South Africa Cape Town Attractions: Most Popular Cape Town Table Mountain

The Table Mountain cableway has since become something of a landmark in Cape Town, and has carried some of Cape Town’s most illustrious visitors. Since the first person laid eyes on Table Mountain, it has exerted its powerful and charismatic pull, enchanting and drawing any and all who fall under its spell.

The way to the top has never been easy, and for many centuries only a handful of bold and enterprising people could say that they had climbed it.

By the late 1870’s, several of Cape Towns more prominent (and possibly less fit) citizens had suggested the introduction of a railway line to the top. Plans to implement a proposed rack railway got under way but the outbreak of the Anglo-Boer war put a halt to the plans. By 1912, with a strong desire to gain easy access to the top of Table Mountain, the Cape Town City Council commissioned an engineer to investigate the various options of transport to the top. The engineer, a Mr. H.M. Peter, suggested that a funicular railway running up from Oranjezicht through Platteklip gorge would be the most suitable option. A vote was held with the vast majority of Cape Town’s residents voting in favour. This in spite of its cost a staggering (in 1913) 100000 Pounds.

The Table Mountain project was delayed yet again by war; this time the outbreak of the First World War (1914-1918). The plan was resuscitated in 1926 after a Norwegian engineer, Trygve Stromsoe, presented plans for a cableway to the top of Table Mountain. The plan caught the collective eye of a group of eminent local businessmen. The idea that an easy route up would finally become a reality drew them together, forming the Table Mountain Aerial Cableway Company (TMACC) to finance the construction. Work began soon afterwards and the project was finished relatively quickly. On the 4th of October 1929, the Mayor of Cape Town, Rev A J S Lewis, headed the official opening ceremony that was attended by over 200 other guests.

Since it’s opening in 1929, over 16 million people have taken the trip to the top of Table Mountain. The Table Mountain cableway has since become something of a landmark in Cape Town, and has carried some of Cape Town’s most illustrious visitors including King George VI and Queen Elizabeth II, as well as Oprah Winfrey, Sting, Stefi Graf, Arnold Schwarzenneger, Magaret Thatcher, Prince Andrew, Micheal Schumacher, Brooke Shields, Micheal Buble, Tina Turner, Jackie Chan, Dolores O’Riordan, Skunk Anansie and Paul Oakenfold. In 1993, Dennis Hennessy, the son of one of the founders of TMACC sold the company. The new directors immediately set about planning an upgrade to the existing Table Mountain infrastructure.

Table Mountain at night, from the waterfrontApart from upgrading the restaurants and machinery, new cars were purchased. Unlike their predecessors, the new cars, or Rotairs, have a revolving floor that allows passengers a 360-degree view of the city and Table Mountain as they travel. Work on the upgrade began in January of 1997 and, for several months cranes and large helicopters carrying building materials dominated the mountain skyline. The new cableway was officially opened on the 4th of October 1997, the anniversary of the original launch, almost 70 years previously.

The Table Mountain Aerial Cableway Company celebrated its 79th anniversary in 2008 and remains the most popular tourist attraction in Cape Town!

Facilities & Additional Details

The Restaurant
The self-service restaurant at the top of Table Mountain offers a wide range of foods ranging from our hot breakfast, the hot meal of the day, snack menus and coffee bar. Meals may be complemented by a selection of fine local wines. The restaurant seats 120 people. Please follow the signs once you’re on top.

Cableway Cocktail Bar
Watch the sun set over Camps Bay and the twinkling lights of the Mother City. Sit and linger over one of our special cocktails while looking out over the bay and Table Mountain. Up to 120 people can be hosted for cocktail parties. The Cableway Cocktail Bar is situated inside the top station building.

Opening Hours
The cableway opens at 08h00 in the summer months (16 September to 30 April) and at 08h30 in winter (1 May to 15 September). Cable cars depart every 10-15 minutes. Closing hours vary depending on the time of the year, but in peak season (16 December to 15 January) the last cable car ascends at 21h00 and descends at 22h00.

Cableway Prices
R145 return or R74 one way per adult, R76 return or R38 one way per child (under 18).
Discounts are available for South African students and senior citizens, as well as for families and Wild Card holders. Prices are subject to change without prior notice, so please check beforehand.

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