South Africa Table Mountain

No 1 of the Cape Town holiday attractions,
the Table Mountain National Park

There are a multitude of Cape Town holiday attractions to choose from, with the Table Mountain National Park without doubt topping the list. The Park is one of the 20 national parks that fall under the South African National Parks Board.

In fact, most of the attractions are to be found inside the Park and on the Cape Peninsula. You will find Cape Town to be the perfect base from where to explore everything.

The Cape Peninsula at the south-western tip of South Africa, is where the Table Mountain National Park is situated.

The Peninsula is a narrow stretch of land with beautiful mountains and sun-drenched bays and beaches.

The eastern side of the Peninsula faces the cold Atlantic Ocean, whereas the eastern False Bay side is warmed by the Agulhas Current.

Within the Park there are a few world renown top attractions, that you should not miss:



Victoria and Alfred Waterfront with the silhouette of table Mountain - Cape Town holiday attractions, Table Mountain National Park
Victoria and Alfred Waterfront with the silhouette of table Mountain
Cape Town holiday attractions, Table Mountain National Park
Photograph by Cape Town Tourism

Cape of Good Hope,...

The very first European voyagers to sail around this world renown cape at the southern tip of Africa were Portuguese explorer Bartolomeu Dias and his crew. He named it the Cape of Storms (Cabo das Tormentas) and that is what it became known and feared for, a place where heavy storms have played havoc, wrecking many ships and taking many lives.

View of the Cape of Good Hope from Cape Point - Cape Town holiday attractions, Table Mountain National Park
View of the Cape of Good Hope from Cape Point
Cape Town holiday attractions, Table Mountain National Park
Photograph by Dan Kit

Later when he reported to King John II in Portugal that he had found a sea route around the African continent to India and the Far East, the King renamed it the Cape of Good Hope (Cabo da Boa Esperança), because of the enormous opportunities in terms of direct trade routes to the Far East. With its great history and scenic beauty the Cape is one of the main tourist attractions in the Table Mountain National park.

The pinnacle of the Cape of Good Hope with Cape Point in the background - Cape Town holiday attractions, Table Mountain National Park
The pinnacle of the Cape of Good Hope with Cape Point in the background
Cape Town holiday attractions, Table Mountain National Park
Photograph by Dan Kit

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Boulders Beach,...

On the eastern side of the cape Peninsula in the Swartkopberg part of the Park and just south of Simons Town, lies the remarkable Boulders beach, also known as Boulders bay. It is a smaller sized sheltered beach, comprised of inlets between granite boulders, from which the name has been derived.

Boulders beach with part of its colony of Jackass penguins - Cape Town holiday attractions, Table Mountain National Park
Boulders beach with part of its colony of Jackass penguins
Cape Town holiday attractions, Table Mountain National Park
Photograph by Cape Town Tourism

It was in around 1982 that a few pairs of African penguins settled themselves there. With plenty of food since the reduction of commercial pelagic trawling in False Bay, the penguin population grew into a colony of almost 3000 birds. In recent years it has become a highly popular recreational tourist destination.

Pair of Jackass penguins loitering around Boulders beach - Cape Town holiday attractions, Table Mountain National Park
Pair of Jackass penguins loitering around Boulders beach
Cape Town holiday attractions, Table Mountain National Park
copyright © South African tourism

It was in around 1982 that a few pairs of African penguins settled themselves there. With plenty of food since the reduction of commercial pelagic trawling in False Bay, the penguin population grew into a colony of almost 3000 birds. In recent years it has become a highly popular recreational tourist destination.

More of Boulders beach and its colony of Jackass penguins - Cape Town holiday attractions, Table Mountain National Park
More of Boulders beach and its colony of Jackass penguins
Cape Town holiday attractions, Table Mountain National Park
Photograph by Francois de Halleux

Recreational in the sense that it is also a favourite swimming beach destination and although people are limited to the use of the beaches next to the Penguin colony, you will often find yourself swimming between the Penguins. The newly constructed boardwalks at Foxy Beach is the best spot to view the penguins from, they take you within a few meters of the birds.

Profile of a Jackass penguin - Cape Town holiday attractions, Table Mountain National Park
Profile of a Jackass penguin
Cape Town holiday attractions, Table Mountain National Park

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Table Mountain,...

Who has not heard of the world renown Table Mountain, it is almost a synonym for the words “Cape Town”. The two of them are inseparable, with the Table Mountain providing a magnificent backdrop to the cosmopolitan city of Cape Town. Situated in the northern part of the Park, it offers the most stunning views from its flat 1000 meters high summit.

View of Table Mountain from Signal Hill with the typical Cape
View of Table Mountain from Signal Hill with the typical Cape "Fynbos" in the foreground
Cape Town holiday attractions, Table Mountain National Park
copyright © South African tourism

Forming one of the most prominent landmarks in the Table Mountain National Park, the top of the mountain is flat, hence the name Table Mountain. Guarded by Devil's Peak towards the east and also by Lion's Head to the west, its great trademark is a flat plateau-like summit around 3 kilometres from side to side, surrounded by large cliffs.

View of Table Mountain and part of Table Bay at dusk - Cape Town holiday attractions, Table Mountain National Park
View of Table Mountain and part of Table Bay at dusk
Cape Town holiday attractions, Table Mountain National Park
copyright © South African tourism

This is quite a large area, so make sure you have enough time to explore the paths and viewing platforms, while enjoying the extraordinary views. The top of the mountain can be reached by either the new high-tech Cableway, or via hiking routes.

View of Table Mountain from Robben Island where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned - Cape Town holiday attractions, Table Mountain National Park
View of Table Mountain from Robben Island where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned
Cape Town holiday attractions, Table Mountain National Park
copyright © South African tourism

The Cableway will take you to the top in a matter of minutes, rotating through 360 degrees during its ascent and descent, offering breathtaking panoramic views. Hiking on Table Mountain is popular amongst locals and tourists. It takes them on average 2.5 hours to reach the top.

The high-tech Cableway will take you to the top of Table Mountain in a matter of minutes - Cape Town holiday attractions, Table Mountain National Park
The high-tech Cableway will take you to the top of Table Mountain in a matter of minutes
Cape Town holiday attractions, Table Mountain National Park
Photograph by Andrew M Howe

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The Beaches,...

The Table Mountain National Park is home to some of the greatest beaches on the Cape Peninsula. With a water temperature difference of 3 to 4 degrees between the beaches on the cold Atlantic Ocean side of the Peninsula and those on the warmer Indian Ocean side, you will always find a beach to suit your preferences.

Blissful basking in the sun on Camps Bay's famous beach - Cape Town holiday attractions, Table Mountain National Park
Blissful basking in the sun on Camps Bay's famous beach
Cape Town holiday attractions, Table Mountain National Park
copyright © South Africa Tours and Travel.com

The beaches on the Atlantic Ocean side are the more trendy ones in terms of beach culture and ambiance. If that is to your liking, you will for instance enjoy Llandudno on the Atlantic seaboard. The more laidback beach visitor should head further south and try the beaches at Noordhoek, Kommetjie or Scarborough.

Fun in the sun beach delight on the beautiful Llandudno beach - Cape Town holiday attractions, Table Mountain National Park
Fun in the sun beach delight on the beautiful Llandudno beach
Cape Town holiday attractions, Table Mountain National Park
copyright © South African tourism

The beaches on the Indian Ocean or False bay side of the Peninsula and the Park are more family orientated and therefore more popular with the local people. Great beaches to visit here are at Muizenberg and Fish Hoek. Especially the children prefer the warmer water and there are always lifeguards on duty.

The beautiful Muizenberg beach with the longest surf break in the Cape Peninsula - Cape Town holiday attractions, Table Mountain National Park
The beautiful Muizenberg beach with the longest surf break in the Cape Peninsula
Cape Town holiday attractions, Table Mountain National Park
copyright © South African tourism

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False Bay,...

Originally False bay was referred to as "The bay between the mountains" in 1488 by Portuguese explorer Bartolomeu Dias. The name False Bay came into being more then 300 years because of sailors confusing Cape Hangklip and False Bay with Cape Point and Table bay when they were returning from the Dutch East Indies.

View from Cape Point across False Bay towards Cape Hangklip on the horizon - Cape Town holiday attractions, Table Mountain National Park
View from Cape Point across False Bay towards Cape Hangklip in the distance
Cape Town holiday attractions, Table Mountain National Park
copyright © South Africa Tours and Travel.com

False Bay is situated on the eastern side of the Cape Peninsula and the table Mountain National Park. It makes a huge curve from Cape Point going north to Muizenberg, west past the Strand to Gordons Bay and from there south to Cape Hangklip. Travelling along its coastline, you will be fascinated by its small characteristic villages, stunning scenery, awesome beaches, and sweeping panoramas.

Strange beach combers - Cape Town holiday attractions, Table Mountain National Park
Strange beach combers
Cape Town holiday attractions, Table Mountain National Park
Photograph by Christina Mueller

Less trendy and more laidback than the Atlantic coast side of the Cape Peninsula and the Table Mountain National Park, the False Bay shoreline is continuation of cosy seaside villages with characteristic restaurants and pubs, small alleys with antiquated and dusty shops along with a multitude of lookout spots and picnic places.

The magnificent sunsets over False Bay are really sights to be seen - Cape Town holiday attractions, Table Mountain National Park
The magnificent sunsets over False Bay are really sights to be seen
Cape Town holiday attractions, Table Mountain National Park
Photograph by Robert Cox

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Cape Point,...

The most Southern tip of the Cape Peninsula is called Cape Point. It is part of a massive headland of wild and wind-battered cliffs towering close to 200 meters above the sea. The headland comprises three clearly defined promontories, first of all Cape Point and then a short distance north-east of it you will find the Cape of Good Hope and in between but less prominent, lies Cape Maclear.

Satellite view of False Bay and the Cape Peninsula - Cape Town holiday attractions, Table Mountain National Park
Satellite view of False Bay and the Cape Peninsula
Cape Town holiday attractions, Table Mountain National Park

Situated about an hour’s drive from Cape town, Cape Point is often perceived as the most southern point of the Africa continent, drawing a multitude of local and international tourists to witness the Indian and Atlantic oceans coming together.

The fact is however, that according to the International Hydrographic Organization (IHO) the true most southern tip of the African continent is Cape Agulhas, about 170 kms south-east of Cape Point.

Arial view of Cape Point - Cape Town holiday attractions, Table Mountain National Park
Arial view of Cape Point
Cape Town holiday attractions, Table Mountain National Park
copyright © South African tourism

They described the western boundary of the Indian Ocean as follows: “From the coast of the Antarctic continent northwards, along the meridian of 20°E to Cape Agulhas (34°50’S - 20°00’E), the southern extremity of the Republic of South Africa, in Africa (the common limit with the South Atlantic Ocean)”.

Great view of Cape Point from the sea - Cape Town holiday attractions, Table Mountain National Park
Great view of Cape Point from the sea
Cape Town holiday attractions, Table Mountain National Park
Photograph by Andre van Rooyen


Videos,...

A tranquil journey featuring sights and sounds from the V and A Waterfront Cape Town, Cape Peninsula and Cape Point.



A tour to the national botanical garden, Kirstenbosch and the historical wine estate, Groot Constantia, finally ending up on the top of Table Mountain.








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Girl enjoying one of the South Africa beaches

Family enjoying a beach holiday in South Africa

Aerial view of Cape Town and Table Mountain in South Africa

Modern highway network in Port Elizabeth, South Africa


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