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Beautiful Table Mountain is built within a rock formation which has become the memorable back drop for this stunning exclusive accommodation. The units are built up on stilts, which gives guests the perfect vantage point from which to look at the wildlife roaming far below. The lodge also has a number of viewing decks. Unlike other camps, Boulders has no fencing, which is why the rooms are up out of reach of animals.
It is one of the Natural New 7 Wonders of the World and it is surrounded by South Africa’s beloved Mother City; this national park is the only one within a developed area and every visitor hopes to reach the summit and take in those unforgettable views of cityscape, white beaches and deep blue ocean. Table Mountain is the main attraction of a stunning mountain range waiting to be explored.
The primary way to explore the park is on foot, so guests are encouraged to wear comfortable shoes and be relatively fit. Jogging and horseback riding are other options when it comes to adventuring around the park, and the authorities advise guests to visit in groups of 4 or more, for safety purposes.
Table Mountain National Park is in the middle of Cape Town and is very easy to get to when using public transport or when driving yourself. There are a few park entry points, including one at Boulders Beach, where guests can also see indigenous penguins.
Originally a part of the Khoi territory, the area over which the park is now spread was called Hoerikwaggo which translates to “mountain in the sea”. The mountains are roughly 30 000 years old and plenty of evidence dating back to the
Stone Age has been discovered throughout the park.Since the first person climbed to the top of the mountain in 1503 (the climber was a Portuguese Navigator by the name of Admiral Antonio de Saldanha), guests who’ve visited the mountain have been filled with the urge to follow his early steps. Table Mountain National Park is one of 21 parks taken care of by SAN Parks and it was proclaimed in 1998. The park has only 4 entry points and it receives around 4.2 million visitors every year, which is far more than the country’s other national parks.
Aside from being a wonderful tourist attraction, the park also plays a very vital role in conservation. The Cape is well known for its unique plant life, and the park is helping to preserve this biodiversity while introducing guests from all over the world to the wonder that is African coastal plant life. 25 000 hectares of the park is made up of the Cape Peninsula Protected Natural Environment and around a 1000 square kilometres is made up of Cape Coastline. But one area of the park that is truly famous is the Cape Floral Kingdom, which is the smallest and richest floral kingdom on the planet. It has become a natural world heritage site, and been declared important for humanity.
Being in the middle of the City of Cape Town, guests to the park need to bring their street smarts with them when hiking around the park. There have been a number of criminal elements in the park and this has forced the authorities to release safety information which is important for guests to adhere to.
When visiting the park, be sure to let someone know where you are going and roughly where you will be hiking, cycling, or riding horse. Let them know what time you expect to leave the park and if you think you will be late, let them know how late you intend to be. If you are not back in time, they should know who to call for assistance.
Stay alert regardless of where you are in the park. While taking in all of the gorgeous natural scenery, it is important to know what is going on around you, especially when you are in a more secluded area.
Don’t be distracted. This means that you shouldn’t walk around with ear phones in, especially if they cancel out noise.
Have a map with you, and have your route clearly marked. Create a copy of the map with the marked route, and give it to the person who knows about your trip.
Although a visit to the park comes with a list of safety tips, time spent here is certainly time well spent.
While this park is surrounded by city, it has its own unique accommodation options. Ideal for day guests, those who wish to stay in the city and those who’d rather stay overnight in the park, guests will find that there is accommodation to suit their specific tastes while they are here. The park offers tented camp accommodation as well as guest houses and cottages.
For the guests who are travelling on a budget or who are looking for a more rustic style of accommodation, the tented camps are a must. The tented camps include Hoerikwaggo Tented Camp under which the Smitswinkel Tented Camp and Slangkop Tented Camp, which is situated next to the ocean, falls. Each camp is surrounded by gorgeous nature.
Guests will need to share communal kitchens as well as communal bathrooms. Each camp can accommodate a maximum of 12 people and they are easily accessible by car. Bedding is provided at Smitswinkel and Slangkop Camps, and all of the camps are self-catering.
Smitswinkel Camp is situated across from the Cape Point entrance and it is shaded by towering Flowering Gum plantation trees. It is the perfect point from which to explore the South Peninsula and it is quite close to Boulders Beach. Those wanting to get even closer to nature will find that the best place to stay is Slangkop Camp. This camp has been built within a grove of indigenous Milkwood trees and each evening guests can watch the sun set over the Atlantic Ocean. The camp is just 150 meters away from some of the best surfing spots and there are shops and restaurants close by.
The guest house is ideal for larger parties and it has 3 double bedrooms. The house has a full kitchen powered by gas, a bathroom with gas geyser, an open plan lounge and a dining room with a fireplace. There is also a veranda, a braai place, and a boardwalk leading right onto the beach. All lighting is solar powered and water is drawn from a tank. This is an eco-friendly house and guests are asked to conserve energy.
An Annex is available for larger parties and it has its own bathroom and is capable of sleeping 6 additional guests.
As the name states, this one is for the visiting family. The cottage is located in the Cape of Good Hope, it is electrified, has a full kitchen, and all bedding is provided. The cottage sleeps 6 and it has one master bedroom and two additional bedrooms, with two ¾ beds in each. Guests can relax in an open plan lounge area and kitchen and there is an enclosed patio with a fireplace.
Also situated in the Cape of Good Hope, this cottage is inland and offers guests tranquillity even though staff vehicles move around the area during working hours. The cottage sleeps 6 people with one master bedroom and two smaller additional rooms kitted out with two ¾ beds in each. The cottage has an open plan kitchen and lounge area, along with an enclosed patio and fireplace.
Guests can spend the night sleeping on the lower slopes of Table Mountain when booking this style of accommodation.
The Platteklip Washhouse can accommodation up to 24 guests in self-catered units. There are a number of units to choose from and guests will need to share communal dining rooms, lounge and kitchen.
The other option is the Overseers Cottage which sleeps a maximum of 16 people in fully equipped, self-catered units. As this is hiking accommodation, guests will need to walk to and from the units, bringing what they need along with them. No vehicles are permitted to drive here and the park will not drive guests either. Guests will share a communal bathroom and kitchen, and will need to bring their own firewood.
The park might be situated within an urban area, but it is best known for its stunning flora. Fynbos, Renosterveld, and Afromontane Forest characterise the park. Fynbos species that grows here includes Proteas, Erica’s, Restios, and Geophytes.
Insects, marine life, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals, all can be found in the park. Small and large antelope which have adapted to the mountains can occasionally be spotted if you look close enough and lucky guests can also come across Cape Mountain Zebra, rooikat, baboons, water mongoose, Cape Dune Mole, Cape Fox and Cape Clawless Otters, during their time in the park.