Table Mountain National Park
Travel to Table Mountain National Park – Cape Adventure
Table Mountain is without doubt one of the most famous landmarks in the whole of South Africa. It is the central point of the Table Mountain National Park that encompasses the mountain chain from Signal Hill in the north to Cape Point in the south, including the coastline and seas surrounding the peninsula.
Table Mountain National Park was established in 1998. Unlike other National Parks in South Africa this one is surrounded entirely by a city and for this reason it is fragmented by urban development and privately owned land. This, combined with the fact that it is primarily an open access Park with only three managed pay points, has resulted in it being the most visited of all of South Africa’s National Parks receiving an annual quota of 4.2 million visits annually.
The Park is recognised globally for its extraordinarily rich, diverse and unique fauna and flora – with rugged cliffs, steep slopes and sandy flats. Nowhere else in the world does an area of such spectacular beauty and such rich bio-diversity exist almost entirely within a metropolitan area such as Cape Town.
The two main highlights in the park are of course Table Mountain and Cape of Good Hope. The park consists of a narrow stretch of land home to beautiful valleys, stunning white sandy beaches and bays, the wild Atlantic Ocean on its western shores and the calmer and warmer False Bay to the east.
The National Park plays host to a variety of popular activities: climb Table Mountain on one of the various hiking trails – all offer spectacular views of the city, mountains and sea. Alternatively take the cable car to the top and amble back down.
The steep slopes within the park make it an ideal place for mountain biking which is allowed in certain areas only of the park. The rocky ledges and huge boulders of the mountain chain beckon climbers and there are world class routes such as Africa Face (just below the Cable Station) that attract climbers from all over the world.
Paragliding and Hang gliding can be enjoyed from two designated sites within the park. The Table Mountain National Park Marine Protected Area (MPA) is a popular fishing area for shore and boat-based anglers.
Scuba divers are spoilt for choice in the Table Mountain National Park Marine Protected Area. Particularly rewarding are the numerous wrecks that scatter the coastline as well as the six “no take” zones that have been established as breeding and nursery areas for marine species.
Popular dive sites include Maori wreck off the Sentinel in Hout Bay, Oudekraal on the Atlantic Seaboard and Miller’s Point in the False Bay.
Due to the high and frequent winds that characterise the Cape Peninsula there are many opportunities for windsurfing and kite boarding especially in the summer months.
However more popular areas for these activities are further up the west coast near Blaauberg Strand.
For many activities within the park a permit is required which is obtainable from the Table Mountain National Park Offices/Information Centres.
Relax with a well earned drink/meal and enjoy the views when your reach the top of Table Mountain. Chill out on one of the many beaches – for a good sunset head to Noordhoek, Kommetjie or Scarborough beaches.
The best way to explore the park is with your own transport or on a organised private tour. Only a few areas of the Park allow private vehicle access – Cape of Good Hope section and Signal Hill. Vehicles are subject to strict speed limits and are required to keep to the designated roads. Other areas such as Silvermine, Newlands and Oudekraal offer secure parking within the gates.
- Hike up Table Mountain for stunning panoramic views
- Enjoy one of the parks’ many fine sandy beaches
- Explore the wind-swept Cape of Good Hope