Mad About Table Mountain
Welcome to the inaugural column of Discovering The Cape. This newsletter will be dedicated to, wait for it, Cape Town.
Activities, landmarks, events and other things to do will be discussed by me, your trusty Caped Discoverer. I'll talk about things which might be of interest of you, but will definitely be of interest to me. Feel free to drop me a line if you know of anything worthwhile happening in our city.
This month though I thought we'd start off with an obvious landmark, namely Table Mountain. I've lost count the amount of times foreign tourists have asked me for directions to Table Mountain. I used to be very polite and courteous to them (being a good natured South African and all) These days though I might speak Afrikaans to them (often with amusing results).
I know it's quite juvenile but it gives me this warm feeling of satisfaction which I only ever get at Christmas time when someone buys me an expensive gift, or I have lots of cash in my pocket. Sadly, the latter two events occur very rarely so I am forced to grab these moments whenever I can. Anyway, I digress.
Table Mountain, in case you've been living under a rock, is the big, flat mountain clearly visible in most parts of Cape Town itself. It's a freak of nature which tourists simply love. Seeing as I'm a born and bred Capetonian, I suppose I just take it for granted how beautiful and majestic it supposedly is. I've never been up the damn mountain so I've probably missed out on all the magic.
I remember how I used to pester my dad as a kid to go up Table Mountain. "Dad," I would pester, "When can we go up Table Mountain?". "Soon son, soon," he would say reassuringly before slipping out to the tote to bet on some horses. Over the years the novelty of visiting Table Mountain slowly diminished for me. Added to the fact that I now also have a debilitating fear of heights, it just doesn't seem like such a good idea anymore. I'd recommend it if you're from overseas or live in Gauteng though (there are no mountains in Johannesburg)
Many tour companies offer day packages to the mountain (and town), along with a guide who will tell you plenty of information you'll forget as soon as the tour ends. This will normally set you back by a few hundred Rands.
Otherwise you could go through by yourself. They are currently having a special offer where you can buy one adult ticket for R80, which entitles you to a free u/18 ticket for your kid. So a family of four (with two youngish kids) can spend a day there for R160 which isn't bad at all. You can bring a picnic basket with you if you'd like, although there is a restaurant nearby (a bit pricey though, I'd definitely bring a basket) This offer is only valid till 12 September, which sounds about right, because from then the weather clears up and you REALLY want to go.
Nevertheless, if you're short on cash or a bit of a cheapskate then this would definitely be the time to go. Choose a relatively clear day though, if it's cloudy or overcast you won't be able to see jack and then your kids will probably resent you for wasting their time. Also bring warm clothes because apparently it's freezing up there and the last thing you want is to catch pneumonia and die. Also remember to take some pictures as I've been told that the view is quite breathtaking.
So there you go, hopefully this has been an informative guide and I've managed to twist your arm into paying a visit to our mountain. If you enjoy the trip there, you may send some cash my way in gratitude of the wonderful time had by all. Feel free to send me a few photos as well so that I can get a semblance of what it's like up there. Till next month then.
The Caped Discoverer
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