Going up Table Mountain in Cape Town | Activities in Cape Town | African Travel Guide
Activities

Go up Table Mountain

There are only two ways to go up Table Mountain but a number of things to enjoy once you reach the top.  You can either hitch a ride on the cable car or go on your own steam with a hike to the summit of this world famous icon.

The Cableway has taken over 16 million people to the top since 1929 and has had several refurbishments since then. The latest improvements are rotating floors and huge windows for outstanding views of your breath-taking surroundings as you slowly make your way up to the table top. Cable cars take the trip to the top every 10 to 15 minutes as long as weather conditions permit.  During peak season (16 December to 15 January) you can even enjoy night time rides up until 9 pm.

The views from the top of Table Mountain are also superb, with the entire City Bowl laid out before you, with the sparkling ocean beyond. Cape Town Stadium, Camps Bay beach and even Robben Island are some of the features visible from the top.

If you decide to foot-it to the top of Table Mountain, you can choose the level of difficulty.  There are a few short walks up, as well as longer routes via Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens and Silvermine Nature Reserve.  Reputable tour operators offer guided walks to enhance the experience for hikers.

Walking up is a scenic extravaganza of a different kind with beautiful fynbos and proteas lining the way and the chance of bumping into some of the animal inhabitants of the slopes. Known for its immense biodiversity, Table Mountain supports more than 1 500 species of plants and is considered one of Earth’s 6 plant kingdoms on its own.

Apart from amazing views, the top of Table Mountain offers a restaurant, curio shop and nature walks. 

The Table Mountain Café provides food and drink on a self-serve basis, making use of compostable plates and such, in order to conserve water on the mountain and reduce the impact of tourism on this natural resource. Special kiddies’ activities are arranged from time to time, to ensure that the whole family has a good time on top of South Africa’s favourite mountain and the Cableway Cocktail Bar is a great place to watch the sun set over the fairest Cape.  Adrenaline junkies can even abseil from the top of Table Mountain from 1000 metres above sea level – the world’s highest commercial abseil.

An abundance of plant life, birds and small fascinating creatures are resident on the table top and can be enjoyed on marked trails all over the top of the mountain, surrounded by stunning views.

Naturally, Table Mountain is the most famous landmark in the city, and you will have no problem making your way there from your Cape Town accommodation, be it by taxi or bus.

On your next trip to the Mother City, go up Table Mountain and discover how this attraction won the hearts of millions of voters to earn its rightful place as one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature.

Disclaimer
Please Note: The details shared in this blog post around products and services, are correct at the time of publishing. However, with time some of this information may change. We recommend confirming information with suppliers prior to making final travel arrangements. If you do happen to find an issue with any information we’ve shared here, please feel free to contact us so that we can make the relevant changes.

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Kitesurfing in Cape Town | Activities in Cape Town | African Travel Guide
Activities

Kitesurfing in Cape Town

Just when we thought that mankind had mastered the water in every possible recreational manner, varying in extremes from jet skiing to fly boarding, body boarding to surfing, along comes kite surfing – one of the most efficient ways to harvest the power of the seaside elements for the ultimate adrenalin rush.

Making use of the waves and wind, both abundant resources in Cape Town, kitesurfing came into existence in the 1990s and has been growing in popularity ever since.

About kitesurfing
 
This trendy pastime can most easily be described as a combination of wakeboarding, windsurfing, surfing, paragliding, and gymnastics, and is readily available to both visitors and locals on the shores of the Mother City. Cape Town is a top choice destination for kiters from November to March with its mild weather, quiet beaches and reliable wind, while Table Bay is internationally admired for its optimum kite surfing conditions and scenic views overlooked by Table Mountain.

Basically, this extreme sport involves paddling out to sea, harnessed between a specially adapted surfboard and a kite, and then throwing yourself at the mercy of the wind for a couple of hours.
 
During its short history this sport has developed a dizzying lingo all of its own, and before you decide that it looks like fun, and go out and invest thousands in all the necessary gear, it would be wise to take a few lessons from a reputable operator in order to learn the ropes, and the language that goes along with it.  An uneducated kite surfer can easily turn into a dangerous missile out on the water and is a hazard to other kiters, surfers, windsurfers and themselves.

Join in the fun
 
Kitesurfing schools are abundant along the beaches of Blouberg, Big Bay, Kite Beach, Doodles Beach, Haakgat, Sunset Beach and even the Langebaan Lagoon, offering basic instruction and equipment hire for those who are keen to give it a bash out on the open ocean.  Ask around to find one that suits your needs and offers classes which are congruent with your level of experience and expectations.

For starters

Most operators offer beginners classes which involve a rudimentary introduction to the sport, conducted by a qualified instructor.  High Five Kitesurfing School offer a five-step, three-day course for newbies which is limited to two students at a time and will teach you all about equipment set-up, land-based flying, self-launch, body-dragging and simple board skills.  For the uninitiated, this means how to balance, get your kite into the air, drag through the water without a board, and how to stop, start and steer while out on the water.

Onward and upward
 
While these simple skills may be enough to satisfy your curiosity it is only natural that you may still gaze upon the extravagant jumps and tricks of more experienced kite surfers with considerable envy.
 
In this case, High Five has more advanced courses on offer too and are open ‘as long as the wind is blowing’ (and I assume the ‘sun is shining’) to cater to your airborne aspirations and get you ‘boosting like a pro’ (sailing through the air) in no time.  They also offer downwind shuttles for those who can’t or simply can’t be asked to steer their kites back upwind to the starting point.

Even if you haven’t worked up the nerve to try it out yourself, the antics of these aquatic tricksters are fascinating to watch and a visit to one of these kite surfing beaches, just a few minutes’ drive from the Cape Town CBD, makes for an entertaining day spent outdoors in the fresh sea air. The return of kitesurfing’s most definitive competition the Red Bull King of the Air in 2016 is acknowledgment itself that to those in the know, Cape Town is The Mecca of kitesurfing. 

Disclaimer
Please Note: The details shared in this blog post around products and services, are correct at the time of publishing. However, with time some of this information may change. We recommend confirming information with suppliers prior to making final travel arrangements. If you do happen to find an issue with any information we’ve shared here, please feel free to contact us so that we can make the relevant changes.

Cheetah in Africa | African Travel Guide
Animals

Cheetah in Africa

Cheetah in Africa

Cheetah are often confused with leopard due to their similar coat pattern but that is where the similarity ends.

They are much smaller than leopard, they cannot climb trees, the spots on their coats are not arranged in rosettes and they have two tear-drop like black stripes on either side of their noses which leopard do not have.

Being the fastest animal on four legs, the cheetah is designed for hunting on the open plains, and one of the best places for spotting them in Africa is Etosha National Park in Namibia.

In Etosha National Park, Cheetah can often be seen near the Leeubron and Gemsbokvlakte waterholes, or on the Charitsaub Plain or east and west of the Halali plains.

Cheetah prefer to hunt in the early morning and late evening. Their prey of choice is springbok but they will also attack red hartebeest and kudu calves.

Many of the signposts in the Charitsab area in Etosha National Park in Namibia bear the black scat marks of the male cheetah’s territorial markings.

Disclaimer
Please Note: The details shared herein were correct at the time of publishing. However, with time some of this information may change. We recommend confirming information with suppliers prior to making final travel arrangements. If you do happen to find an issue with any information we’ve shared here, please feel free to contact us so that we can make the relevant changes.