Eight things you may not know about Table Mountain and its Cableway

February 28, 2020

For locals and international Cape Town visitors alike, Table Mountain is an attraction that many hope to summit. Each year, the mountain draws hundreds of thousands of visitors, some with extensive knowledge about it, others with little. 

To give you some insider knowledge, here are eight things you may know, or not, about Cape Town’s famous mountain: 

National Milk Tart Day

Yesterday (27 February) was National Milk Tart Day, one the Table Mountain Cableway goes out of its way to celebrate in sweet style! This classic South African dessert has a crust base and a custard filling, and is sprinkled with cinnamon. Milk tart is beloved by South Africans and variations include shooters, milkshakes, macarons and cupcakes! The Table Mountain Cableway celebrated the day by selling delicious mini milk tarts to visitors.


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Millions summit Table Mountain

Table Mountain draws a crowd, a large local and international crowd to be specific! In 2019, the Cableway celebrated its 29-millionth visitor. This large number makes sense considering that in 2014, the natural attraction won the award as Africa’s Leading Tourist Attraction in the World Travel Awards. 


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Load shedding and the cableway

Load shedding affects us all. A question that is worth asking is: does it impact the operation of the Cableway? Yes, and no. “When load shedding occurs, we switch the operations of our cable cars from the electricity grid to our hydraulic back-up drive. The cable cars will thus be operational, just at a slower pace,” explains the Cableway’s blog. So you have no worries about power cuts affecting your trip up the mountain via the Cableway.


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Animals of Table Mountain

Besides regular sightings of dassies on the summit of Table Mountain, photos of the elusive caracal have also been shared when the shy wildcats make an appearance. If you see a caracal on your trip to Cape Town, snap a photo quickly! Alternatively, the little dassie will remain still long enough for you to get the perfect Instagram-worthy image.


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Not afraid of heights? This activity was made for you

Did you know that you can abseil from Table Mountain? For those who eat fear for breakfast, Abseil Africa offers packages daily from the summit. You will descend 112m, with spectacular views of Robben Island, Lion’s Head and Camps Bay.


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Spend a night on Table Mountain

You can sleep on Table Mountain in the Overseers Mountain Cottage. If you’re chasing unusual accommodation spots around South Africa, this has to be on your list! You won’t be able to access the hut with a car, so your options are to hike up the mountain with your gear, or use the Cableway.


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Celebrities visiting Cape Town love to hike up Table Mountain, or catch the Cableway to the top. The list of famous people to summit Table Mountain includes Vampire Diaries star Nina Dobrev, actress Shannon Elizabeth, Star Trek’s William Shatner, musician Omarion and actress Milla Jovovich.


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Table Mountain inspiration

The renowned mountain has inspired many quotes, poems and songs by those who have been captivated by its magnificence. 

One such quote, by our beloved Nelson Mandela, goes as follows: “During the many years of incarceration on Robben Island, we often looked across Table Bay at the magnificent silhouette of Table Mountain. To us on Robben Island, Table Mountain was a beacon of hope. It represented the mainland to which we knew we would one day return.”


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