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The Table Mountain National Park
The Table mountain National park is found in the Western Cape in South Africa and is considered to be one of the best National Parks for tourists to visit while on a safari to South Africa. It covers the signal Hill, beaches, the Table Mountain, the Cape peninsular, the Cape of Good Hope and the Silvermine Dam among others. It has unique scenery in form of flora species found within the National Park, it is a recreation Centre for tourists and it is also used to cater for the eco system. The National Park receives quite a large number of tourists per year and with the different things that it has to offer that are in form of cultural, fun and historical activities, this is one opportunity that you should not miss out on.
The Table Mountain National Park is under the Cape Floristic Region world Heritage site which helps in the conservation of almost endangered plant species and those that are rare and can only be found in the specific parts of the world.
Park fees to the Table Mountain National Park
|Foreigners||160R per day||320R per day|
|South African residents and citizens with IDs||40R per child||80R per day|
|SADC members with passports||80R per day||160R per day|
The Table Mountain green card
The My green card that goes for an estimation of about 16700R is a documentation that is used by the card owner to gain entrance into the Table Mountain National Park for twelve times the whole year. It can be used at different pay points within the park and these are the Braai picnic point, the Boulders Penguin colony, the Cape point and the Oudekraal picnic area. Note that the fee of the “My green card is not fixed and it can change from time to time depending on the season.
My green card can be used to gain free entrance into the National Park for free at all the pay points all throughout the year. My green card has a few rules that everyone who wants to use it must follow and these are:
The green card can only be used by South African citizens and residents who have National Ids on them.
The green card can only be use by the card owner plus two children and three adults. That is for every entry that you make using your green card, you must not exceed six people.
Every person entering the National Park must have a South African National id or relevant documentation.
How to get the green card
The green card is only availed to citizens of South Africa, residents who have stayed in the country for not less than three months and have National IDs. The green card can be purchased from the different places that we are going to list below and note that you can only purchase one green card every 12 months.
|Simon’s town||111 St George street|
|City Centre||Pinnacle building|
|Kirstenbosch||Kirstenbosch botanical garden|
|Cape Town International Airport|
|Boulders Visitors Centre||Simon’s Town||Open every day from 8:00am to 4:00pm|
|Tokai Forest office||Tokai Road||Open from Monday to Friday between 8:00am to 4:00pm|
|Buffelsfontein Visitor Centre||Open every day from 8:00am to 4:00pm|
There are several activities that you can carry out while here and these include hiking, fishing, rock climbing, horse riding, and Mountain biking and nature walks among others. There are also many tourist attractions within the Table Mountain National Park and these include:
The Cape of Good Hope
The Cape of Good Hope is also one of the top tourist attractions within the Table Mountain National Park. It was formerly known as the Cape of Storms during the Portuguese regime but later on the name was changed so that more people could easily come and visit the Cape. It has a rich history mostly surrounding the Portuguese who discovered the Cape after travelling from Europe. It was considered to be a good omen Cape and this was because it would be easy to connect to the Indians by sea from the Cape.
At the moment the Cape is a busy area for traders and tourists can easily get souvenirs from the different souvenir shops around the Cape, get to meet the locals and discover more about their rich history and culture and also enjoy boat rides that are offered around the Cape at an affordable fee.
The Table Mountain
The Table Mountain which was formerly known as the Hoerikwaggo by the Khoisan is a flat topped mountain which is located along the Cape is one of the top tourist attractions in South Africa. Rising to a height of about 1086 meters above sea level, it offers tourists a clear view of the national Park and it also has some of the most challenging and good hike routes around offering tourists who have a love for adrenaline activities to get such an experience. And for tourists who are not so god at hiking, there is a cable to take you around the Mountain and there is also a restaurant up the Mountain from where you can get to enjoy both local and international cuisines.
The Pipe track hike route
This is a three hours hike which will take you around the Table Mountain and give you a chance to get a close look at the Atlantic Ocean in the distance and the National Park with the wildlife that habitates within it. The hike route is about 6 kilometers long and is mostly carried out with the help of a tour guide and it is better if you start out in the morning to avoid the overhead sun.
The Woodstock caves
The Woodstock caves hike route is one of the easiest and can be done with children. It has two starting points that is you can either start from the Rhodes memorial or from the Woodstock caves. It takes about two hours before it is completed and it will take you past the large cave that is found near the Mountain, waterfalls, past the King’s Blockhouse before leading you to the famous cable way of the Mountain.
The Lion’s head and signal Hill
The Lions head is the peak of the Table Mountain which is located along the right corner of the Mountain. It was named lion’s head because of its shape which is in form of a sleeping lion. The signal hill is what is referred to as the lower body part of the lion whereas the peak is the head. It is best hiked upon during the dry season and once you get to the peak, you will have a clear view of the surrounding areas and also get to enjoy the sunset with your loved ones.
The silvermine conservation area
Located in the Southern peninsular within the Table Mountain National Park, Silvermine was constructed in the year 1898 during the colonial era and it was constructed mainly for the purposes of defense against the enemies and it was chosen due to its location within a valley. Guided walks are organized for tourists to visit the Silvermine dam which is located in the park and while here you get to carry out different activities like boat riding, guided fishing, enjoy the beautiful scenery that is provided by the silvermine waterfall.
The Silvermine dam
The Silvermine dam is located in the central part of the Table Mountain National Park and has some of the best views in the Park. It is a perfect place for tourists who love birding due to the various birding species that breed around the dam, has several hiking trails, Mountain biking and picnics can also be done around the dam and short walks to the Silvermine waterfall among others. When you get to the silvermine dam, you will find out that there are several activities that you can engage in which include hiking, picnicking, bird spotting among others.
Hiking around the Silvermine,
there are several hike routes that are found around the dam and these have beautiful scenery that you get to enjoy while hiking and some of the major hike routes here include:
The Elephants eye hike route
This hike route will take you about two hours before it is completed and it will take you around the Park starting from the parking lot and it will lead you to the cave that is known as the elephant eye from where you can relax before heading back to the starting point.
The Silvermine Mountain biking,
there is a trail that is used for Mountain biking that starts from the Silvermine Dam. It is 7.5 kilometers long and it will take you past the Silvermine reservoir before going up the Noordhoek peak before cycling back. Note that you are not allowed to cycle when you are not with a tour guide.
Picnics in Table Mountain National Park
With the various picnic places that are gazetted within the National Park, tourists get a chance to enjoy their picnics in some of the best places that have good views within the National Park.
The Tokai picnic site
The Tokai picnic site is a good place for tourists to have a close view of the baboons that normally play from the picnic area. There are a few rules that tourists need to follow while picnicking in Tokai and these are:
You are not allowed to feed the baboons and you are advised to store your food in case they show up, you are not allowed to take alcohol, no music, you are charged for every vehicle that you pack there, the picnic place is out of bounds by 4:00pm, you are not allowed to use tents while there and the picnic is open from 7:00am to 4:00pm.
The Newlands picnic site
This is also another picnic place that was set aside for tourists who visit the Table Mountain National Park. Entry fees to the site are paid in form of cash at the gate as there are no credit card machines, alcohol and music are not allowed, no booking is allowed and it works on a first come first serve basis. It opens at 7:00am and closes at 6:00pm every day and in this site you are allowed to bring your own grill.
The Oudekraal picnic site
The Oudekraal picnic site is open all year round and just like the other three picnic sites, there are also some rules that you are supposed to follow that is no alcohol, no music, no tents are allowed but you can get an umbrella and you are not allowed to swim in the Ocean since there are no lifeguards to help out when there is a problem.
Besides all the rules and regulations that are put up by the different picnic sites, they offer tourists a chance to relax while enjoying the nature provided by the trees around the Table Mountain National Park.
Where to stay in Table Mountain National park
There are different accommodation facilities that are available for tourists who visit the Table Mountain National Park and some of these include the following:
The Waterland lodge is owned and run by the family and each room goes for 50.89 US dollars per night for two guests. It has a capacity of 25 people with each room being self-contained, internet connection and the lodge is a self-catering type of accommodation. Guests who sleep within the lodge have a great view of the Cape and they also offer nature walks from that will take you around the lodge, the Park and the wine farms that are located within the area. Some of the services that you can get to enjoy include a swimming pool, credit card services, they offer laundry services, conference rooms and the languages that are spoken include French, Afrikaans and English.
The Almondbury cottage is just 2 kilometers away from the Table Mountain National Park and is considered to be a luxury accommodation facility with each room going for 145 US dollars per night. Just within twenty minutes away from the park, the cottage is a self-catering accommodation facility and it can house a maximum of only five people. No smoking is allowed in the rooms, they are self-contained and you are assured of your privacy while here.