South Africa’s Natural Icon

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No city is ever complete without its iconic landmarks whether it is the Eiffel Tower in Paris, the Houses of Parliament in London, Sydney Harbour Bridge in Australia, and the Statue of Liberty in New York or Table Mountain in Cape Town. Whether they are man-made or natural these landmarks all create a sense of identity for the city and are recognised throughout the world. Just one look at your friend’s holiday photos on Facebook makes you realise why people are attracted to these cities.

Natural landmarks like Table Mountain in Cape Town have now been recognized as one of the Seven Wonders of Nature (not to be confused with the 7 Wonders of the World) by the New7Wonders Foundation – as voted by the public in 2011. It is said that Nelson Mandela could see Table Mountain from his prison cell on Robben Island and used it as personal inspiration for his fight for freedom.

table-mountain-viewsTable Mountain stands at 1088m in height and creates an impressive backdrop to Cape Town, the Mother City of South Africa. From the top of the mountain visitors have stunning views across the city centre, Table Bay and west towards the Atlantic Ocean. Access to the top of the mountain is via the cable way and once at the top you are free to roam around following the designated paths. You really can stand on the edge of this mountain and get the most impressive panoramic shots over Cape Town. West of Table Mountain the range extends to what is known as the Twelve Apostles. The name is taken from the huge buttresses which stand proud of some of Cape Town’s most upmarket suburbs namely Clifton and Camps Bay. These suburbs are home to some of the very best accommodation in Cape Town with impressive guest houses with pools and hotels built on the side of the mountain overlooking the golden sandy beaches with their huge granite boulders.

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For that picture postcard photo of Cape Town’s iconic Table Mountain drive out of the city on the R27 through Milnerton and onto Bloubergstrand. From the long sandy, and often windy, beaches of Bloubergstrand you have a perfect panorama view back across over the ocean to the mountain. It’s from this beach that most of the photos you see of Table Mountain are taken. This beach is very popular with kite-surfers and the wind-surfing community where the wind offers ideal conditions for perfecting jumps through the waves.

The only thing that could ever spoil your holiday photo is the famous ‘Tablecloth’. This is the name given to the cloud that can quickly move over the top of the mountain at any time and seems to fall over the edge creating the ‘Tablecloth’ effect. Unlike perhaps other iconic landmarks of the world Table Mountain is visible from just about anywhere in Cape Town and on a clear day you can even see it from parts of the Cape Winelands. For a relaxing view of Table Mountain take a trip to the V&A Waterfont, the original harbour of Cape Town but now host to a super ‘al fresco’ dining experience.

Author : Neil Playdon

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