By Roxanne Devonshire
Table Mountain is the signal that you have arrived in Cape Town. The stoic, beautiful mountain can be seen from as far as Malmesbury and have been the topic of many stories and historical events. We here in Cape Town is so proud to call Cape Town our home with Table Mountain as our signal of pride and hope. Especially since it has been named as one of the world’s Seven Wonders. Our beautiful mountain with its views of Cape Town, the Atlantic Seaboard as well as the whole Cape Peninsula boasts some of the most amazing species of plant life and biodiversity in the world. It is also part of the Cape Floral Kingdom World Heritage site and is home to around 8200 species of plants and around 80% of the plants found in the Table Mountain National Park are fynbos species.
I bet you didn’t know that the Khoi San people that originally lived here in the Cape called the mountain “Hoerikwaggo” meaning mountain in the sea. Table Mountain is also one of the oldest mountains on earth and dates to around 240 million years ago. It is a definite must-see tourist destination, and the view will always take your breath away. Remember to pack your hiking boots as well when you are going up the mountain with the cable car as there are the most beautiful footpaths found on top of the mountain. We feel it is definitely worth the visit and if you want to make the day even more memorable, book your cable car ride online before visiting the mountain. It will safe you so much time and will make the visit more memorable.
Not only does it have its beauty and it’s view it also has its legends. You may have heard the legend of van Hunks and the Devil. Well, if you haven’t, he is the one that is responsible for the “tablecloth” that can be found on top of Table Mountain at times (The cloth refers to the clouds that are found on top of Table Mountain). Well as the legend goes, van Hunks was a pirate and was at his favourite hang out spot on top of Table Mountain when he found a young man at his spot. As he was a very unsociable person and didn’t like this youngster on top his mountain, he challenged him to a smoking competition saying that only he will be able to smoke tobacco without getting sick. The young man accepted the challenge, and they lit their pipes with the tobacco that Van Hunks has brought. They were smoking from sunrise to sunset and eventually a cloud of tobacco smoke was covering the mountain. They were both starting to get tired and as the young man bent forward to cough, his hat fell off and Van Hunks saw his horns and realized that he had challenged the devil to a competition. The devil wasn’t happy that Van Hunks bested him, and he created a big clap and they both disappeared. Now whenever there are clouds over Table Mountain people will say that Van Hunks and the Devil are at it again.