World Travel Awards 2024: Show your love for Table Mountain

Show your love for Table Mountain

The Cableway offers visitors a fun, safe, and enjoyable way to explore the mountain.
The Cableway offers visitors a fun, safe, and enjoyable way to explore the mountain.

Imagine gazing out at a sunset that cascades over the ocean, viewed from the summit of a majestic flat-topped peak that has stood as witness to the passage of time for hundreds of millions of years. This is Table Mountain. An iconic landmark, in the heart of Cape Town, one of Africa’s most dynamic urban landscapes, and the oldest city in South Africa.

“In April, you can show your love for this iconic South African landmark. Table Mountain has been nominated in the World Travel Awards and voting kicks off on Tuesday 2 April 2024. Your vote can help the mountain walk away with the title of Africa’s Leading Tourist Attraction,” says Selma Hercules, Executive Director at Table Mountain Aerial Cableway Company (TMACC).

The mountain itself is a testament to nature’s grandeur. Its distinctive plateau carved over aeons of volcanic activity and erosion. This geological masterpiece stretches across approximately 48 km, with its highest point soaring 1,067 meters above sea level, creating the Mother City’s famously dramatic backdrop.

Revered by the indigenous Khoisan people as Hoerikwaggo, sometimes translated as ‘Mountain in the Sea,’ Table Mountain’s storied past extends back to the Stone Age. For thousands of years in antiquity, Khoe-speaking clans, such as the !Uriǁʼaes (or ‘High Clan’) roamed the mountains of their homeland.

“Today, Table Mountain is regarded as one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature. Unlike many of the more secluded natural wonders on the list – which includes sites like Ha Long Bay in Vietnam and the world-famous Iguazú Falls at the border between Argentina and Brazil – Table Mountain offers travellers the unique proposition of pristine wilderness right on the doorstep of urban convenience,” says Hercules.

The mountain and the awe-inspiring Cableway are just minutes from the vibrant bustling city centre, a perfect space in which to soak up the cultural and historical soul of the southern tip of Africa.

Upon reaching the summit, visitors can revitalise themselves and relax at any of the enjoyable and enticing food-and-beverage outlets.  From the casual ambience of TEN67 Eatery to the premium offerings at VIEWS by De Grendel Wines, the selection of restaurants and bars ensures there is something for everyone. Each of the facilities is strictly aligned with TMACC’s broader focus on sustainability.

“For those seeking a more intrepid adventure, Table Mountain’s Platteklip Gorge is one of the direct hiking routes up to the summit. Though only for fitter travellers, hiking up the mountain is not as gruelling as it sounds,” says Hercules.

The picturesque hiking trails offer nature lovers a chance to immerse themselves in the raw power of this unique space poised between mountains, city, and sea, and to witness the breath-taking dance of clouds across the plateau.

Table Mountain offers a gateway not just to awe-inspiring panoramic views, but also to the very soul of the city below.

The iconic Cableway and the unforgettable experience of ascending to the summit is part of the Cape Town Big 6. The Big 6, which include Cape Point, Groot Constantia, Kirstenbosch, Robben Island Museum, and the V&A Waterfront, are the iconic destinations which constitute the quintessential Cape Town experience. Each of these stunning tourist drawcards has earned its place among the continent’s most visited attractions.”

Hercules says the Cableway itself is regarded as a feat of engineering and has consistently adhered to the most stringent international safety standards. Each winter, the site shuts down for a period of rigorous maintenance and upgrades.  Since its inception in 1929, TMACC has transported more than 31 million people to the summit.

For almost a century, the Company maintained the area’s pristine natural state, and actively worked to improve it. Surrounded by precipitous cliffs, the mountain is a sanctuary of biodiversity, cradling a myriad of life forms within its vast expanses. The area is home to an astonishing diversity of plant species, characteristic of the unique fynbos biome. As a home to many species found nowhere else on Earth, the mountain’s ecological significance is profound.

Committed to both the environmental and socio-economic sustainability of their host community, TMACC engages in various community upliftment projects and initiatives. TMACC offsets its carbon emissions by investing in the Kuyasa housing project which assists hundreds of Khayelitsha households with solar energy installations.

Table Mountain’s grandeur is unparalleled, not only for its breathtaking vistas and natural splendour, but also because of TMACC’s holistic approach to conservation and sustainable tourism, including its profound respect for people, culture, history, and community. It is an inspiring example of how humanity and nature can coexist in harmony.

The Cableway has come to represent a beloved combination of awe-inspiring natural scenery, deep-rooted historical spaces, and exhilarating tourist activities that are characteristic of this remarkable corner of Africa.

“A leading tourist attraction on the global stage, Table Mountain encapsulates not just the essence of natural beauty but a forward-thinking ethos that ensures its wonders will be preserved for generations to come,” says Hercules.

 “Please vote for us when the voting process opens on Tuesday, 2 April 2024. We need your support to bring home yet another international accolade.

The World Travel Awards is seen as the Oscars of the tourism and hospitality industry.

Votes are cast online by members of the public, as well as by tourism professionals (whose votes carry extra weight). Table Mountain is nominated alongside Tanzania’s Mount Kilimanjaro and the country’s Ngorongoro Conservation Park. This is a category that Table Mountain has won five previous times.