What Is Table Mountain in South Africa Known For? How Long Does It Take to Hike Table Mountain?
Table Mountain (Tafelberg) is a flat-topped mountain in South Africa, lying to the south of Cape Town and towering above the city. The highest point, Maclear’s Beacon, is 1,086 metres (3,563 ft) high, and the flat top of the mountain is a plateau about 1,000 m or 3,300 ft high. The mountain forms the northern end of the high rocky Cape Peninsula.
The quickest and easiest route up Table Mountain takes the average person between 1.5 and 2 hours. The duration belies the strenuousness of the hike. And it’s the least scenic and exciting route to the summit – better than taking the cable car, but falling short in doing justice to Table Mountain hiking.
Table Mountain is the most iconic landmark of South Africa. It hides many surprises that wait to be discovered. It is much more than a scenic photograph background or a place from where you can take a breathtaking photo of Cape Town.
There are about 2,200 species of plants found on Table Mountain and 1470 floral species. Many of these plants and flowers are endemic to this mountain. The magnificent Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens are found on the eastern foot of the mountain. Founded in 1913, the garden that spans an area of 1300 acres includes a unique conservatory with plants from different parts of the world.
Besides the parks, the whole area has a biodiversity that is rare to find in other places on earth. Its many valleys and streams make it an idyllic getaway from Cape Town. The national park’s most unique feature is its fynbos vegetation that is displayed here better than anywhere in the world.
The Cape Floral region of the national park is one of the richest floral regions in the world. Over 70% of the flowers are endemic to the Table Mountain. It is no wonder that the mountain was chosen as one of the new seven world wonders.
Its fauna is no less thrilling either. Although animals such as the cape lion, mountain zebra or the leopard are no longer found here, the park is still home to caracals, rock hyraxes or chacma baboons. At the Boulders, penguins flock all over the place, a unique sight in Africa.
The flat top peak of the mountain reaches 1,086 m above sea level, but being so close to the sea and to the city its features look more imposing. Besides the mountain, the national park contains another one of South Africa’s attractions, the Cape of Good Hope, the most southern point of the African continent.