Going Up The Table Mountain in Cape Town, South Africa


If we visit the Victoria and Albert Waterfront tourist center in Cape Town, we can see up north the view of Table Mountain. The view below was taken from the Victoria & Albert Waterfront.

The main feature of Table Mountain is a level plateau approximately 3 kilometres (2 mi) from side to side, surrounded by steep cliffs. The plateau, flanked by Devil’s Peak to the east or the right of the above picture and by Lion’s Head to the west or to the left of the above pictute, forms a dramatic backdrop to Cape Town and its Table Bay harbour, and together with Signal Hill form the natural amphitheatre of the City Bowl.

The picture above is the Cape Town with Table bay seen from the Top of Table Mountain.

People can go up to the Top of Table Mountain by cable car.

The highest point on Table Mountain is towards the eastern end ( to the right ) of the plateau and is marked by Maclear’s Beacon, a stone cairn built in 1865 by Sir Thomas Maclear for trigonometrical survey. It is 1,086 metres (3,563 ft) above sea level, about 19 metres (62 ft) higher than the cable station at the western end of the plateau.

On the top of Table Mountain you can find a cafe with souvenir shop.

The cliffs of the main plateau are split by Platteklip Gorge (“Flat Stone Gorge”), which provides an easy and direct ascent to the summit and was the route taken by António de Saldanha on the first recorded ascent of the mountain in 1503.

The flat top of the mountain is often covered by clouds/mist/fog spilling over the top to form the “table cloth”.

Table Mountain is at the northern end of a sandstone mountain range that forms the spine of the Cape Peninsula. To the south of the main plateau is a lower part of the range called the Back Table. On the Atlantic coast of the peninsula, the range is known as the Twelve Apostles. The range continues southwards to Cape Point.

The geology of Table Mountain. The upper part of the mountain mesa consists of Ordovician quartzitic sandstone, commonly referred to as Table Mountain Sandstone (TMS), which is highly resistant to erosion and forms characteristic steep grey crags.

Below the sandstone is a layer of micaceous basal shale, which weathers quite readily and is therefore not readily visible. The basement consists of heavily folded and altered late precambrian Malmesbury shale, which has been intruded by Cape Granite. The basement rocks are not nearly as resistant to weathering as the TMS but significant outcrops of the Cape Granite are visible on the western side of Lion’s Head

About Arif Wibowo

Passion on Photography Live in Jakarta, Indonesia. Working in oil and gas company. Like traveling, bicycle, and photography. Born in Sukabumi, West Java. Graduate from Physics ITB 1985.
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