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Cape Town’s Table Mountain

Photo: South African Tourism

Wikipedia: Table Mountain (Khoekhoe: Huri ‡oaxa, mountain rising from the sea; Afrikaans: Tafelberg) is a flat-topped mountain forming a prominent landmark overlooking the city of Cape Town in South Africa. It is a significant tourist attraction, with many visitors using the cableway or hiking to the top The mountain forms part of the Table Mountain National Park. Table Mountain is home to a large array of fauna and flora, most of which is endemic.

SanParks: Hoerikwaggo – “Mountain in the Sea” is the original name given to the mountain chain by the indigenous Khoisan people of the Cape, although of course, the history of the mountain dates back roughly 30 000 years, with evidence tracing as far back as the Stone Age.

Today, this iconic mountain chain and New7Wonder of Nature is known as Table Mountain National Park (TMNP) – one of 21 Parks in the South African National Parks (SANParks) stable. Established in 1998, the TMNP is surrounded entirely by a City and for this reason it is fragmented by urban development and privately owned land. This combined with the fact that it is primarily an open access Park with only four managed pay points, has resulted in it being the most visited of all National Parks receiving an annual quota of 4.2 million visits annually.

Prior to the establishment of the Park, a 30 000 hectare area of conservation-worthy land on the peninsula was identified as the Cape Peninsula Protected Natural Environment (CPPNE). Currently the TMNP includes 25 000 hectares of the CPPNE and it is our goal to incorporate the remaining 5 000 hectares into the Park. The TMNP’s jurisdiction also includes 1 000 km2 of the seas and coastline around the peninsula.

Also forming part of the TMNP is the Cape Floral Kingdom (CFK), the smallest and richest of the six floral kingdoms that occur on earth. The CFK spans the eastern and western Cape and in June 2004, was declared to be of universal significance to humanity and was inscribed as a Natural World Heritage Site.

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