountain, with almost
no shade along the 600 m climb from Tafelberg Road to the Table
Mountain plateau. Map showing the conservation areas and forests
of the eastern slopes of Table
Mountain and the Back table. e.g.
Cecilia Forest ,
Newlands Forest , and Groote Schuur
Estate. The north face of the mountain (Table
Mountain flanked by
Devil\'s Peak to the east and Lion\'s Head to the west, as well as the
"Twelve Apostles" on the Atlantic side are also shown.
Longer routes to the summit go via the Back Table, a lower area of
Mountain to the south of the main, northern, plateau (which
constitutes "Table Mountain" as seen from the
Cape Town City Centre
and Table Bay). From the Southern Suburbs side, the Nursery Ravine and
Skeleton Gorge routes start at
Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden
. The route via Skeleton Gorge to Maclear's Beacon is known as Smuts
Track in memory of
Jan Smuts , who was a keen hiker. The Bridle Path,
or Jeep Track, makes a more gradual ascent from
Constantia Nek along
the road used to service the dams on Back Table. There are many other
paths in popular walking areas on the lower slopes of the mountain
Constantia Nek ,
Cecilia Forest ,
Newlands Forest and
Rhodes Memorial .
On the Atlantic side, the most popular ascent is Kasteelspoort, a
Camps Bay , but there are a few others, but not as
many as on the east side of the mountain.
There is a popular "Contour Path" that runs from
Constantia Nek , and
then, in succession, above
Cecilia Forest ,
Newlands Forest , and from there, above Groote Schuur
Estate, past the King's Blockhouse, at the north-east corner of
Devil\'s Peak , immediately below the Mowbray Ridge cliffs, to the
front of Devil's Peak and the north face of Table Mountain, ending at
the bottom of Kloof Corner Ridge at the western end of the Table
Mountain cliffs. It starts at
Constantia Nek at 250 m, but
immediately gradually climbs to around 320 m at Angela's Memorial and
the look-out point above
Cecilia Forest . It then undulates down and
up again at about this elevation as far the north-western corner of
Kirstenbosch, when the path suddenly climbs quite steeply to 470 m to
the scree (or Dassieklip) below the cliffs of Fernwood Buttress. It
then descends again to 350 m, only to ascend again to 400 m, 1 km
later. It remains at this level, as a true 'contour path', to the
King's Blockhouse, and from there, eventually, to Tafelberg Road (at
400 m). From the King's
Blockhouse it is possible to choose a footpath
that will lead to the "upper contour path" which traverses the front
(north face) of Devil's Peak and Table
Mountain at 500 m, to just
beyond the Lower Cable Station. From there it is possible, from either
contour path, to join up with the "Pipe Track" which starts from Kloof
Nek, and then runs at an elevation of about 300 m, below the cliffs of
the Twelve Apostles, on the Atlantic side of the mountain range as far
as the Oudekraal Ravine, where the path goes up the ravine to join the
"Apostles Path" on top of the Back Table at an elevation of 685 m.
There are innumerable paths which join the contour path from below (at
least five from
Kirstenbosch alone), and somewhat fewer that join it
On top of the mountain, and particularly on the Back Table, there is
an extensive network of well marked footpaths offering hiking
opportunities over a wide variety of terrains, and distances which can
be covered in 30 minutes to several hours (or even all day if so
desired). Good maps of all the routes are available at bookshops and
outdoor recreation stores, which hikers are advised to use, as dense
mist and cold weather (or extreme heat) can descend without warning at
any time of the year.
The Hoerikwaggo Trails were four hiking trails on the Cape Peninsula
Mountain Chain ranging from two to six days, operated by South African
National Parks (SANPARKS) between the Victoria ">
View from Signal Hill with Devil\'s Peak to the left
Upper Cable Station from the summit of Lion\'s Head
The cable car with
Robben Island in the background
Cape Town , Signal Hill ,
Table Bay and
Robben Island as seen from
the upper cable station of the Table
Cape Town seen from
The concrete part of the Bridle Path—the most gradually-inclined
route to the Back Table
Cape Town and
Table Bay from the slopes of Devil\'s Peak , showing
some of the mountain biking jeep tracks.
Cape Town 's beach, the
Atlantic Ocean , and Table Mountain.
The Upper Cable Station as seen on your way up from the cable car.
Lion\'s Head as seen from Table
Mountain cable car.
Time is a Gift, one of several plaques at the top of Table
The Table Cloth draped over the north facing slopes
View of Table
Mountain from Blouberg beach.
View of Table
Mountain at sunset.
As seen from the other side of
Table Bay at sunset.
Table Mountainin South Africa A 360° panorama
Cape Town surrounds as seen from Devil\'s Peak . Table Mountain
is obvious, occupying a large portion of the view. The edges of the
panorama point approximately southeast.
* ^ In 2011-2012 dassies began to be seen in
Bakoven , on the
Atlantic coast, below the Twelve Apostles Mountains. They were then
seen in the Silvermine region of the Table
Mountain National Park ,
and in 2015 at the restaurant on the top of the western end of Table
Mountain, as well as elsewhere in the mountains. But even in 2017
dassies are still not as abundant as they were on the Peninsula
Mountain Chain in the 1990s.
Cape Fold Mountains
* Devil\'s Peak
* Lion\'s Head
* Sleeping Giant
Mountain National Park
* ^ 3318CD
Cape Town (Map) (9th ed.). 1:50,000. Topographical.
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Mountain in Cape Town". www.southafrica.net. Retrieved
* ^ "15 Things You Didn’t Know About Table Mountain". 2017.
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* ^ "
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* ^ A B C D E F G H I Compton, John S. (2004) The Rocks Rubidge, B.
(2005). The Story of
Earth and Life. Cape Town: Struik. pp. 188–192.
ISBN 1-77007-148-2 .
* ^ A B Tankard, A. J.; Jackson, M. P. A.; Eriksson, K. A.; Hobday,
D. K.; Hunter, D. R.; Minter, W. E. L. (1982). Crustal Evolution of
Southern Africa. 3.8 Billion Years of Earth' History. New York:
Springer. pp. 338–344. ISBN 0-387-90608-8 .
* ^ "Geology of the Cape Peninsula". UCT Department of Geological
Sciences. Archived from the original on 2012-07-19. Retrieved
* ^ "The Geology of Table Mountain". CapeConnected. Retrieved 20
* ^ A B Manning, John (2007). "Cone Bush, Tolbos". In: Field Guide
to Fynbos. Cape Town: Struik Publishers. p. 258. ISBN 9781770072657 .
* ^ IDM
Cape Peninsula - Ld arge
* ^ A B Trinder-Smith, Terry (2006). "Orchidaceae". In: Wild
Flowers of the Table
Mountain National Park. Kirstenbosch, Claremont:
Botanical Society of South Africa. pp. 104–105. ISBN 1874999600 .
* ^ A B C D E Manning, John (2007). "The World of Fynbos". In:
Field Guide to Fynbos. Cape Town: Struik Publishers. pp. 8–23. ISBN
* ^ A B Trinder-Smith, Terry (2006). "Introduction". In: Wild
Flowers of the Table
Mountain National Park. Cape Town: Botanical
Society of South Africa. pp. 19–35. ISBN 1874999600 .
* ^ Manning, John (2007). "Disa". In: Field Guide to Fynbos. Cape
Town: Struik Publishers. pp. 162–163. ISBN 9781770072657 .
* ^ A B Sleigh, Dan (2002). Islands. London: Secker & Warburg. p.
429. ISBN 0436206323 .
* ^ Bond, William J. (1996). Fire and Plants. London: Chapman and
* ^ A B Kraaij, Tineke; van Wilgen, Brian W. (2014). "Drivers,
ecology, and management of fynbos fires.". In Allsopp, Nicky;
Colville, Jonathan F.; Verboom, G. Anthony. Fynbos, Ecology, Evolution
and Conservation of a Megadiverse Region. Oxford: Oxford University
Press. p. 47. ISBN 9780199679584 .
* ^ A B C D Pauw, Anton; Johnson, Steven (1999). "The Power of
Fire". in: Table Mountain. Vlaeberg, South Africa: Fernwood Press. pp.
37–53. ISBN 1 874950 43 1 .
* ^ Saunders, Christopher; Bundy, Colin (eds.), eds. (1992). "A way
of life perfected". Readers’ Digest Illustrated History of South
Africa. Cape Town: Reader’s Digest Association Ltd. pp. 20–25.
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* ^ A B C D Maytham Kid, Mary (1983). "Introduction". In: Cape
Peninsula. South African Wild Flower Guide 3. Kirstenbosch, Claremont:
Botanical Society of South Africa. p. 27. ISBN 0620067454 .
* ^ "Perceval" (PDF).
* ^ "Brochures, booklets and posters". Capetown.gov.za. Retrieved
* ^ Pooley, Simon (2014). Burning Table Mountain: an environmental
history of fire on the Cape Peninsula. London / Cape Town: Palgrave /
UCT Press. pp. 162–183. ISBN 978-1-349-49059-2 .
* ^ Information gleaned from reports in the Cape Bird Club's
newsletters from the 1950s onwards
* ^ Jenkins, A.R.; van Zyl, A.J. (2005). "Conservation status and
community structure of cliff-nesting raptors and ravens on the Cape
Peninsula, South Africa". Ostrich. 76: 175–184. ISSN 0030-6525 .
* ^ A B Hockey, P. A. R.; Dean, W. R. J.; Ryan, P. G., eds. (2005).
Roberts Birds of Southern Africa (Seventh ed.). Cape Town: John
Voelcker Bird Book Fund. pp. 531–532. ISBN 0-620-34053-3 .
* ^ Jenkins, Andrew; van Zyl, Anthony (2002). "Home on the range.
Raptor riches of the Cape Peninsula". Africa Birds & Birding. 7:
Cape Peninsula Baboon Research Unit
* ^ A B
Managing Baboon-human conflict: City of Cape Town
* ^ http://www.quaggaproject.org/ The
Quagga Project South Africa
* ^ "The First British Occupation (1795–1803)". The Fortress
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* ^ "Kings Block House".
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* ^ "THE BATTLE OF BLAAUWBERG - 200 YEARS AGO". Military History
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* ^ Pooley, Simon (2014). Burning Table Mountain: an environmental
history of the Cape Peninsula. London / Cape Town: Palgrave / UCT
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* ^ "Table
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* ^ A B C Slingsby, Peter (2010). Table Mountain, the map.
Muizenberg: Baardskeerder. ISBN 978-1-920377-10-6 .
* ^ A B C Clarke, Hugh; Mackenzie, Bruce (2007). Common wild
flowers of Table Mountain. Cape Town: Struik Publications. pp.
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* ^ "Hoerikwaggo Trails". SANParks. Retrieved 2006-12-21.
* ^ "Hoerikwaggo Tented Camps". Table
Mountain National Park.
* ^ "Table
Cape Town Direct. Archived from the
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* ^ Wagman, Morton (2003). Lost Stars. McDonald & Woodward. p. 207.
ISBN 0-939923-78-5 .
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