The Cape Town posts #3: Table Mountain

It’s iconic. You have to do it. And so we did – the first morning we arrived in Cape Town we were up early and straight up that mountain. The one that we had first glanced from the plane as we flew in from Johannesburg the afternoon before:


We had also got some great shots of the mountain from the V&A Waterfront on our first evening in town – the area stuffed full of restaurants and shops which attracts huge crowds and which was hosting a big-screen showing of the Wales vs South Africa match that evening. I think we were the only Wales supporters in the vicinity…


We had no idea what to expect in terms of queues etc when we arrived at the bottom of the mountain on a sunny Sunday morning, about half an hour before the cable car that takes you to the top was due to open. There are other ways to get up there – namely, walking. And had our children been a little older and a little less moany this is something I would have loved to have attempted. But given we were dealing with a pair of seven-year-old legs and a ten-year-old who will run around a football pitch for hours on end but whinges on a ten minute stroll to the shops, we decided the electric version was the only way up.


So after a relatively short wait in the line along with a motley collection of tourists from around the world (it feels strange being amongst tourists – this isn’t something that really happens in Pretoria), we bought our tickets and got into the round car. These cars are huge – I think each carries 65 people, so although it seemed like there were a long queue, it went down pretty fast. The other thing about the car that I hadn’t realised is that they rotated – at least, the floor rotated but the windows stayed still. Like one of those 1970’s revolving restaurants that were all the rave for a while. Anyway it was great fun and made sure you got to see every view possible without having to move from your spot.

When we reached the top we headed straight for the cafe as we hadn’t yet had any breakfast. However, it was hard not to get distracted by the views:




Breakfast wasn’t a great success – they had some sort of buffet system where you paid by weight. But quite honestly it took such a long time to go through the process, the food was cold when we eventually sat down to eat. Cold scrambled eggs – not a good thing. We should have just ordered a coffee as there was no arguing with the fact that this must be one of the best breakfast views in the world!

Once we had eaten as much as we could face, we had a stroll around the area closest to the cable car. There were plenty of short walks you could do, as well as longer ones, and we made sure we saw the view over the city from every angle.


There is also a fair amount of wildlife at the top of the mountain. As well as the fat dassies sunning themselves on rocks which I have already mentioned in a previous Cape Town post, we snapped pictures of some of these handsome fellas:


Eventually we tore ourselves away from the views and made our way down the mountain – probably not a bad idea as the top was starting to get a little over-crowded with Japanese and other tour groups….

Near Table Mountain is another stunning viewpoint called Signal Hill. So called because they used to signal weather warnings to ships from its pointy top (and where they now fire the famous noonday gun from), it is also now known for the paragliders that launch from it’s heady heights. Paragliding is a bit of a “thing” in our family as it is my husband’s passion. He hadn’t brought his “wing” with him due to baggage restrictions on the flight down so could only watch enviously as glider after glider took off in front of us:


But Signal Hil wasn’t just about paragliding and stunning views – the foliage at the top was pretty spectacular too. This really is the most photogenic country!



And yet time and time again we just kept coming back to the views. After all, you really just can’t argue with scenery like this:


You can read my other Cape Town posts here (Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens) and here (Penguins and Whales)


15 thoughts on “The Cape Town posts #3: Table Mountain

  1. Table mountain was one of the most amazing (but also worst) experiences of my time in South Africa. Glad you enjoyed! A group of us hiked up but it was in November and we didn’t bring enough water, and got a bit lost wandering around the flat top. The views were amazing though, and once we reached the cable car it was all worth it.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Great post!
    If you ever do try hiking up do some great routes. We did India Venster last year and are going back to do Hout Bay Corner in January!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Bringing back great memories, Clara! Very similar to our experience. I love your pictures. Also agree the V&A waterfront views of Table Mountain are spectacular. By the way, if you want a great breakfast with a great view, you have to stay at the Westin Cape Town on the V&A Waterfront, or actually more near it, about 20 min away. Their breakfast room on one of the upper floors has the best breakfast ever, all our family still pines for that place! See here and (I’m sure you’ve already read some of this doing your pre-CT research:-)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes I do remember reading some of your Cape Town posts but it’s fun to read them again! I’m not sure about the shark diving, although I’d love to see them! The only question I had though is what did you do with the rest of your children when you went away with just one??


      • Friends! That’s why we love SA so much. OUr kids were happily staying with various friends whose families were happy to have them. This is so much harder and more complicated in the US I find. And probably even more so in Germany. In SA, your kids can hang out with other families for weeks and no one minds. Perhaps everyone having domestic help makes it easier and people more open towards it, or maybe it’s just cultural, as in “the village raises a child”. I find this the most endearing thing about life in South Africa.

        Liked by 1 person

      • So far I haven’t found it as easy as the UK but it’s early days yet. Also our youngest is only 7, she had only done sleepovers with her best friend at home so it’s probably a bit early for her to do it here. But I’ll work on it πŸ˜ƒ looking forward to granny’s visit to try and have a night away somewhere….


  4. Thanks for sharing your pics from a top Table Mountain – its one thing we couldn’t squeeze in on our recent itinerary – mostly because we were told you had to go first thing or expect long queues and I wasn’t willing to wake up that early, get 5 of us dressed, feed then navigate all the roadworks to get to the cable cars in time!!! Its truly stunning but I was equally impressed with the views and photos we got from Signal Hill

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  5. Pingback: The Cape Town posts #4: The final one |

  6. Wow, the view is truly wonderful from up top. I think we would have chosen the electric option too! I really want to go to SA and so this will be high on my list of things to do when I get there – I’ll pass on the cold scrambled eggs though! Thanks for linking up with #MondayEscapes


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