Going up Table Mountain, Cape Town

Table mountain is the most iconic landmark in South Africa, the most photographed in the country and most visited by international tourists and locals alike. Once you’ve been up there to enjoy the spectacular views it is very easy to understand what all the fuss is about. It truly is spectacular with panoramic views to all sides of the mountain.

Beware the weather though. Cape Town probably has the most random weather in South Africa which affects the operation of the cable car. If there is strong winds or significant clouds on the Table top the cable car will not operate. This is easy to check on the official website Tablemountain.net.

Getting there

There are several ways of getting to Table mountain. Even though I am visiting Cape Town with my own vehicle I prefer taking an Uber to and from. They are safe and relatively cheap especially if you share. The main reason I opt for an Uber is the traffic congestion that usually happens at the top of the mountain.

The turn off to the mountain is also the one that goes to Lions head and Signal hill, with the road also serving as an access to Camps Bay on the other side of the mountain. In addition, there is usually little parking available meaning you’ll have to park far away and have a long walk. The Uber drop off is about 50meters away from the lower station and only about R50.00 from Cape Town CBD to the drop-off.

Other options are the Red hop on/off bus, self drive, private taxi, walking or with a private tour group.

Tickets

Do not let anyone fool you into buying tickets from anywhere else than the official website Tablemountain.net. Buying the ticket online means you do not have to queue at the ticket office at the lower station, but you will still have to queue for the actual cable car. There is no ticket available to skip that queue. Dont be fooled. On my visit it took about an hour and fifteen minutes from bottom to top.

The current tickets prices are below. South African citizens are eligible for one free ride up and down on any day in their birthday month

The Ride

The ride up is a short 3-4mins, I never checked as I was filming… again like everything else about the Mountain the ride up is spectacular and worth the price of the ticket. Everything else up there is a bonus. The cable car has two open sections at opposite ends which affords everyone a good view because of the revolving floor.

The alternative is obviously hiking up or down. In this case you can purchase a one way ticket for R200.00.

On Top

The best part of being on top, except of course for the views, is the kilometers of hiking trails that criss cross the flat top of the table. Amongst them are several unique and breath taking picnic spots so be sure to pack a bag for brunch or lunch. Just remember to clean up after yourself before leaving.

They offer free guided walks on the hour and for a few hundred rands you can abseil off the side of the mountain. Just remember to pre-book this activity. I was properly disappointed to learn this at the top.

They have a restaurant which because of corona only served basic meals and drinks. It is fairly priced compared to similar ones you’ll find at attractions like this one. And then of course the standard gift shop.

Going Down

Once you are done simply queue for your trip down. The queue is significantly shorter than the one up. The view down is equally special so be sure to enjoy the moment and have camera on standby.

Going up Table Mountain is my No1 recommend activity in Cape Town.

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