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Table mountain cable car: Frighteningly fast fog.

Just like Manhattanites only go up the Empire State when showing visitors around, Capetonians rarely go up Table Mountain except to show it off to visiting friends and family. It has been a while since I was last up there and we decided to take Talulah (my daughter) up for the first time. She has been nagging for this since she found a ticket stub for the cable car 6 months ago.


Many people go up for sunset on an evening like tonight and there was a long queue to the tune of an hour. The weather was perfect, just a few wisps of cloud licking over the cable car station at the top. However as we boarded the car, the “tablecloth” unleashed itself and we plunged into soggy, freezing darkness as we reached the top.

The unpredictability of Cape Town’s weather can be a major fly in the ointment for people who need to make plans around such things, like sailors, film makers and even sightseers. The “tablecloth” has caught many hikers off guard and has been deadly in the past. We resorted to a Southern Comfort and lemonade at the top, a few shivers looking into the clouded abyss and then back down on the next car.

A hot tip for people caught in a similar situation. When you get to the bottom, quietly and politely ask for a refund of your ticket price (quietly because you don’t want to start a stampede). Since we were only up there for less than an hour the lady kindly gave me my money back. With ticket prices now at R120 for adults and R60 per child, this put the grin back on my face, especially after seeing all the stoic Brits accepting their bad luck.

There are some great things going on around this time on the mountain check out the website for details and for all important “Cable car is closed” information. Here are the current specials. (If we are in town, we are highly considering going up for new years eve)

Half Price Sunset Special

Valid from 18h00:

1 December 2006 – 23 December 2006 and

3 January 2007- 31 January 2007

This amazing half price special is an offer for everyone to experience Cape Town’s sunset magic from the top of Table Mountain.

The Sunset Special is a half price offer valid on all adult and children’s return tickets after 18h00.

Ticket prices on the Sunset Special are R60.00 for an adult return ticket and R32.50 for children’s (under 18 years) return ticket.

Half Price New Year’s Eve Special

Valid from 18h00 on New Years Eve – 31 December 2006!

This is yet another half price offer by the Cableway for adults and children to experience not only Cape Town’s sunset, but celebrate the start of a new year at the top of Table Mountain.

Ticket prices on the New Years Special are R60.00 for an adult return ticket and R32.50 for children’s (under 18 years) return ticket.

The Cableway will extend its operational hours weather permitting: the last car up will be at 23h00 and the last car down will be at 01h00.

You are welcome to bring along your own picnic hamper to enjoy New Year’s Eve on Table Mountain.