Letishia Charles is a proudly born and bred Capetonian, who joined the Cape Town Big 7 in celebrating our 3 year anniversary of the Monopoly Cape Town Edition!
As a proudly born and bred Capetonian, we don’t always get to enjoy all the touristy spots that the Mother City is so well known for. As soon as the Summer school holidays arrived, however, I decided to take my daughter and her bestie out to explore and appreciate all that is so readily available to us.
Our first activity to tick off our Cape Town Big 7 list was the beautiful Table Mountain Aerial Cableway, an icon which is now one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature. Armed with sunblock and a bottle of water, we made our way into the City. Getting there was easy enough as we parked at the Lower Tafelberg Road free parking and hopped on a free MyCiti shuttle bus to get to the Lower Cable Station. This made the 1km trek up so much simpler and the fact that the bus ride is FREE is fantastic! All this information about the different ways to get to Table Mountain Cableway and weather updates is readily available on their user-friendly website too. So be prepared before heading out to the mountain and do your research beforehand.
Table Mountain Cableway Queues
Once there, we stood in a well-coordinated and shaded queue. We expected these queues, as it was the height of Summer and of course, tourist season too. As we had pre-ordered our tickets online, we thankfully went directly into the ticketholders queue. There is also a separate queue for those who purchase on the day. My advice to everyone, always pre-order online and save yourself a lot of time and energy. Not too much longer, and a few snaps later of the beautiful city below us and mountain views above, we got to the Cable Station and got ready to board the cable car! Excitement levels were very high.
The Cable Car Ride
When we boarded the circular cable car, greeted by the friendly staff member who talked us through the experience, we felt the floor rotating. I of course, expected this, but my girls did not and lots of giggles and excited exclamations ensued. The 360° views from inside the car as we ascended were absolutely breath-taking and set us up for what we were to expect once we arrived at the top. On our way up, we also saw quite a few people hiking towards the Upper Cable Station – If you are up for a challenge, there are several hiking trails too. The most well-known is a well-marked trail, called Platteklip. This trail goes up the front of the mountain and you don’t need a guide to take you through it. You would need to be relatively fit for this hike though and always travel in a group!
The View From The Top
After about four or five minutes, we arrived at the top, over 1000m above sea level. The view was spectacular, as one can expect, and the girls were in their element. After exploring for a short while, we stopped in at the Table Mountain Café for a bite to eat and refuel for the rest of our explorations on the mountain. The café has a decadent selection of meals and snacks and we chose from delicious breakfast buffet options which are served until 11h30.
It was good to know too that the Café is committed to being as green as possible. To conserve water, they have introduced compostable plates, cups and containers for food and beverage, made from organic compostable materials.
We didn’t get a chance to pop in at the Wi-Fi lounge because, “adventures, mom!” but I had visited it on a previous occasion and can safely say that it is a cosy and convenient spot for those who want to escape for a bit, grab a coffee and snack, and make it your office for the day.
After our delicious breakfast, we continued our walk on top of the mountain. For those who don’t know, as per their site, “Table Mountain is part of a World Heritage Site, an important part of the Cape Floristic Region and the single richest floristic area in the world. There is a lot of fynbos vegetation on the mountain, with over 1 460 different species of plants. There are also plenty of dassies, lizards, insects and birdlife to be seen.” The sunbathing lizards were out in their numbers, which brought lots of happy smiles to the kids’ faces!
Just before the midday sun hit us, we decided it was time to head down the mountain again. So, back into queues of tourists, locals and hikers heading off the mountain we went. Not too much longer and we were aboard the descending cable car.
The trip back, which is of course, just as breath-taking as the upward trip, left us with an accomplished and euphoric feeling. The girls were already planning on bringing friends up the mountain on a future visit to show them where they had been in the hopes that they would also enjoy the experience as much as they had.
Cape Town is truly spectacular and has so much to offer.
So, if you’re planning a trip up to Table Mountain, we highly recommend you add this to your list of places to visit. And if you’re concerned about the weather or queue status, you should always check the website for updates or call them +27 (0)21 424 8181.
Tips on how to skip the ticket queue:
- Check the weather in advance by phoning the Weatherline on +27 (0)21 424 8181
- To avoid queues pre-book your tickets online on Webtickets.
Things to bring:
- Sunblock, hat and a jacket – temperatures can drop at the top at any time
- Comfortable walking shoes and a sense of adventure
- Water, sunglasses and some spending money
- And don’t forget your camera!
Locals can take advantage of the Cableway’s awe-inspiring half-price Sunset Special it is available from 1 November to 17 December 2017 and again from 4 January to 28 February 2018.
Locals only: Your valid SA ID gets you 50% off the Cableway ticket, a five-minute ride in a state-of-the-art cable car, and access to the summit of Table Mountain and the opportunity to see the most spectacular sunset views of Cape Town.
Take your SA ID along to the Ticket Office any time of the day to purchase your half-price tickets and use them from 6 pm onwards. You can also book your half-price Sunset Special tickets online at www.tablemountain.net.
Costs: Adults pay half price, at R137.50 per ticket. Children pay half price at R67.50 per ticket (Children do not need an ID number to qualify for this special).
Sunset Special Tips
- Remember your SA ID
- Purchase tickets at the Ticket Office any time of the day to purchase your half-price tickets and use them from 6 pm onwards. You can also book your half-price Sunset Special tickets online at www.tablemountain.net.
- Please note that it is not advisable to use the free park-and-ride MyCiTi bus service for the Sunset Special, as the bus service runs until 7 pm only
- Please remember a warm jacket
Word & photos by Letishia Charles, wife, mom & Social Media Guru
Share your top Cape Town Big 7 Experience
Connect with us via 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.