Table Mountain in Cape Town, South Africa was recently declared one of the provisional “7 new Wonders of Nature” in a campaign that lasted 4 years and was decided by public vote – more than 100 million votes were counted.
Other winners included The Amazon, Halong Bay in Vietnam and the Komodo Island in Indonesia. While re-counting and verification still needs to take place, we are sure Table Mountain will remain as one of the Worlds 7 New Wonders of Nature.
For Capetonians, Table Mountain is a source of immense pride and enjoyment – from Cable Car trips to rock-climbing, amazing fauna and flora to incredible hikes, Table Mountain has it all.
Here are 10 Fun Facts About This Natural Wonder of the World.
- Table Mountain is the only terrestrial feature in the world which has a constellation named after it. French astronomer Nicolas de Lacaille named the constellation Mensa (meaning table) during his stay in Cape Town in the eighteenth century. It can be seen in the Southern Hemisphere, below Orion, around midnight in July.
- The floral world is divided into six distinct floral kingdoms, five of them encompassing several countries, and in some cases, several continents. The only exception is South Africa, which has a floral kingdom wholly contained within the country. The Cape Floral Kingdom has 9,600 plant species, 70% of which are not found anywhere else in the world. Table Mountain alone has over 1 500 species of plants, which is more than the entire United Kingdom!
- According to the ancient Chinese philosophy of Feng Shui, Cape Town is the ultimate Feng Shui city, largely because it has Table Mountain to the rear and the ocean to the front. The city has the shape of an armchair, with protection from Table Mountain to the back and Lion’s Head and Devil’s Peak as the armrests. The city itself sits in an energy-filled “bowl” surrounded on three sides by mountain, while the wealth-creating properties of water are to the front – making for the perfect city!
- Table Mountain is approximately 260 million years old. Compare this to the Andes – about 250-million years old, the Rockies – about 60-million years old, the Himalayas 40-million and the Alps around 32-million years old.
- Most of the world’s caves and cave systems occur in limestone. Table Mountain is the unusual exception, with several large cave systems that have developed in sandstone.
- The original table Mountain Cableway was completed in just two years and cost £60 000. It was officially opened on the 4th of October 1929 by the Mayor of Cape Town, Reverend AJS Lewis.
- The latest cable cars (in operation since the 1997 upgrade) were imported from Switzerland. The floor of the cable car rotates, giving riders a 360 degree view on the way up and down. There are only 2 other cable cars like it in the world, one in Titlis in the Swiss Alps in Switzerland, and the other in Palm Springs in America.
- The cables that make up the Cableway weigh 18 tonnes.
- The Table Mountain Aerial Cableway has a proud track record of being totally accident-free.
- Many famous people have taken the ride on the cable car to the top of table Mountain. These include Oprah Winfrey, Sting, Steffi Graf, Michael Schumacher, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Margaret Thatcher, Prince Andrew, Brooke Shields, Michael Buble, Jackie Chan, Dolores O’Riordan from The Cranberries, Tina Turner, Skin from Skunk Anansie and legendary DJ Paul Oakenfold.
If you’d like to call Cape Town home and have Table Mountain as part of your daily life, why not visit www.1stcontactvisas.com and find out more about immigrating to sunny South Africa?