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.
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.