Safety is a number one priority at the Table Mountain Cableway. For this reason, the Cableway closes each year for a brief period to allow a team of experienced engineers to inspect the entire operation. This year, the cableway will be closed from Monday 25 July until Sunday 7 August.
This shutdown period will see the replacement of the Top Station generator, maintenance of the 11kV electricity line, cleaning of the ropes, slack rope tests, renewing switches and bearings where necessary, servicing of the main gearbox, generators and backup generators, as well as general electronic component changes and control checks. You can find out more about the maintenance on the Table Mountain Cableway website.
Don’t forget the Cableway will reopen on Monday 8 August, weather permitting.
Visitors can take advantage of the Cableway specials that are on offer before and after the annual maintenance period. These include a free return ticket for adults on their birthday on presentation of a South African ID, and the Kidz Season special that offers two children under 18 years a free return trip if they are accompanied by a full paying adult (valid over weekends, public and school holidays until 30 September 2016).
Should your birthday fall within this annual maintenance closure period, you are entitled to redeem your complimentary Cableway birthday ticket one week before (18 – 24 July) or one week after (8 – 14 August) annual maintenance.
But just because the cableway is closing, it doesn’t mean you can’t get the most of the Mother City. This is how we recommend you keep busy while the Cableway undergoes its annual maintenance:
Robben Island Ferry
Take a trip to Robben Island aboard the popular Robben Island ferry. While the true impact of a trip to Robben Island lies in a humbling tour of the Apartheid-era prison, the trip out to the island and back offers spectacular views, and a whole new perspective on the City, V&A Waterfront, and Table Mountain.
A trip to Robben Island includes a tour of the island and a return ride on the ferry, which departs from the Nelson Mandela Gateway at the V&A Waterfront.
Flying Dutchman Funicular
The Flying Dutchman Funicular at Cape Point is an immensely popular ride in Cape Town. The cable-drawn funicular offers a scenic ride that circumvents the steep uphill trek to the famous old lighthouse, sitting on the cliffs high above the swirling Atlantic Ocean.
While the old lighthouse is no longer functioning, it offers stunning panoramic views of the bay and peninsula. You can purchase one-way or return tickets for the funicular at the funicular stations within Cape Point.
Enjoy 360 degree views of the Mother City on the Cape Wheel
Take a spin on the famous Cape Wheel at the V&A Waterfront. This beautiful observation wheel is located in the heart of the Waterfront, and it offers stunning views over the immediate precinct, the Cape Town CBD, and Table Mountain.
The views and atmosphere will change with the time of day, so make sure you visit during daytime and again when the sun has set. It is open until 7pm on Tuesday to Thursday, 10pm on Friday and Saturday, and 8pm on Sunday.
The Boomslang treetop canopy walkway at Kirstenbosch is an exciting experience perfect for the whole family, in the middle of the tranquil botanical gardens. The beautifully designed walkway mimics a boomslang snake in both look and feel, and offers incredible views over the immediate gardens and out over the southern suburbs.
There is no additional entrance fee to access the walkway, and entry is included in the price of your Kirstenbosch ticket.
Walk the streets of the CBD with CityWalk
There are few experiences as rewarding and exhilarating as exploring the vibrant Cape Town CBD on foot. Explore the city under your own steam starting from the Taj Hotel with the help of a tour guide, or participate in the entertaining City Walk Saturdays.
Every third Saturday of the month, the streets of the CBD come alive with buskers, dancers, street artists and drummers during the City Walk. There is no entrance fee, and it offers an amazing insight into the heart and spirit of Cape Town.
Sip award winning wines at Groot Constantia
If all the rides and activities leave you tired and thirsty, take your senses on a journey of their own at the grand Groot Constantia wine estate. Savour award-winning wines, and learn how about what makes Constantia wines so celebrated and unique during a guided cellar tour. Or, simply put your feet up at one of two popular restaurants on the estate, each of which offer sublime settings and world-class dining.
What are your favourite things to do in Cape Town?
Let us know on our Cape Town Big 7 Facebook or Twitter page. Better yet, snap an Instagram shot of your favourite outdoor moment and tag @CapeTownBig7 #CTBig7
One Destination, 7 Unbelievable Experiences
There is no one way to explore all of the Cape Town Big 7, and much of what makes each of them so special is the variety of things to see and do at each. So if possible, take your time to explore each of the city’s most visited tourist attractions in as much depth as possible – as any local will tell you, you can spend a lifetime at each of the Big 7 and still not tire of them. Find the 3 and 4 day itineraries and tips here.