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We love Table Mountain

November 11, 2011

Table Mountain is one of 28 finalists in the New 7 Wonders of Nature competition, in which the world’s top natural sites are being whittled down to seven winners in an exercise in global democracy that is expected to draw over a billion participants. Voting has just closed for the New 7 Wonders of Nature competition, in which many South Africans have been trying to get our famous mountain permanently into the history books (and onto the travel itinerary of millions).

Only one other African site – Tanzania’s Mount Kilimanjaro – made the list of finalists, which include some of the world’s most spectacular mountains, canyons, lakes, waterfalls, ocean reefs and a myriad other natural attractions. These range from the extremely famous – the Grand Canyon in the USA, the Galapagos Islands off Ecuador, the Amazon Rainforest spanning nine South American countries – to relatively lesser-known sites such as the Mud Volcanoes of Azerbaijan and the Puerto Princesa Underground River in the Philippines.

Some reasons why we voted for Table Mountain

  • Whichever way you look at it, Table Mountain is simply stunning. Take a look at the gallery on http://www.votefortablemountain.com/gallery/
  • Table Mountain forms part of Table Mountain National Park, one of few conservation areas in the world that is entirely surrounded by a city.
  • Table Mountain forms part of the Cape Floral Region, a Unesco World Heritage Site that is one of the richest areas for plants in the world. Table Mountain National Park has more plant species within its 25,000 hectares than the whole British Isles or New Zealand.
  • For visitors, the trip up the Table Mountain Cableway to the plateau one kilometre above Cape Town is not to be missed. To the north you’ve got views overlooking the city, Table Bay and Robben Island, and to the west and south you’re looking out on the Atlantic seaboard.
  • Table Mountain offers an amazing yet accessible fix for hikers, rock climbers and paragliders.  It even has the world’s highest commercial abseil.
  • Table Mountain is the only terrestrial feature to give its name to a constellation. The constellation Mensa, meaning ‘table’ in Latin, is seen in the Southern Hemisphere, below Orion, around midnight in mid-July. It was named by the French astronomer Nicolas de Lacaille during his stay at the Cape in the mid-eighteenth century.

…and we have some stunning views of our fabulous mountain across False Bay from many parts of Somerset West, Strand and Gordon’s Bay. It’s just a 40 minute drive from my guest house Penny Lane Lodge to the city of Cape Town; and as you approach the Mother City the mountain looms larger, more majestic and more beautiful.

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