Tag Archives: table mountain

The Golden Mole trail on Tygerberg Hill

The Golden Mole trail on Tygerberg Hill
In 2009 I posted a photo taken on top of Tygerberg Hill, along with a map of the route that you can drive to get to the upper parking area.

Kerry-Anne and I decided to walk one of the hiking trails, The Golden Mole trail. Take a look at the route that I recorded using Map May Run.

It costs only R12.50 to enter the nature reserve. Visit The Friends of Tygerberg Hills's website for information about organised hikes. Note that Tygerberg Hill has two entrances, the one I showed in my map, and another in Plattekloof, lower down and on the other side of the hill.

Walking though the fynbos

Walking though the fynbos
This is the last of the four photos of our hike at Hillcrest. After my previous photo of the Hillcrest vineyards and Table Mountain, I thought I'd show you this perspective - a little further on into our hike, at a time when we weren't quite sure which route to follow back to the restaurant and our car.

If you look carefully you can faintly see the white buildings on the right side of the photo, almost in the middle. While trails had arrows and were marked "Hillcrest", we weren't sure which trail would be the shortest. It's almost impossible to see where trails lead and basically ends up being a flip of a coin that causes one to choose a 30 minute walk back over a 3 hour hike over hills and down dales.

Hillcrest to Table Mountain

Hillcrest to Table Mountain
The views from the dusty Hillcrest's (map) hiking trails are spectacular - much more so than what I've shown in this photo.

If you're keen to amble though the vineyards, along one of the trails, arrive by 8am, take an exploratory walk through the vineyards, and end off the outing by visiting the estate's restaurant for breakfast. Be sure to take plenty of sunscreen and water along - it's surprisingly easy for a quick walk to turn into a two-hour trek.

Table Mountain and the city bowl

Table Mountain and the city bowl
As the day wears on, the shadow of our mountain slowly creeps forward to remind those who live in the city bowl that the day is at its end. One of the down sides (perhaps the only down side) of living near Table Mountain is that sunny days are cut short far sooner than one would expect - which is arguably a good thing on the few stifling-hot days we have in the beginning of the year.

In close proximity

Kloof Nek Road and Table Mountain
I'm guessing that it's probably quite a marvel to many visitors that we have a huge mountain in such close proximity to the city. It's somewhat of a marvel to me on clear days like this too! I guess you could possibly then understand why we have such a fixation with Table Mountain.

Just above the city

Table Mountain and Lion's Head from Signal Hill
Taking a sharp right turn at the top of Kloof Nek road will lead you up, above the city, along the side of Signal Hill, and past Lion's Head (the peak visible in this photo).

There are a few short hiking trails in this area - and since you're so close to the city, it's quite difficult to get very lost. Take at least a litre of water along per person, a warm top, and a pair of closed shoes. Also, hike in groups of three or four... our nature borders on a city, after all.

Save, and keep handy, the Mountain Club of South Africa's number (+27 21 937 0300) as well as the number for crime-related incidents (+27 86 110 6417) on your mobile phone. Those numbers may come in super handy some day. There are a few other numbers here, but they seem to be two individual's personal mobile numbers, so I'll rather just link to the MSCA page.

Cable Station parking

Cable Station parking
Some folk park way down here and walk a somewhat lengthy stretch of road (past many, many other cars), up the hill, to the lower cable station where they invariable queue to get their spot in the cable car.

I normally drive to the lower cable station, drop off my passengers, and continue past, where there's normally parking about 500 meters up the road.

One thing to bear in mind when you plan a trip up Table Mountain is to buy your tickets online from the official Table Mountain Aerial Cableway site. You'll get a 10% discount and get to skip the last part of the queue - just like the VIP you are. ;)

Living near Table Mountain

Living near Table Mountain
Wouldn't you love to live in one of these houses, so close to Table Mountain? This must be one of the best spots to live in Cape Town - the residential border that separates the city center from Table Mountain and Signal Hill. Here, you have the option of walking down to the vibrant city, or taking a walk on one of the many mountain slope hiking trails. Awesome hey?

Table Mountain’s sleeping giant

Table Mountain's sleeping giant
Can you see the giant's profile? He's lying on his back, looking up to the sky, almost dead center in this photo, just below Table Mountain's upper cable station. See the forehead, nose, mouth, chin and Adam's apple? Awesome heh? :)

Glencoe Quarry

Glencoe Quarry
I've visited Glencoe Quarry twice. We discovered it quite by accident the first time. Back then, as we entered the quarry we experienced a feeling almost like that which Lucy and her siblings must have felt as they stumbled through the wardrobe into Narnia.

The quarry was super-quiet inside and surrounded by sheer rockfaces - there were huge boulders on the ground, patches of neat grass, and a handful of rock climbers practicing their skill quite high up against the rockface. It was quite different to the hiking trail that we'd just been on!

When we arrived this time I discovered a large metal door in my path and this slightly-defaced sign indicating that the quarry had been closed to the public. I also happened to notice a small pathway leading up and around the quarry to a spot that rock climbers (including the one I spotted descending from the pathway) seem still to make use of.

It's sad that the area had to be restricted. I'm guessing that it could have been closed off because the quarry was so secluded that it may have been dangerous for people to spend time inside. It's sad, but the unfortunate reality of having that kind of area near on the perimeter of a large city.

Grassy beachfront

Grassy beachfront
Eden on the Bay's lawn is a brilliant spot (map) to relax in the sun - when the wind isn't howling.

Unlike the beaches on this stretch of coastline, the beaches that back on to Table Mountain have nooks that are perfectly sheltered from the wind, so there's always a spot to sunbathe in peace - even with Cape Town's infamous wind gusts across the peninsula! :)

It’s a new year!

Table Mountain
To those who joined us on our 2011 photo journey, and to those who will join us during 2012, we wish you a year of happiness, love and fulfillment. This year, do more what makes you happy and less of what doesn't. :) Happy new year!

Table Mountain and the New 7 Wonders of Nature

Table Mountain and the New 7 Wonders of Nature
By now you may have heard that Table Mountain was voted to be one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature. Even I (as a citizen of Cape Town) was surprised at the credentials that earned the mountain this title. Three of the many reasons that make Table Mountain deserving are that:

  • it is one of the oldest mountains on the planet - around 260 million years old!
  • it is the only terrestrial feature on our planet to have a constellation named after it. The Mensa constellation was given the name Mons Mensae (the Latin name for Table Mountain) by Nicolas Louis de Lacaille in 1754.
  • as part of the Cape Floral Region it was named a World Heritage Site in 2004 for being one of the smallest and richest of the six floral kingdoms of the world supporting about 8,200 rare and endangered plant species.

The Official New7Wonders of Nature was established to raise awareness of the diversity and beauty of nature in a hope to increase tourism and hence funding to preserve the natural beauty of landmarks like Table Mountain.

The 65-passenger Table Mountain cable car

The 65-passenger Table Mountain cable car
As Dieter correctly guessed, my previous photo was of the inside of one of the Table Mountain Aerial Cableway's cable cars. This photo is of the cable car birthing in its lower docking station.

It's difficult for me to imagine that a cable car of this size is able to fit 65 people. Once everyone's inside there's not a lot of place to move around, but fortunately there's enough space so that it doesn't feel as though you're a sardine in a tin!

Coca-Cola’s red-crate robot

Coca-Cola's red-crate robot
Coca-Cola had this red-crate robot built just over a year ago, around the time that the 2010 World Cup football tournament was held in South Africa.

I think the robot is pretty awesome, but can you imagine how much the company must be paying the V&A Waterfront to advertise their brand with such a huge 3D billboard?

Did you know that the Coca-Cola company is 125 years old and that soft-drink was originally sold as a medicine?! Isn't that just crazy?!

Surrounded by Table Mountain

Table Mountain
I love Cape Town on days like this. This photo unfortunately doesn't convey adequately how beautiful the mountains, the trees, and the sky looked. It's so beautiful in real life that I honestly don't believe that any photo could do it justice

We stopped here, in Vredehoek, at about 10am for our first stop of the day - breakfast at Woodlands Eatery. However, even though the information we found said that they were open from 9am - they appeared not to be open - the door was closed and there was nobody in sight.

Even though we were disappointed, Kerry-Anne heard that Woodlands is a great restaurant, so I'm pretty sure that we'll be back to give them a try soon enough. :)

Flat Stanley Lambchop in Cape Town

Flat Stanley Lambchop
Stanley Lambchop is a character from Jeff Brown's 1964 book, Flat Stanley. Stanley was a normal boy who got flattened when a bulletin board fell on top of him while he lay sleeping in his bed. Stanley survived the near-tragedy but was rendered flat - altered for ever.

Although one may imagine this to be a tragedy, it wasn't all bad because Stanley's flattened state allowed him to travel the world very economically - in an envelope. Cristin (class mom of her son's first-grade class in New York) sent Michael M's flat Stanley for a visit to Cape Town and this photo is from a small outing that we went on to show Stanley Table Mountain at sunset.

On the left, in the distance, is Table Mountain covered with it's well-known table cloth, a sheet of cloud that often covers the mountain. If you haven't seen her up close before, click here to see Table Mountain without its cloudy covering.

To the right of Table Mountain is Lion's Head (so named because from a particular angle it looks somewhat like a lion's head), and a smaller hill known as Signal Hill.

Dude, where’s my bike?

Dude, where's my bike?
In light of a recent comment by Dieter on this post, this post's title makes reference to a silly movie that holds good memories for Kerry-Anne and I. Surely you can guess the movie's name?

Fortunately (well, unfortunately actually) the bike attached to the Wheel of Excellence wasn't a prank. Rather, the bike was an advertisement by the wheel's sponsor, The Cape Epic - an annual MTB race which (this year) started on the 27th of March and ended on the 3rd of April seeing about 1200 entrants complete a 707km journey. And wait for it... wait for it...

Now that's epic! :P

Table Mountain trip : The Cable Car (10#10)

The Table Mountain Cable Car
In case you missed it, see the previous post in this series. This is the last photo in my series covering our trip up Table Mountain. In case you missed the series, click here to start from the beginning.

This photo of the cable car reminds me of a couple of years ago when the cable way offered adrenaline junkies the opportunity to bunjee jump from the car. Can you imagine being suspended half way between the upper and lower cable stations, stepping up to the open door, and diving out head first? What a rush hey!?

Table Mountain is competing to be included as one of the New7Wonders of Nature. If you think she's worthy of being included in the seven then please visit votefortablemountain.com and cast your vote! Thanks. :)

Table Mountain trip : Devil’s Peak (9#10)

Devil's Peak
In case you missed it, see the previous post in this series.

When viewing Table Mountain from it's post-card perspective, Devil's Peak (the subject of today's photo) is the tall pointy mountain located on the left side of Table Mountain. Based on this photo, you may be surprised to find out that even though it doesn't look that way, at 1000m above sea level, Devil's Peak is a mere 87 meters shorter than Table Mountain!

Just like Table Mountain, one is able to hike to the top of Devil's Peak. However, apparently it's only really safe to hike up the peak from it's western front - from the saddle between it and Table Mountain... and then only by experienced hikers, not casual walkers. :)

Table Mountain trip : The city view (8#10)

Cape Town from Table Mountain
In case you missed it, see the previous post in this series.

How many cities in the world are so perfectly located? Cape Town finds herself on the edge of the large bay known as Table Bay, and she's cradled by Signal Hill, Lion's Head, Table Mountain and Devil's Peak.

Take a moment to click on the photo to see a large version. Where in the world have you seen a city that has a tall flat-top mountain that's so easily accessable to everyone visiting her? It's not often that cities have such a prominent structure that rises 1km into the sky and gives visitors a 360° aerial perspective of the city. We're truely priveledged to live in a city built on the slopes of Table Mountain.
I know that I may sound awfully dramatic (and perhaps a little over-exited), but no matter how many times I'm go up there, I never get tired or blasé about the view from the top. It's truly and amazing perspective on the city.

Table Mountain trip : Lion’s Head (7#10)

Lion's Head and Signal Hill
In case you missed it, see the previous post in this series.

Kerry-Anne and I once spent a chilly new year's eve on top of Table Mountain - it really does get pretty cold up there at night. If you ever have the opportunity to go up the mountain at night, I'd highly recommend it. Only, try to get up before the sun sets and bargain on spending about two or three hours up top... with a warm jacket!

The city lights look absolutely beautiful from the top of the mountain at night. Take a look at this 360° photo taken by Lee Casalena from the top of Lion's Head (which you can see in this photo). Isn't it awesome? Imagine seeing this in real life!

Table Mountain trip : On the table top (6#10)

On top of Table Mountain
In case you missed it, see the previous post in this series.

If you've ever wondered; besides for the small section occupied by the cable station, restaurant and curio shop, this photo more or less represents what the entire top of Table Mountain looks like - well, the flat part at least.

It's not quite that clear in this photo, but the mountain (especially within the first 100m of the cable station) has many specially layed-out paths made from flat pieces of rock. Can you see them in the middle of this photo?

Table Mountain trip : A view of Camps Bay (5#10)

Camps Bay
In case you missed it, see the previous post in this series.

Slightly to the right of the view shown in my previous post is this perspective of the up-market suburb of Camps Bay. The houses (and especially the beach-front ones) are worth several million Rands.

After looking more closely at this photo I discovered a couple of interesting things that I'd like to draw your attention to:

  1. The streets and homes on the right side of the photo appear to radiate outwards, away from an open field or common. I wonder why that happened.
  2. Camps Bay High School is almost perfectly located - you'll spot it and it's large green rugby field on the right of the photo. If you click on the photo to zoom in you'll see it's beautiful blue swimming pool.
  3. Just to the left of Camps Bay beach, a little way off shore, is what appears to be a circular grouping of rocks forming some kind of natural pool out at sea. Has anyone noticed this before? Have you been there?

Table Mountain trip : The Twelve Apostles (4#10)

The Twelve Apostles
In case you missed it, see the previous post in this series.

This is the view that meets you as you leave Table Mountain's the upper cable station - the Atlantic ocean with the Twelve Apostles mountain range stretching into the distance. Isn't it a beautiful view?

I took a similar photo as the sun was setting about two years ago, and based on that experience I'd definitely recommend an early evening trip up the mountain (especially if it's a warm and windless evening), it's one of the most beautiful views of the sun setting over the ocean. A word of caution though - always take a warm top or jacket along no matter how warm it seems at the lower cable station - it get's kinda cool 1KM up in the sky. :)

Table Mountain trip : View from the cable car (3#10)

View from the cable car
In case you missed it, see the previous post in this series.

The view from the cable car is quite unlike any other. The feeling of quickly rising up from the lower cable station to this majestic view is incredible.

To the left in the photo is Lion's Head, with Signal Hill stretching off to the right (just behind the stadium built for the 2010 football world cup) and way way in the distance, right in the middle, you can see the spot in the ocean known as Robben Island.

Have you ever hiked up Table Mountain? Did you know that hikers can get a one-way ticket costing only R45 from the top to the bottom before 09h30? If you've ever hiked up and down the mountain then you'll know that up takes longer, but down is a far less pleasant hike - so I'd say R45 is a real bargain.