Being Capetonian, we may be biased, but Table Mountain National Park is undoubtedly one of our favourite reserves in Africa. This park is our place of refuge, a space to rejuvenate and connect with nature. Its origin, Signal Hill to the North, forms a natural boundary to Cape Town’s pulsating “city bowl”. Spanning seventy kilometres southward its appendix-like tip Cape Point meets its watery end, plunging headlong into the icy depths of the mighty Atlantic Ocean. Sandwiched neatly in between is Table Mountain, Silvermine and Boulders penguin colony.
WHERE WE LIVE AND BREATHE
Several hundred kilometres of hiking trails criss-cross this verdant refuge. We have spent countless hours exploring the reserve, marvelling at the sheer diversity of fynbos. This rare flora cloaks the mountains and supports elusive fauna. Panoramic views over the Atlantic are also a great reward. Despite Cape Town’s population, estimated at approximately 4.5 million, there have been many times when we have not seen another soul during our escapades.
Our affection is weighted equally between land and sea. Iconic Southern right whales populate the protected coves during our winter months (June through September) and Cape Town offers some of the most spectacular land-based vantage points. Pulse-quickening boat-based encounters are also a possibility. The Marine Protected Area also holds excellent dive sites including Duiker Island where the adventurous snorkeler can encounter playful Cape fur seals.
THREE REASONS WE LOVE TABLE MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARK
1) Original quality: Cape Town is home to magnificent wildflower displays of fynbos (translates to ‘fine bush’ from the local language, Afrikaans). Of the world’s six floral kingdoms, this is the smallest and most prolific per square kilometre.
2) Natural beauty: Our city’s Blue Flag beaches are carefully managed ensuring the Cape’s idyllic ‘must visit’ white-sand beaches remain that way.
3) Diverse wildlife: The iconic nature of our marine life has attracted award-winning wildlife filmmakers the world over. Whale migrations, kelp forests and apex sharks all form the subject matter for these compelling documentaries.
Cape Town, affectionately known as ‘The Mother City’ has long since captured the imagination of travellers. Consistently voted as one of the world’s top cities to visit, there is no doubt that this is largely due to the breath-taking natural beauty of Table Mountain National Park. The range of accommodation, award-winning wines, and gastronomy are an irresistible, heady mix that perfectly complement the nature on her doorstep.
Warm regards from Simon, Jen and the Bellingham team.
- African penguin
- Cape sugarbird
- Orange-breasted sunbird
- Cape siskin
- Cape spurfowl
- Jackal buzzard
- African oystercatcher
- Crowned cormorant
- Bank cormorant
- Hartlaub’s gull
- Southern right whale
- Bryde’s whale
- Common dolphin
- Heaviside’s dolphin
- Cape mountain zebra
- Cape grysbok
An architectural beauty with 360 degree views of the Atlantic Ocean and Table Mountain located at the V&A Waterfront.
TINTSWALO AT BOULDERS
Enjoying breathtaking ocean views over the famed African penguin colony on Boulder’s Beach, Tintswalo at Boulders provides travellers a seaside haven with old-world charm.
ONE & ONLY
The season for wild flowers and southern right whales calving.
Cape Town comes alive in summer, with tourists pouring in to enjoy the beaches, restaurants, exhibitions and wine lands. The city is festive, bubbling with energy, and visitors.
Cape Town grows cooler and begins to quiet down in preparation for winter. The weather is at its best, calm and warm.
Cape Town lies within a winter rainfall region with temperatures dropping. This is the best season to see the breaching great white sharks. It is also when the Southern right whales begin to arrive.
Photo credits: Cape Town by Jonathan Caramanus, Boulder’s Beach by Chris Boorman, Common dolphins by Simon Bellingham, lodge photos by suppliers.