We all want to go up the cable car. It's on our bucket list. We drive to the lower cableway station, we battle to find parking and walk to the building. At the station, we wonder what all those people are doing standing around and waiting for. Then it hits us. They are waiting in the queue. One hour, two hours or even three hours waiting time is possible.
Summertime and school holidays. Tourists and locals alike are going to push those queues to longer lengths.
Here is my list of do's and to beat the queue at the Table Mountain Cableway:
- Buy tickets online ahead of time at www.webtickets.co.za. If you leave the buying of tickets to the Cableway Station, you will be hit by a double queue. One for the ticket office and one for boarding the cable car.
- Buy Early Access Tickets. The Early Access tickets are more expensive than the regular fares. The Early Access tickets give you the opportunity to go up a half an hour earlier than the general opening time which is 08h00. A half an hour before the masses. These tickets are only available for Dec and Jan. Also unlike the regular tickets, they are just valid for 2 days. If you don't use them make sure to ask for a refund within the two days. Standard tickets are valid for seven days.
- Check the weather forecasts. Do not assume that table Mountain Cableway operates every day. The cableway is very weather dependent. Plan for a good day. Make sure the wind will not be a factor. I use Windguru and Accuweather .
This is not a failsafe plan but increases your chances of the cableway running.
- For visitors to Cape Town, consider doing this activity at the very first opportunity. This will give you some flexibility during your stay to try again should the weather not be good at first.
On the Day!
- Recheck the weather. The weather should ideally be clear with low wind.
- Go early. During summer, the cableway opens at 08h00. Unless you have Early Access Tickets which allow you up between 07h30 and 08h00. In winter the opening times are 08h30. Please check the www.tablemountain.net for correct times. If you have regular tickets, the summer holiday queue can begin at 07h00. In the school holidays, the line can be at 2 hours by 08h00.
- Bring your camera, hat, walking shoes, sunscreen and something warm to wear. It is not unusual for there to be a different temperature at the top of the mountain. Bring some money, There are a gift shop and a food shop at the top.
- Enjoy your visit. Walk, eat and drink something. Take lots of photos. But please do not pick flowers, feed the animals or take rocks home as souvenirs. Smoking is only allowed at one area on Table Mountain. That is at the Twelve Apostle Terrace below the shop. Please leave your drone at home. Drones are not allowed in the Nation Park
- Table Mountain has a fabulous website. www.tablemountain.net. On this site, you will find holiday specials(mostly for SA citizens) and cableway details.
Some of the specials include seniors discount (SA), birthday special (SA), students discount and sundowner special (SA)
- There are free guided tours every hour on the hour. Starting at 09h00 until the last one at 15h00. The tours are 30 minutes. The tours leave from the 12 Apostle Terrace, below the Cafe. Learn about the stories, the myths and the facts. Please tip the tour guide. Guided tours can really enhance the experience.
- There are free MyCiti shuttle buses from the parking area as you turn into Lower Tafelberg Road. This is the road that takes you to the cableway station. Shuttles depart every 20 minutes, between 07h00 and 19h00.
- There is free WI-Fi at both the Upper and Lower Cableway buildings. At the top, go to the Wi-Fi Lounge. Here you can plug in, upload and grab a bite to eat.
- For the kids, make sure to get the activity book. These books are handed out at the Lower Station. In the book are fun activities and a treasure hunt map.
- The Table Mountain Cableway audio tour is available free via the VoiceMap app. This audio tour can be downloaded from the Apple store or Google Play. The audio tour is run offline, and so you will not use up your mobile data. The audio tour provides entertainment while waiting in the queue and gives you the facts at your own time as you wander around the top.flora and fauna
- Besides and functions that you may wish to arrange on the Mountain, Table Mountain Cableway has introduced a High Tea as well as a Sundowner Package. Both of which take place in the Wi-Fi Lounge. I advise you to be wary of arranging functions on top of Table Mountain. The weather in Cape Town and notably Table Mountain can be fickle. Make sure you have a plan B!
Enjoy Your Trip Up Table Mountain!
Internationally acclaimed as one of the most beautiful cities in the world, Cape Town is host to some of the country's most visited tourist attractions.
Here are some of our most visited attractions:
The V&A Waterfront
At 24 million visitors in 2017, the V&A Waterfront tops the list as Cape Town’s most popular attraction.
Activities for young and old are on offer. From fine dining restaurants to food outlets, a huge variety of stores, great hotels and events such as boat trips, Cape Wheel, Two Oceans Aquarium and Robben Island Museum, it is no wonder that tourists and locals flock to the V&A Waterfront.
Table Mountain National Park
The only National Park entirely within a city's borders. The sheer grandeur of the Fynbos floral kingdom, the drama of the high sea cliffs, the romance of the Cape of Good Hops and the wonder of the colony of penguins living amongst the upmarket homes of Boulders. These and the Mountain itself are some of the attractions that make the Park unique.
Table Mountain National Park received more than 3 million local and international visitors in 2017.
Table Mountain Aerial Cableway
This is something for every visitor to Cape Town. It is uniquely a Cape Town experience. Imagine a cable car that revolves as you ascend, giving to 360-degree views of the city. Imagine taking in Cape Town's splendour from a height of over 1000 meters as you walk around the table.
An insider tip - tick the cableway off your list at the first opportunity. The cableway is very weather dependent.
More than 1 million people visited the Cableway in 2017. An increase of 5.3% over 2016.
Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens
Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens is rated as one of the world's top botanical gardens. Located on the eastern slopes of Table Mountain, the gardens boast approximately 6500 indigenous plant species.
Yearly members of the Botanical Society take tons of flowers to display at the prestigious Chelsea Flower Show in the Uk. For the past 30 years, they have received a gold medal for their work.
Other popular events at the Gardens are the Summer Outdoor Concerts, the winter concerts, outdoor movie nights and some gorgeous picnic spots.
Just under a million people visited the Gardens in 2017.
Being a First Timer:
‘A ship in a harbor is safe, but that’s not what ships are built for’ – John A. Shedd
People often feel the urge to get out, to get moving, to explore a world of unknowns. We were made to seek life experiences, to open our eyes to all things unexpected and places we have not yet explored. There’s something so monumental and thrilling about planning a trip away from home to discover different cities around the world. So many of us forget that we were all beginners at some stage in our lives. For those of you frequent travellers, you guys have got travelling in the bag, and for the travel newbies here is some insight and advice for your very first trip abroad.
What To Expect:
Firstly, make sure you know whether the location you’ve chosen requires a visa. You can check here if you qualify to stay in Cape Town for 90 days without a visa. Research, let me repeat, research on websites and blogs about the place you intend to visit. Not only do they provide insight but they also often give useful tips about where to go or what to avoid.
Another piece of advice is to book in advance. Book your accommodation, transport shuttle services and tours before you arrive. You do not want to get all the way there and be told that tickets are sold out or that accommodation is fully booked. Plan. Create a list of all the attractions you want to see but make sure you’re not trying to do too much with too little time. If you try cramming it all in one trip, you are more likely to remember the stress of planning it all than actually enjoying your vacation. A few must-see attractions in Cape Town include Cape Point, Table Mountain, Robben Island and Boulders Beach. Check out the weather and pack accordingly. More importantly, plan a trip that is aligned with your budget.
If you are flying to a destination across the world, expect some jetlag and allow yourself a day or so to get back into the swing of things. Lastly, enjoy it. It will be a once in a lifetime experience that one can’t always describe. So you’re just going to have to jump on the bandwagon, or plane, and feel what it’s like to go overseas for the very first time.
So book that Plane ticket:
Ultimately, the real secret to a trip abroad is doing the research beforehand. Being prepared makes all the difference so that you don’t get overwhelmed. Cape Town Day Tours is the way to go, we do all the planning for you!
So the only thing better than having Cape Town as your first holiday abroad is visiting for a second time. Do you have any travel tips that have helped you out significantly?
A Walk For All:
Organising a tour is an easy way to minimise the stress of travelling and a wonderful opportunity to see all of your destination’s most notable attractions. But instead of just seeing the surroundings, why don’t you experience them? Walking tours are fast becoming a means that travellers from abroad turn to instead of being confined to the seat of a tour vehicle. From beginners all the way through to experts, there is an abundance of walking experiences available for every level of fitness. It’s up to you to take the first step.
Why It’s Good To Try Something New:
First and foremost it’s a way to get some exercise done. Lets just say this, there is nothing quite like experiencing Cape Town when you have the ability to walk its streets and discover the beauty within it. Although we offer exceptional tour packages, we encourage travellers to try their hand (or feet) at a walking tour. If you are worried about your fitness levels, try a small amount of exercise or walking each day before you arrive at your destination to prepare your legs for the trip. Our aim is to make your holiday as unforgettable as possible and we truly believe that this is the way to do just that.
Having the ability to embrace the outdoors is another reason why a walking tour is a great option. Not only will you soak up some vitamin D but you will also feel the wind on your face, breathe the fresh air and ultimately be practicing healthy living. While your mind and body are being rejuvenated, you get the incredible opportunity to take in breathtaking views, plenty of which Cape Town has to offer. Just imagine yourself on the top of Table Mountain or exploring Cape Point. It’s refreshing isn’t it? Having the ability to walk around enables you to find areas that may hold a special place in your heart some day. Cape Town offers a variety of walking tour options that ranges from seeing the ocean to climbing a mountain or even walking in the Cape Winelands. The choice is up to you.
Our tour family will take you to the most beautiful spots and don’t worry; our version of walking tours is not too strenuous. If there are certain locations you would like to explore, we can make that happen with our tailor-made tour packages. Just to clarify, our tours are not too difficult. Let me repeat, they are not too difficult. For those of you looking for something more challenging, we can advise you to the best of our abilities on where to go. Another positive aspect of having a tour planned for you is that it allows us to handle all of the admin on your behalf. You will be told what to pack, you will be given an itinerary and more importantly you will be given a wonderful and memorable experience.
It’s Time To Take The Next Step:
This is a great opportunity for you to create lasting memories and enjoy yourself whilst on holiday. Where are some of the places in Cape Town that you would like to experience on foot?
Cape Town Day Tours are here to help make it happen. Remember, we are here with you every step of the way.
A Warm Welcome:
Every place you visit has a rich past of events, iconic individuals who once lived there and old traditions that used to be a part of daily routines. Every destination has a story.
Cape Town, in particular, is a place of wonder with amazing people and plenty of things to see. Not to mention, it is considered one of the most beautiful cities in the world.
We, at Cape Town Day Tours, feel like we are more than just tour guides. We consider ourselves storytellers.
Why tell stories?
Stories have power. They are events. They are creative and full of emotion. They are considered a more relaxed way for individuals to digest and remember information. They have the ability to reach people on a more personal level. Janet Litherland said it best, ‘Stories have power. They delight, enchant, touch, teach, recall, inspire, motivate, challenge. They help us understand. They imprint a picture on our minds. Want to make a point or raise an issue? Tell a story’. We believe in story telling to inform, to engage with you and to inspire you.
We love to show people what our wonderful Cape Town has to offer. It is important that we create unique experiences for people that, above all, provide knowledge and insight in the most interesting way possible. Our tour family wants you to experience Cape Town first hand by going on an adventure to Cape Town’s most notable attractions. It is important to share with you our historic knowledge, humorous South African fables and local insight.
What is your story to tell?
Cape Town is so full of life. There are so many incredible places to explore, photo’s to be taken and memories to be made. Let us help make this possible.
We are always eager to hear about your wonderful travel experiences. Let us know all about your favourite travel story about Cape Town or anywhere else you've fallen in love with.
What’s in a name?
You may be wondering how Cape Town got its name? Well as far as we know the story started in 1488 and was originally named the Cape of Storms by Portuguese explorer Bartholomew Dias. It was later renamed to the Cape of Good Hope because of the great optimism created by the opening of a sea route to the East. Over the course of time, it has now become known as our beloved Cape Town. An alternative title, the Mother City, is an affectionate nickname that is widely used among locals and visitors to Cape Town alike.
What to Expect
The city is famous for its harbour, for its natural setting in the Cape Floral Region, and for its remarkable landmarks such as Table Mountain and Cape Point.
We know that when you choose Cape Town as your travel destination, things like ‘Will there be enough time to do it all?’ or ‘How will we know which landmarks to visit?’ all come into play. Don’t worry. We’ve got you covered. With plenty of tours to choose from and locations to see, the Cape Town Day Tours team are here to make Cape Town feel just like home.
You will never be bored in Cape Town; there is always something to do. Whether that means enjoying the city’s nightlife, choosing from an abundance of restaurants or even just appreciating a simple walk around Town.
The city is known for its many activities and spectacular scenery. Prepare to be wowed. You can see and experience Cape Town with our tour family. Interesting tidbits of knowledge, great service and a personal touch is what we value most.
Forget about the stress of having to buy tickets and find transport, we’ve got that sorted. Our biggest concern is that you’ve packed your camera.
What are you waiting for?
To our visitors, a big warm welcome to our beautiful home, our Cape Town. To those who have yet to come, we hope to see you soon.
We think it’s about time you go on an adventure, so let us help take you there.
We would love to know what it is that you love most about Cape Town?
Baobab is the common name of a genus (Adansonia) containing eight species of trees native to Madagascar mainland Africa and Australia. Also known as the Bottle Tree not only do they look like bottles but the trees typically store around 300 liters of water.
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