Table Mountain Facts

Table Mountain Facts
The top of Table Mountain is flat and overlooks the city of Cape Town in South Africa. The flat top is approximately 2 miles from one side to the other. It's a popular tourist attraction for visitors, who can choose to hike or take a cable car to the plateau. The view from this landmark is said to be one of the most epic views in Africa.
Interesting Table Mountain Facts:
Table Mountain is featured on Cape Town's flag.
It got its name because of its flat top.
The highest point of Table Mountain is 3,563 feet above sea level. It's called Maclear's Beacon for the man who built a stone cairn at the site in 1865. It was meant to be used for a trigonometric survey.
The first recorded hike to the top of the mountain occurred in 1503 by a man named Antonio de Saldanha. This route has proven to be the easiest and most direct way to reach the main plateau.
The first woman recorded to have reached the top was Anne Barnard. She made the trek in 1790.
Today there are more than 350 trails to the top of Table Mountain.
The cableway that transports visitors (who do not want to hike) to the top was built in 1929. The capacity of the first cable car was 25 people. Today it can carry 60 to the top.
Table Mountain has many sandstone caves. The largest is Wynberg.
The original name of Table Mountain was Howrikwaggo. Translated this means ‘mountain in the sea' or ‘sea mountain'.
Table Mountain is one of the most popular visitor destinations in Cape Town and approximately 800,000 people visit it each year.
The most common animal found on the mountain is a mammal that resembles a guinea pig called the rock hyrax or the dassie. Although it resembles a guinea pig, its closest relatives are the sirenian and the elephant.
It is thought to be one of the oldest mountains in the world. The rocks of the mountain are approximately 600 million years old. The rocks at the base of the mountain are shale and the rocks at the western side are Cape granite.
Table Mountain is 6 times older than the Himalayas. It's 5 times older than the Rocky Mountains.
At least one wedding is held every week on ‘cloud 9' on the cable car's route.
There are often orographic clouds at the top of the mountain. It looks similar to smoke but is actually the result of a south-easterly wind rising up to meet the mountain's cooler air. Legend has it that this is a smoking contest between the Devil and a pirate Van Hunks. These clouds are also responsible for the beautiful lush vegetation on Table Mountain.
In the mid-18th century a French astronomer named a constellation after Table Mountain. The constellation is called Mensa. In Latin, Mensa means table. The constellation is located below Orion. Around midnight in mid-July it is possible to see Mensa from the southern hemisphere.
Table Mountain is part of the Table Mountain National Park, a name given to the park in 1998. Prior to that it was known as Cape Peninsula National Park. Inside this park which is 30 miles across, there are plants not found anywhere else in the world. In fact, 70% of its plants are not found anywhere else.
Table Mountain is one of the New Seven Wonders of Nature.

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