Photo Essay: Atop Table Mountain in Cape Town, South Africa

If I've heard it once, I've heard it a million times: "Cape Town is the most beautiful city in the world." Okay, so it's lined with pristine beaches and is a stone's throw from award-winning vineyards and some of the top road trip routes in the world. But it also has sharks, and further afield, baboons.

Yet when South Africa invited me back to host me in and around Cape Town, I wanted to give it a proper shot. And then upon arriving in Cape Town last week I went to the tip-top, to Table Mountain. It was nippy, it was blustery, and the sky was covered in clouds as I boarded the aerial cableway to the top of Table Mountain. But as soon as I stepped off the cableway and onto the top of Table Mountain I was stopped dead in my tracks. "Aw shit, now I get it." All in one panoramic view was Lion's Head Mountain, the convergence of the Indian and Atlantic Ocean, Robben Island (where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for years), Cape Town Stadium (home to the 2010 FIFA World Cup), and sprawling hills and countryside. This was South Africa. This was Cape Town. This was the most beautiful city I've visited.

If you do nothing else in Cape Town, South Africa, go to the top of Table Mountain. And if you're really ambitious, then hike to the top of Table Mountain. Some tips before you go:

  • Take a jacket and thank me later.
  • Wear comfortable walking shoes, whether hiking or not.
  • Go during the afternoon, and especially around sunset and you may be treated to one of the most beautiful sunsets you'll ever see.
  • There are multiple transportation options to the Table Mountain Aerial Cableway, including the hop-on, hop-off bus, which is how we got there and back. Sit on the upper deck for great sunset shots on the way down the mountain (like the one pictured at the bottom).
  • Keep an eye out on the weather, since it changes quickly, and can result in the cableway being closed.

Still not convinced? I'll let the photos do the talking.