Table Mountain, Cape Town

Cape Town & Western Cape Tourist Attractions

Table Mountain, Cape Town

Table Mountain as seen from Bloubergstrand
Table Mountain as seen from Bloubergstrand

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.

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.

Table Mountain and the City of Cape Town
Table Mountain and the City of Cape Town
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.

Table Mountain at night, from the waterfront
Table Mountain at night, from the waterfront
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!

Table Mountain

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.

Cableway Prices
R145 return or R74 one way per adult, R76 return or R38 one way per child (under 18).
Discounts are available for South African students and senior citizens, as well as for families and Wild Card holders. Prices are subject to change without prior notice, so please check beforehand.

Contact Table Mountain Aerial Cableway Company
Phone +27 (0)21 424-0015 for general enquiries or +27 (0)21 424-8181 for the weatherline.
Please note that as the cableway is weather dependent, it is not possible to book in advance. Tickets can be purchased at the lower station ticket office, on the day of your visit.

Table Mountain Hiking Trails
We are so incredibly lucky to have a National Park right on our doorstep in the city, and the best way to explore it is on foot. Read on for a summarised list of some the various walks in, around and on the mountain ... Table Mountain Hiking Trails

Table Mountain

Accommodation nearby

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 perhaps you'd prefer to stay in one of the regions which offer postcard views of Table Mountain:
• Blaauwberg accommodation • Cape Town North accommodation

Table Mountain

Recommended Activities

Table Mountain Hiking trails

Where: Cape Town Central
How much (per person): R201 to R500

A quite strenuous 3 hour hike up the front of Table Mountain, above the city centre. The most popular of all routes up the mountain. Once at... more information

Table Mountain Aerial Cableway

Where: Cape Town
How much (per person): R101 to R200

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 an... more information

Related Links

Attractions nearby

Table Mountain National Park

The narrow portion of land with its many beautiful valleys, bays and beaches is circled by the waters of the Atlantic Ocean in the west and the warmer waters of False Bay in the east. The Park has two world-renowned landmarks within its boundaries; the majestic Table Mountain and the legendary Cape of Good Hope ... more information

View Western Cape Destinations

Visiting Table Mountain?
Also see Cape Town Events to see whats happening or check out Things To Do in Cape Town to view activities by category, including water sports, sightseeing activities, arts & crafts and many more.

On SA-Venues.com you'll find plenty of South Africa accommodation options. We've also listed nearby activities for any town or city in which you plan to stay. And the big bonus is that you deal directly with the venues - no fees involved. With eight world heritage sites, a multitude of game reserves and national parks, over 1350 ha of national botanical gardens, and exotic combinations of landscapes, people, history and culture, South Africa offers the traveller a unique and inspiring experience. Enjoy your trip up Table Mountain!
Information about Table Mountain in Cape Town, Western Cape
Western Cape / Cape TownWestern Cape