10 things you didn’t know about Table Mountain

Posted by Ondela Mlandu on 11 December 2018

The United Nations declared 11 December as International Mountain Day. A large part of the day is to create awareness about the importance of mountains for the eco-system. Ahead of this, we’ve put together a list of facts about Cape Town’s iconic Table Mountain you may not have heard:

1. Table Mountain is approximately 260 million years old. Along with Mount Everest (Nepal), Matterhorn (Switzerland) and Kilimanjaro (Tanzania), Table Mountain is one of the most globally-recognised mountains

2. Table Mountain and Lions Head once connected the Peninsula to the Hottentots Holland Mountains due to massive erosion. The last remaining remnants of a massive range stood thousands of metres high 220 to 280 million years ago

3. Three layered rock formations make up Table Mountain: Malmesbury Shale, Cape Granite and sandstone

4. Table Mountain is also referred to as Hoerikwaggo meaning “Mountain of the Sea” by the Khoikhoi

5. Table Mountain is the only mountain in the world to have a constellation of stars (“Mensa”) named after it

6. Table Mountain’s unofficial mascot is the dassie (rock hyrax), found on rocky outcrops at the summit

7. There are 22 species of snakes on Table Mountain, the five most venomous being the Cape Cobra, Puff Adder, Boomslang, Rinkhals, and Berg Adder

8. The cable cars, originally made of steel and wood, have been upgraded three times, first in 1958, again in 1974 and most recently in 1997, when the round cars with revolving floors called “rotairs” were introduced

9. Similar cable cars are in use at Titlis in Switzerland and Palm Springs in the United States of America

10. The cable car base is a water tank with a 3 000 litres capacity. This provides fresh drinking water for visitors, and is used as ballast in windy conditions.

Must try

Head up Table Mountain for half-price return tickets this summer with the Cableway’s Sunset Special. The deal is R145 for adults and R72.50 for children under 18 years of age.

Also read: Win tickets for the Table Mountain Cableway Sunset Special

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