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Table Mountain

Country: South Africa
Height: 1086 m above sea-level
First ascent: 1503 António de Saldanha

Table Mountain (Afrikaans Tafelberg) – Cape Town, which is a symbol of the mountain located in the northern part of the mountain chain of the southern tip of the Cape of Good Hope (about 52 km long and up to 16 km wide).


Table Mountain covers an area of ​​about 6,500 ha, of which plateau approximately 3 km ². The highest point is the mound of stones piled by Maclear Beacon in 1865 for triangulation measurements. It is situated at an altitude of 1086 m above sea level. On both sides of the mountain has the characteristic formations: the east of Devils Peak (Devil’s Peak), and the western head of the Lion (Lion’s Head). The top of Table Mountain often envelops the cloud.


The upper part of Table Mountain is made up of erosion-resistant quartz sandstone ordowickiego. Below is a layer of sandstone weathering slate easily. It consists of a strongly folded Precambrian Malmesbury shale.


The main plant formations occurring on the Table Mountain fynbos are the characteristic floristic przylądkowego state. These are protected areas, UNESCO World Heritage Site.

There also is progressing spread of alien species, such as coastal pine.


The most common animal, especially around the upper cable car station, where he sometimes fed with the tourists, the hyrax of headland. They live there also porcupines, mongooses, snakes, and turtles. The last lion in the area was shot circa 1802. Leopards lived there until the 20s Twentieth century but are now considered to be locally extinct. There they met the caracal and wild cats.

Tara’s Himalayan who escaped from a nearby zoo, lived for a time in remote mountainous areas but were eliminated as an alien species, to allow the reintroduction of native goats rock.


The original name given to the top of the first inhabitants was, Hoeri ‘wagon (sea mountain).

The oldest traces of primitive man found in the area have more than 600 000 years. These include hunter-gatherer tools found in the depression near the Cape of Good Hope.

The first European who in 1503 sailed to the area and climbed Table Mountain, was Antonio de Saldanha.

In 1796, during the British occupation of the cape, Gen. Sir James Craig told to build in the top three blokhauzy: Royal sconce, sconce Duke of York (later renamed Queen’s blockhouse) and the blockhouse Prince of Wales. Two of them are now in ruins. The royal blockhouse is still in good condition.

The top has become a part of a new Cape Peninsula National Park in the 90s Twentieth century, in 1998 the park was named National Park Table Mountain (Table Mountain National Park). In 2004, it entered the UNESCO World Heritage List as a team Cape Floral Protected Areas. Park has an area of ​​221 km ².

Cable railway

Cable car on Table Mountain takes passengers from the lower station of Tafelberg Road, located about 302 m above sea level, on top of the mountain [4]. From the top station overlooking Cape Town, Table Bay, and Robben Island and the Atlantic Ocean.

Construction of the queue began in 1926. The official opening took place in 1929. In 1997, the cableway was extensively upgraded. New carriages carrying 65 instead of – as hitherto – 25 people. At the top station, there are souvenir shops and restaurants. There are also hiking trails of varying lengths.

Table Mountain in the iconography and commemoration

Table Mountain has become a symbol of Cape Town, and its simplified image (with Diablim Peak and Lion’s Head) appears on the flag of the city.

Table Mountain is the only facility on Earth, from which it takes its name from the constellation – Constellation Table Mountain, marked by Nicolas Louis de Lacaille in the year 1751.

Table Mountain dominates Cape of Good Hope. It rises to a height of 1086 meters above sea-level and is visible from the sea at a distance of 200 km. The flattened upper part was formed hundreds of millions of years ago by a glacier. Most of the stones on the flat top of the limestone, not granite like the rest of the top, this is evidence that they have been left here by slowly sliding a huge mass of ice.