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!