On the 2nd of December 2012, Table Mountain was declared one of the new Seven Wonders of Nature. Looking up at the magnificent mountain, it’s not hard to see why it was included. There are some brave people who ascend the mountain on foot, but if you’re not quite as enthusiastic about hiking, you can take the cable car.
The Table Mountain Aerial Cableway Company has been operating since October 4, 1929. The cableway travels 704m, from the bottom station at 363m above sea level to the top station at 1 067m above sea level.
Valid from 1 October 2019 to 30 September 2020
|Ticket type||Return||One way|
|08h00 – 13h00||R360||R200|
|13h00 till close||R300||R200|
|Child Return (4-17 years of age)|
|08h00 – 13h00||R180||R100|
|13h00 till close||R150||R100|
|SA Senior Citizen (Fridays only at Ticket Office)||R100||R50|
|Student (Fridays only at Ticket Office)||R180||R90|
The cable car always operates weather permitting.
Please note: The Cableway is closed each year from 23 July to 5 August for annual maintenance.
|Date||First car up||Last car up||Last car down|
|01 Sept 2019 – 31 August 2018||08h30||17h00||18h00|
|01 September – 31 October 2019||08h30||18h00||19h00|
|01 November – 30 November 2019||08h00||19h00||20h00|
|01 – 15 December 2019||08h00||19h30||20h30|
|16 December 2019 – 15 January 2020||08h00||20h30||21h30|
History of The Cableway
The idea for a rack railway to the top was suggested in the late 1870’s. Planning was started but the Anglo-Boer War in 1880 halted the process. HM Peter, an engineer, was officially commissioned in 1912 by the Cape Town City Council.
He started investigating options and it was decided that a funicular railway from Oranjezicht through Platteklip Gorge would be best. Cape Town’s residents excitedly voted for the project to commence, even though the budget was a whopping £100 000. Remember, this was the early 1900’s, so that was a lot of money!
But before the fancy funicular could be built, another war interrupted, the First World War. In 1926 A Norwegian engineer, Trygve Stromsoe, suggested to rather build a cableway. A group of influential businessmen were intrigued by his idea. Trygve had showed Sir Alfred Hennessy a model of his idea.
Hennessy approached two other investors, Sir Ernest Oppenheimer and Sir David Graaff, and they formed The Table Mountain Aerial Cableway Company (TMACC). Stromsoe took the fourth seat on the board of directors. Construction of the cableway took two years of hard and dangerous work. The official opening of the cableway was a historic moment in 1929 – during the entire construction process there was no accidents.
As technology progressed over the years, the cableway was kept up to speed. Upgrades occurred in 1958, 1974, and 1997. The last one was the most exciting, with the introduction of Rotairs. These nifty cable cars offer an amazing 360ᴼ view with special revolving floors. The system is also used in the United States at Palm Springs and at the Titlis in Switzerland.
Recently the cable way house and other building’s windows were upgraded from wooden windows to new metal and aluminium windows.
- The Cableway has carried more than 27-million people to the mountain top
- A cable car can transport 65 people at a time
- This means over 800 people are taken up each hour
- The circular shape of the cable cars creates stability and great aerodynamics
- It’s estimated that about 909 000 worldwide visitors ascend the mountain every year
- The cable cars travel at 10m per second, the trip up or down takes only five minutes
- Each cable car cable is 1 200m long
- These cables weigh 18 tons. They are hooked up to counter-weights of 134 tons each
- The base of the cable car carries water up for visitors, with a capacity of 3 000 litres
- This water base also serves as a stabilizer in windy conditions
- Each cable car can carry a maximum of 5 200kgs
- You can take a framed photo with Table Mountain in the background and share it on the website
Tourism Challenge: take a Table Mountain photo at all 7 N7W legacy project yellow frame locations
Shops on Table Mountain
You can take home a souvenir of the wonderful moment on the mountain. The shops sell a wide variety of products including gifts and clothing. And over 95% of the merchandise is sourced from proudly South African suppliers.
The products range from little budget goodies, to more exclusive luxury items. You can also purchase a photo of your moment on the magnificent mountain.
Shop at the Top
This is the main store. The building housing the souvenirs, is a National Heritage site. It is situated next to the Table Mountain Café. You can buy a year pass to enjoy the mountain whenever you feel like a change of scenery. The café has a Wi-Fi lounge, perfect for a unique out of the office work day.
Little Shop at the Top
Another little nook of great Table Mountain goodies. As you exit the cable car in the Upper Cable Station, turn to your left. Both shops at the top are open the whole day for trading.
In case you impulsively decide you do need a souvenir, there’s one more last-minute purchase shop. As you exit the cable car in the Lower Cable Station, you will find the shop as you head towards your car. The shop opens a bit later than the other two at the top but stays open till end of day.
You are spoiled for choice at Table Mountain, some more unique merchandise is sold here. This is perfect if you want to buy a gift, without travelling up the mountain. You can also ask any Table Mountain related questions here and pick up your yearly free birthday ticket. (valid for South African citizens only)
Another fun thing to do, is to send someone a postcard from the top of Table Mountain. Grab your stamp and postcard at the visitor centre before you ascend the mountain. Once you’ve reached the summit, look out for the red post box. It will definitely be a unique letter, it is franked with a special Table Mountain stamp.
Follow the Table Mountain Aerial Cableway Facebook page for upcoming specials.
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One of the best views of the city is from the top of the mountain. It can be hard work getting up but there is always a nice easy way down if you want it! And you can enjoy the view on the way down. Hopefully you aren’t afraid of heights. Repost from @outdoorafrica using @RepostRegramApp . Today on tour with @outdoorafrica #outdoorafrica #capetown #tablemountain #tablemountaincableway #secretcapetown #lionshead #lionsheadct #cityofcapetown #fromabove #notadrone