Our last day in Cape Town slowly started to come to an end, but we still had one of the main sights left to see. We had tried to reach the top of Table Mountain the previous day. Then we were met by the information that the mountain was closed due to bad weather conditions. This day it was open and we were dropped off here by our guide and driver Carlos. The base of Table Mountain was the final stop of the tour around the Cape Peninsula.
One thing we learned during the peninsula tour was that Table Mountain only looks flat from the direction of Cape Town itself. From the other side, it looks like it has several peaks. The elevation of the mountain is as much as 1084 meters above sea level.
Being late in the afternoon, only a few hours before the cable car to the top would close for the day, we were lucky to not need to queue. Actually, there was no queue at all when we arrived, which was surprising considering that we had been warned about huge lines of people waiting to go up. We were soon in the cable car heading to the top and there we got a first glimpse of the amazing view out over Cape Town.
At the Top of the Mountain
The ride up took only a few minutes and we were greeted by a completely different climate at the top. The warmer winds at the base of the mountain had drastically changed to cold winds at the top. We could see the huge queue of people waiting to take the cable car back down. A decision was made to take a walk around before going to the queue ourselves. We had around 90-120 minutes left before closing time but did not want to be the last ones in the queue down.
While walking around in a t-shirt and shorts I did feel a bit like an outsider. Most people wore thick jackets and it looked like they were really freezing. A tour group that we do believe was from Southern Europe stopped and asked if we were not freezing. It was first when we said that we came from Sweden that they said “aha” and continued onward.
The walk around took us to some of the great viewing points that the mountain has got to offer. It really is hard to imagine how steep the mountain really is. Standing at the viewing points and seeing the cliff dropping several hundred meters straight down towards the city of Cape Town creates a feeling of looking down from space.
There were also more sightings of the Rock Hyrax, the animal that was first introduced to us when watching the penguins at Boulders Beach. Up here at Table Mountain, they were in abundance.
Back to the Icon Apartments
We finally ended up in the line to get back down to the base station. The queue sure was long and it was first now when standing still that it got a bit cold. Luckily we were quite prepared even though something to cover the ears would have been nice when the queue forced us to stand uncovered from the wind.
It took us around an hour to get to the cable car for the ride back down. This time the cable car was so crowded so it was hard to enjoy the ride. It was more a fight to get enough space to actually survive all the way down.
Once down we were soon in a taxi and on our way back to our accommodation. After a long day, we used the possibility to order food to be delivered to our apartment and enjoy a calm evening with pasta and pizza. Our last night in Cape Town was uneventful, but more adventures were to come. It was time to pick up the rental car the next morning to get on the road again, with the next stop being Swellendam.
Join Us in Exploring Southern Africa
Here are all the posts belonging to the series about our trip to South Africa and Namibia. Read the parts by clicking on the links below:
- Part I: Doha, Qatar
- Part II: Johannesburg, South Africa
- Part III: Traveling To Namibia
- Part IV: Otjiwarongo, Namibia
- Part V: Cheetah Conservation Fund, Namibia
- Part VI: Etosha National Park, Namibia
- Part VII: Omaruru, Namibia
- Part VIII: Okahandja, Namibia
- Part IX: Windhoek, Namibia
- Part X: Cape Town, South Africa
- Part XI: Castle of Good Hope, South Africa
- Part XII: Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden, South Africa
- Part XIII: Two Oceans Aquarium, South Africa
- Part XIV: Mariner’s Wharf, South Africa
- Part XV: Groot Constantia, South Africa
- Part XVI: Boulders Beach, South Africa
- Part XVII: Cape Point, South Africa
- Part XVIII: Chapman’s Peak Drive, South Africa
- Part XIX: Table Mountain, South Africa
- Part XX: Swellendam, South Africa
- Part XXI: Plettenberg Bay, South Africa
- Part XXII: Birds of Eden, South Africa
- Part XXIII: Port Elizabeth, South Africa
- Part XXIV: Good Bye Africa!
- Part XXV: Trip Summary
Join us as we explore Southern Africa