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Copper’s glow seduces cooks …
Cape Town’s beautiful, iconic Table Mountain!
Table Mountain Facts : Did you know …
1. It is the only South African and only natural site on the planet to have a constellation of stars named after it. The constellation is called “Mensa”, which means ‘table’ in Latin.
2. Having withstood 6 million years of erosion, it hosts the richest floral kingdom on earth, with more than 1 470 floral species.
3. The Khoi people used to call the mountain Hoerikwaggo (Mountain of the Sea).
4. The first European to climb it, Antonio de Saldanha, called it Taboa de Caba (Table of the Cape).
5. The mountain is now officially recognized as one of the new seven world wonders.
6. Table Mountain is often covered in cloud. The cloud that forms around the mountain is called “table cloth”.
7. It is South Africa’s most photographed landmark.
8. Table Mountain is featured on Cape Town’s flag.
9. There are many caves on Table Mountain, the biggest one being Wynberg.
10. Over 800,000 people visit it each year.
11. The rocks on the mountain are over 600,000,000 years old making Table Mountain one of the oldest mountains in the world.
12. More than 70% of all the plants found on the mountain are endemic, meaning they are not found anywhere else.
Table Mountain History
The mountain gained natural park status in 1998. In 2004 the Cape Floristic Region was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The Khoi and San people named the mountain Hoerikwaggo or Mountain in the Sea.
But the history of this mountain dates back way more, to over 30,000 years and there is some evidence that the mountain was inhabited in the Stone Age as well as hand axes were found in the Kirstenbosch Garden.
The mountain was sacred for the Khoi and San people as they believed their god (Tsui or Goab) lived there.
The first European to see the Cape was Bartolomeu Dias in 1448. In 1497, Vasco da Gama spotted it as well. The first recorded climb of the mountain was done by the Portuguese navigator, Admiral Antonio de Saldanha in 1503. It was de Saldanha who gave the mountain its name, naming it Taboa da caba, meaning table of the cape.
In 1652 the Khoi and the San people were robbed of their land when the Cape was colonized by the Dutch led by Jan van Riebeeck. They quickly established Cape Town, built houses and brought slaves.
Since then, many people from all around the world have climbed the mountain. Starting with 1929 the cable car opened and since then reaching the summit was made easier than ever.
More than 22 million people have used the cable car which was renovated and reopened in 1997.
Disclaimer : Most of the photographs used on this site are my own. Any illustrations are credited to the illustrator and copyright is noted. Fair use doctrine is in place which allows for limited and reasonable uses as long as the use does not interfere with owners’ rights or impede their right to do with the work as they wish.