What you need to know about taking the Cable car up Table Mountain, Cape Town
Table Mountain is one of Africa’s natural wonders and is the most visited attraction in Cape Town.
Most visitors making the trip up Table Mountain get up here with the Cable car, then wander around the top of the mountain for the views. There are much more adventurous ways to get up here and I’ll have a post on that in the next little while. But this time we decided to stick to the very safe, well-trodden paths around the top of the mountain. This post will show what you can expect and the fantastic views you’ll experience at the top.
The map above shows the paths around the top of the mountain. The Map is called the “Wheelchair Map” because most of the paths along the top are wheelchair friendly. You’ll see all the great views along the route that make Table Mountain famous, from the different viewpoints on the eastern side looking over the city to those on the western side looking down the coast and over the Twelve Apostles.
Below: have a look at our 2 minute video.
About the Cable car ride: It is ultra-modern, capable of taking 65 people at a time. Time to the top is 5 minutes and it rotates 365 degrees on it’s way up/down so you can see in all direction.
Below: looking over the ‘Twelve Apostles”, a chain of peaks and buttresses lining the Atlantic Coast.
.Below: views towards the city center.
Below: Devil’s Peak, the arrow-head shaped outcrop on the left.
This animal is the Dassie, also known more officially as the Rock Hyrax or Rock Badger. They are actually the closest living relative to the elephant, scientists having figured that out on the basis of similarities in the structure of the feet and the teeth. You’ll see them all over Table Mountain, usually soaking up the sun on a rock.
.Below: more views on the Atlantic coast, the Twelve Apostles rising from the shoreline.
Below: Cable car and views over Lion’s head.
.Below: more views towards the city center. The island beyond is Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela spent 18 years.
.Below: Looking out at the dramatic coastline.
.Related: Hiking up Table Mountain
Tips and Resources
– If and when to go. Before deciding to go up Table Mountain, I would recommend first visiting the Table Mountain website and checking 1) if the Cableway is open (it can be closed when there are high winds) and 2) the waiting time at the lower station. I’ve seen days and times where the average waiting time can be 2 hours and others where it can be 5 minutes.
– NOTE: Pre-book both your Hop On Hop Off Bus ticket AND your Cable Car Ticket. It’s flexible for 14 days from 1st use – meaning no lineup to buy tickets, no losing out because of bad weather (because it’s flexible), and you can tour around the city on the 4 bus routes that the City Sightseeing bus offers (for us it was a highlight, we even took the purple line to the Groot Constantia winery).
– Time to spend. If you’re doing the above non-adventurous walks around the peak, you’ll most likely end up spending anytime between 1-2 hours up top.
– Getting to the Cableway Station: About 15 minutes from downtown Cape Town. If you are taking the city sightseeing bus (which you should take when visiting Cape Town), the Red tour comes up here. As mentioned above, the best deal is booking the tour that includes both the bus and the cable car ticket.
– Times. First cable car up is at 8 am, the last one down is at 8pm.
– BRING A SWEATER! It gets cold up there.
– More information from the official website.
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