After lunch, I was ready to go and see the sights from the top of Table Mountain. One of the perks of City Sightseeing tours is the ability to purchase a ticket for the Table Mountain Cable Car ahead of arriving to the mountain itself which can save you a decent amount of time as you don’t have to wait in the line to buy a ticket. To get there, it was back onto the Red Route from the CBD Station, and as you depart from there, the bus begins heading right for the Table Mountain Aerial Cableway stop.
As you get closer to the cable car, the route becomes quite scenic as you are at an elevated location, thus you can look back and really enjoy the sights of Cape Town below. You also get some great views of Devil’s Peak and Lion’s Head nearby as well.
Upon arrival to the cable car station, if you already have your ticket, you can go right into the queue for the car itself, although there is a snack shop and restrooms available here in case you need to take care of business before you get in line.
While there can be a bit of a line for getting on, it does go fairly quickly as the cable car can fit a large number of passengers for each load, and if you are worried about getting a decent view on the car, you can pretty much choose any spot as the floor in the car rotates while the car goes up and down, allowing you to enjoy a panoramic view on the way.
After a quick ride to the top, you stand at over 3,000 feet above sea-level with one of the most incredible views of a city anywhere in the world!
One of the things that surprised me about the top of the mountain was the vegetation. I had envisioned that it would be more barren with just rocks, and while it is still very rocky, there were many of these smaller shrubs and bushes on the top of the mountain.
When at the top of the mountain, you can follow the path around to get different vantage points, and leads to several deck areas that give you an opportunity to admire the scenery and to grab that coveted selfie to share with friends back home (I may have been guilty of taking a lot while I was up here). The path is fairly easy to navigate near the station, and while it is possible to go further away, the path does become a bit more rugged. Even though I did see some women walking the path in heels, I would strongly urge that you wear a comfortable pair of sneakers or walking shoes.
There were the more adventurous folks who would climb onto some of the rocks to get some excellent pictures. While I do occasionally climb on a rock for a great view, from this height I wasn’t feeling nearly as bold as they were.
Even if you don’t climb the more daring parts of the mountain, you can still enjoy some amazing views, and you can spot several landmarks such as Lion’s Head and Devil’s Peak, the V&A Waterfront, Cape Town Stadium, and for those who are big nerds for theme parks, you could find the Cobra at Ratanga Junction is you looked carefully enough and with the assistance of zooming in with your camera.
While I didn’t climb on some of the more treacherous parts of the mountain, I did go and walk the outer loop with the more difficult path to walk, and I was glad I did as it gave a great vantage point of the gap between Table Mountain and Devil’s Peak.
As I reached this side of the mountain, the clouds started to roll over Devil’s Peak and some of the nearby mountains, which is a common sight because of the weather and winds of the area. There is a legend about the clouds that roll over Table Mountain and Devil’s Peak, in which a pirate named Van Hunks and the Devil had a smoking contest on the mountain, and it was won by Van Hunks. While he disappeared after that contest, the legend says that the clouds come from Van Hunks enjoying another session of heavy smoking. To see the clouds from up top is incredible!
Continuing the loop around, you come to the Atlantic coast side of the mountain, along some of the 12 Apostles. From here, you can see the same road driven by the Green Route bus, along with the coastal communities we drove through as well.
It was also surprising to see this critter up here as well, as I had imagined that either there wouldn’t be many animals up here, or they would have been a bit more hidden, yet here was this rock hyrax (also known as a dassie), which I recall was the size of a domestic cat.
After completing the loop and passing by the café, I saw that there was a line to get back down, and since there were only so many pick-ups left in the day for the Red Route, I figured I should probably go ahead and wait, but it did grant some time to enjoy the last few moments of the view from up top.
Once back down to the bottom, the clouds were really getting heavy on the mountain, and they began a sort of cascading effect as they rolled toward our side of the mountain, and they would evaporate as they rolled over the edge.
After getting back on the bus, The Red Route heads towards the Atlantic coast, it continues on the same loop as the Green Route from the Camps Bay/Clifton area. Because of the time of the evening when we got there, while it was cooler out, the view was fantastic with the setting of the sun.
And that would conclude the first full day in Cape Town. City Sightseeing provided some excellent narration to help visitors learn about the city while enjoying the views and getting to the top of Table Mountain was absolutely amazing! It is an absolute must for anyone who comes to Cape Town.
Next, it’s times to visit the first theme park of the trip, Ratanga Junction.
See more of 2018 South Africa Trip:
1: Flight to Atlanta & Delta Flight Museum / 2: Arrival to South Africa / 3: First Day in Durban /
4: Second Day in Durban / 5: Last Day in Durban / 6: V&A Waterfront / 7: Cape Town City Sightseeing Tours /
8: Table Mountain / 9: Ratanga Junction / 10: Rugby at Newlands Rugby Stadium / 11: Cape Town Walking Tours /
12: Cape of Good Hope / 13: Boulders Beach Penguins / 14: The Last of Cape Town / 15: Cape Town Water Shortage /
16: Sightseeing Around Johannesburg / 17: More Johannesburg Sightseeing / 18: Botswana Day Trip /
19: Kruger National Park, Day 1 / 20: Kruger National Park, Day 2 / 21: Kruger National Park, Day 3 /
22: Gold Reef City Resort & Amenities / 23: Apartheid Museum & Rand Show / 24: Gold Reef City Theme Park /
25: The Return Home