One of Africa's most famous landmarks, Table Mountain has welcomed seafarers to South Africa for centuries. The sandstone mountain is some two miles (three kilometers) wide and 3,500 feet (1,000 meters) high, offering magnificent views of Table Bay, Robben Island, and the Cape Town metro area, which completely encircles it.
Visitors may hike to the top (a challenging climb that can take several hours) or ride a revolving cable car. Table Mountain National Park forms part of the Unesco World Heritage site declared in 2004 to protect the fynbos (the Afrikaans word for the local floral kingdom), one of the most diverse botanical kingdoms.
The mountain is said to contain more plant species than are found in the entire United Kingdom. The 55,000-acre (22,000-hectare) mountain reserve is also home to a great many bird, reptile, mammal, insect, and amphibian species. Miles of trails along the top enable hikers to enjoy this profusion of life amid the spectacular proteas and other plants of the fynbos.
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.Table Mountain National Park
Photograph courtesy South African Tourism