Table Mountain

The Table Mountain Aerial Cableway Company celebrated its 85th anniversary in 2014 and remains the most popular tourist attraction in Cape Town

Western Cape Tourist AttractionsTable Mountain

Since the first person laid eyes on Table Mountain, it has exerted its powerful and charismatic pull, enchanting and drawing any and all who fall under its spell. The way to the top has never been easy, and for many centuries only a handful of bold and enterprising people could say that they had climbed it.

Where? Table Mountain, Table Mountain National Park, Cape Town

When? Open daily, weather dependent.

How? Call +27 (0)21 424-8181

Overnight? See Cape Town accommodation, in Western Cape

By the late 1870's, several of Cape Towns more prominent (and possibly less fit) citizens had suggested the introduction of a railway line to the top. Plans to implement a proposed rack railway got under way but the outbreak of the Anglo-Boer war put a halt to the plans.

By 1912, with a strong desire to gain easy access to the top of Table Mountain, the Cape Town City Council commissioned an engineer to investigate the various options of transport to the top. The engineer, a Mr. H.M. Peter, suggested that a funicular railway running up from Oranjezicht through Platteklip gorge would be the most suitable option. A vote was held with the vast majority of Cape Town's residents voting in favour. This in spite of its cost a staggering (in 1913) 100000 Pounds.

The Table Mountain project was delayed yet again by war; this time the outbreak of the First World War (1914-1918). The plan was resuscitated in 1926 after a Norwegian engineer, Trygve Stromsoe, presented plans for a cableway to the top of Table Mountain. The plan caught the collective eye of a group of eminent local businessmen.

The idea that an easy route up would finally become a reality drew them together, forming the Table Mountain Aerial Cableway Company (TMACC) to finance the construction. Work began soon afterwards and the project was finished relatively quickly. On the 4th of October 1929, the Mayor of Cape Town, Rev A J S Lewis, headed the official opening ceremony that was attended by over 200 other guests.

Since it's opening in 1929, over 16 million people have taken the trip to the top of Table Mountain. The Table Mountain cableway has since become something of a landmark in Cape Town, and has carried some of Cape Town's most illustrious visitors including King George VI and Queen Elizabeth II, as well as Oprah Winfrey, Sting, Stefi Graf, Arnold Schwarzenneger, Magaret Thatcher, Prince Andrew, Micheal Schumacher, Brooke Shields, Micheal Buble, Tina Turner, Jackie Chan, Dolores O'Riordan, Skunk Anansie and Paul Oakenfold.

In 1993, Dennis Hennessy, the son of one of the founders of TMACC sold the company. The new directors immediately set about planning an upgrade to the existing Table Mountain infrastructure. Apart from upgrading the restaurants and machinery, new cars were purchased. Unlike their predecessors, the new cars, or Rotairs, have a revolving floor that allows passengers a 360-degree view of the city and Table Mountain as they travel.

Work on the upgrade began in January of 1997 and, for several months cranes and large helicopters carrying building materials dominated the mountain skyline.

The new cableway was opened on the 4th of October 1997, the anniversary of the original launch, almost 70 years previously. The Table Mountain Aerial Cableway Company celebrated its 83rd anniversary in 2012 and remains the most popular tourist attraction in Cape Town!

Facilities & Additional Details

The Restaurant

The self-service restaurant at the top of Table Mountain offers a wide range of foods ranging from our hot breakfast, the hot meal of the day, snack menus and coffee bar. Meals may be complemented by a selection of fine local wines. The restaurant seats 120 people. Please follow the signs once you're on top.

Cableway Cocktail Bar

Watch the sun set over Camps Bay and the twinkling lights of the Mother City. Sit and linger over one of our special cocktails while looking out over the bay and Table Mountain. Up to 120 people can be hosted for cocktail parties. The Cableway Cocktail Bar is situated inside the top station building.

Opening Hours

The cableway opens at 08h00 in the summer months (16 September to 30 April) and at 08h30 in winter (1 May to 15 September). Cable cars depart every 10-15 minutes. Closing hours vary depending on the time of the year, but in peak season (16 December to 15 January) the last cable car ascends at 21h00 and descends at 22h00.

Accommodation

Due to the sheer size of Table Mountain, there are many towns which provide easy access to Table Mountain. Consider the following regions, which surround Table Mountain:
Atlantic Seaboard accommodation City Bowl accommodation
Southern Suburbs accommodation Cape Town accommodation
Or stay in one of the regions which offer postcard views of Table Mountain:
Blaauwberg accommodation Cape Town North accommodation

Popular Attractions & Activities on Table Mountain

Table Mountain National Park

Where? Cape Town
At the south-western tip of South Africa, the Table Mountain National Park encompasses the incredibly scenic Peninsula mountain chain stretching from Signal Hill in the north to Cape Point in the south, a distance of approximately 60 kilometres...

More info and contact details: Table Mountain National Park

Table Mountain Aerial Cableway

Where? Cape Town Central
A visit to Cape Town would be incomplete without a trip up the famous Table Mountain which reaches a height of 1085m at its highest point and had a broad flat surface allowing it to appear as a 'table' from certain angles, inspiring its name...

More info and contact details: Table Mountain Aerial Cableway

Diagonal Route up Table Mountain

Where? Camps Bay
For those keen on an alternative route up Table Mountain to avoid the Platteklip gorge hordes, this is a favourite amongs hikers and starts from the Camps Bay side of the mountain. Whilst still a bit of a scramble to the top, you won't...

More info and contact details: Diagonal Route up Table Mountain

Camps Bay Pipe Track Walk

Where? Camps Bay
The Camps Bay Pipe Track walk is a pleasant walk that starts at the top of Kloof Nek and follows the old water pipe along the top of Camps Bay. There are a few ups and downs but the route is otherwise flat and the views over the bay and up...

More info and contact details: Camps Bay Pipe Track Walk

India Venster Hike

Where? Kloof Nek
A visit to Cape Town would be incomplete without a trip up the famous Table Mountain which reaches a height of 1085m at its highest point and had a broad flat surface allowing it to appear as a 'table' from certain angles, inspiring its name...

More info and contact details: India Venster hike up Table Mountain

Skeleton Gorge Walk

Where? Constantia
This walk starts in Kirstenbosch Gardens and is in shade through the forest. There are a few sections of rockfall and ladders are provided to help climbers were needed. Once at the top (near the dam), you will need to keep left past the...

More info and contact details: Skeleton Gorge and Nursery Ravine Walk

Did you know?

Table Mountain is one of the oldest mountains in the world at 260 million years. Even the Andes, at 250 million years of age, is younger. The Himalayas, which people automatically assume are far older, are only 40 million years old.

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