Throngs of visitors from all over the country and the world flock to the majestic Table Mountain every summer, and it gets pretty packed. So here are a few tricks and tips can enhance your experience.
Need to know cheats
Jump the queue at the ticket office by buying your cableway ticket online at www.TableMountain.net. Your ticket is valid for seven days from your chosen date (in case the weather doesn’t play ball on your chosen day). You can print it out or keep it on your phone for digital scanning. You still need to join the ticket holder queue at the lower station, but it promises to be quicker.
Parking can be a nightmare on Tafelberg Road, so rather park your car in the free parking area on the corner of Kloof Nek and Tafelberg Roads and catch the free MyCiTi shuttle bus from the Lower Tafelberg bus stop to the Lower Station bus stop. Table Mountain Cableway sponsors this shuttle bus, so you don’t need a ticket – it’s free, mahala, verniet.
Another way to ease traffic congestion is to hop on to the Red City Sight Seeing Bus. Catch the bus at the V&A Waterfront and travel to the Lower Station.
You can also beat the crowds and queues by heading to the Cableway outside of peak times. The standard opening time is 8 am but from 7:30 am onwards you can score an Early Access ticket online or at the ticket office for R350 return. These tickets are only available from Tuesday 15 December 2015 (a day before the Day of Reconciliation public holiday) until 15 January 2016. These tickets are valid for three days from the date of purchase.
The afternoons can also be quiet if tour operators visit the Cableway in the mornings. The last cable car comes down at 9 pm in December, so you’ll have plenty of time and might even catch an epic sunset.
Bonus: If it’s your birthday and you’re over 18 and South African, take your ID to the ticket office before 5 pm and receive a birthday present from Cape Town – a free adult return ticket.
Table Mountain stands at over 1,085m above sea level and weather conditions at the Lower and Upper Cable Stations vary considerably. Visit their website, or follow @TableMountainCa on Twitter to find out if the Cableway is open, the queue waiting time and what temperature you can expect at the top – you can even check the Cape Town Etc homepage for a quick reference guide.
If the Cableway is closed for a few consecutive days due to inclement weather, you can expect longer queues. If you’re a local and have more flexibility, it may also be best to avoid the Cableway’s busiest days between 19 December and 3 January.
From 1 November – 18 December 2015 and 4 January – 29 February 2016 the Cableway has a half price sunset special. Check out our earlier blog post on the sunset special for details.
Download the free app and Table Mountain Cableway audio tour from Voicemap. You will have access to a map of the Cableway’s pathways and information on the indigenous fauna and flora.
So put on your sensible shoes, slather on the sun block, pack some water, sunnies, something warm and your camera. Whether it’s your 20th or first visit, Table Mountain is always a winner.
When Daily, weather dependent
Where Table Mountain Cableway
Cost Up to R240 (book online)
Contact +27 21 424 8181