Table Mountain National Park

Cape Town, South Africa

Table Mountain National Park

9.4

Table Mountain (Khoekhoe: Huriǂoaxa, lit. 'sea-emerging'; Afrikaans: Tafelberg) is a flat-topped mountain forming a prominent landmark overlooking the city of Cape Town in South Africa. It is a significant tourist attraction, with many visitors using the cableway or hiking to the top. Table Mountain National Park is the most visited national park in South Africa, attracting 4.2 million people every year for various activities. The mountain has 8,200 plant species, of which around 80% are fynbos, meaning fine bush. It forms part of the Table Mountain National Park, and part of the lands formerly ranged by Khoe-speaking clans, such as the !Uriǁʼaes (the "High Clan"). It is home to a large array of mostly endemic fauna and flora.

The main feature of Table Mountain is the level plateau approximately three kilometres (2 mi) from side to side, edged by impressive cliffs. The plateau, flanked by Devil's Peak to the east and by Lion's Head to the west, forms a dramatic backdrop to Cape Town. This broad sweep of mountainous heights, together with Signal Hill, forms the natural amphitheatre of the City Bowl and Table Bay harbour. The highest point on Table Mountain is towards the eastern end of the plateau and is marked by Maclear's Beacon, a stone cairn built in 1865 by Sir Thomas Maclear for trigonometrical survey. It is 1,086 metres (3,563 ft) above sea level, and about 19 metres (62 ft) higher than the cable station at the western end of the plateau.

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