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Table Mountain National Park – something for everyone

Table Mountain National Park is a great destination, offering a little something for everyone …

Table Mountain National Park is both a visual feast and an adventure playground. A natural World Heritage Site, it is situated entirely within the metropolitan city of Cape Town. It is part of the Cape Floral Kingdom, and is an open-access park offering visitors free access to many gorgeous attractions. Here’s a little bit of what you can expect …

Fauna and flora

The park is home to an array of mammals and reptiles. Look out for klipspringer, while birding enthusiasts can look out for a variety of terrestrial and coastal birds, including the African penguin, peregrine falcon, African fish eagle, black oystercatchers and wandering albatross, ­to name but a few. You can also experience the beauty of the Cape Floral Kingdom.

Table Mountain

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You know you’re in Cape Town when you see the flat table-top of Table Mountain, covered in its cloud-cloth glory. You can hike or catch the cable car to the top, and won’t be disappointed by the magnificence that awaits at the summit. If heights are not your thing, the lower slopes offer bushy forests and flowing streams for you to explore.

Signal Hill and Lion’s Head

The peaks on either side of Table Mountain are also very popular attractions for their panoramic views and enjoyable hikes. Lion Battery on Signal Hill is the site of the historical Noon Gun (the gun has been fired every day since 1806 – barring Sundays and public holidays – at midday). Photos with the cannon are a must.

Cape of Good Hope and Cape Point

Beautiful beaches and fragrant fynbos landscapes make this section of Table Mountain National Park a visitor’s delight. Dive, picnic and hike to your heart’s content (but look out for baboons ­that might steal your food). A variety of buck, reptiles and birds can also be spotted and are less likely to help themselves to your picnic. At Cape Point, visitors can take the Flying Dutchman funicular to the top see the original Cape Point Lighthouse.

Silvermine

Take a trip up Ou Kaapse Weg to the tranquil Silvermine Nature Reserve. Pack a picnic lunch and your family, and head out for fun day. Here you can enjoy caving, mountain biking, birding and hiking. There are magical views, waterfalls, rock formations, a range of animals species and beautiful flowing streams . Silvermine also offers an overnight tented camp.

Boulders penguin colony

Just past Simon’s Town, the colony of African penguins at Boulders Beach will charm and delight you. The visitor centre is extremely helpful and informative. Boulders is a majestic strip of coastline with many little secluded beaches that are wonderful for swimming. If you happen to find a penguin gliding next to you in the surf, be careful not to touch them as they have razor­-sharp beaks and are known to peck.

There is so much on offer at Table Mountain National Park, so get moving, gather a group and head out for some fun and adventure. Always remember to have at least one other person with you when hiking or mountain biking on the trails.

Source: southafrica


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