It’s International Mountain Day on Friday 11 December so what better time to brush up on fun facts about theMother City’s 260-million year old iconic landmark, like did you know that Table Mountain is the only mountain in the world to have a constellation (“Mensa”) named after it?Other wonderful things to know about our beloved giant:
- Table Mountain is one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature (but you knew that one already)
- At 260-million years old Table Mountain is 6 times older than the Himalayas and 5 times older than the Rocky Mountains
- The white mist that often drapes over the flat top of Tabel Mountain is referred to as the “tablecloth”
- The “tablecloth” is the stuff of legends: one tells of the San Mantis god smothering a blaze on the slope with a huge white karos (animal pelt), while another says the cloud comes from a smoking contest between the Devil and a local pirate called Van Hunks.
- Reduced by massive erosion, Table Mountain and Lions Head once connected the Peninsula to the Hottentots Holland Mountains and are the last remaining remnants of a massive range that stood thousands of metres high 220 to 280 million years ago
- Table Mountain is referred to as Hoerikwaggo meaning “Mountain of the Sea” by the Khoikhoi
- Like ghost stories? The HeleophryneRosei is a critically endangered ghost frog endemic to the eastern and southern slopes of Table Mountain
- The five most venomous snakes found on the mountain are the Cape Cobra, Puff Adder, Boomslang, Rinkhals and Berg Adder
- The animal most commonly found on the mountain is the Dassie (Rock Hyrax). Suprisingly one if its closest relatives is the elephant.
- Table Mountain features several rare sandstone cave systems, the largest of which are the Wynberg Caves
- Table Mountain is made up of three rock formations Malmesbury Shale, Cape Granite and Table Mountain Group within which you can find mudstone, white feldspar, black mica, grey quartz and several types of sandstone
- The richest single floristic area on the planet lies within the Table Mountain National Park
- It is 1 085m tall at its highest point (Maclear’s Beacon)
- There are more than 350 trails to the top of Table Mountain
So dig a little deeper and you will find that there is far more to Table Mountain’s makeup than meets the eye.
The Cableway operates weather permitting. Formore tips go to www.tablemountain.net/content/page/quick-tipsorcall (021) 424 8181.