It’s the Table Mountain Aerial Cableway‘s birthday month – our grand dame is turning a ripe old age of 85, and you can celebrate with her at a discounted rate with the Anniversary, Birthday or Kidz Season specials.
Want to explore the mountain from the comfort of your seat? Take a gander at this ultra-cute interactive panorama by The Wide Angle.
(And while you’re at it, check out the mountain’s shiny new website, overhauled for the occasion.)
During its first year of operation, the cableway transported 5 700 people to the top. Today it takes as many in a single day. And that’s not just tourists – about 45% of the total number of people using the cableway are locals.
The idea for a ‘people mover’ on the mountain was first raised by interested parties in 1902, the initial idea being – can you handle it? – a train to chug up the mountainside and over into Hout Bay. Quickly identified as a flawed plan, this scheme was shelved.
It wasn’t until three decades later, in 1929, that the cableway came into operation. Construction was certainly no mean feat, without modern machinery, cranes or helicopters to help the team of engineers and builders.
If you’re feeling nervous about ascending via an 85-year-old system, rest assured that the cableway has been upgraded three times since it was first built, in 1958 (as pictured above), 1977 and, most recently, 1997, at which point the revolving floors were introduced.
Fun fact time: included in the initial cableway company’s budget was a small allowance for silk stockings, as the ladies working on the project tended to snag their hosiery on the prickly fynbos.
Photography Table Mountain Aerial Cableway