Table Mountain Cableway
The cable car in the1990s (Image: Table Mountain Aerial Cableway Company)
  • The Table Mountain Cableway first opened on 4 October 1929.
  • Back then, a wooden cable car with a tin roof made the 700-metre journey to the top of one of the world’s most iconic natural landmarks.
  • Today, 92 years and 29 million passengers later, the cable car can fit more than three times as many sightseers on a revolving floor which offers a 360-degree view.
  • To celebrate the milestone, the Table Mountain Cableway is offering discounts to South Africans throughout the month of October.
  • For more stories go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.

One of Cape Town’s most popular tourist attractions, the Table Mountain Cableway, was officially opened to the public on 4 October 1929. To celebrate 92 years of service, it's offering discounts to South Africans throughout the month of October.

Table Mountain is one of Africa’s leading tourist attractions. Over the past 92 years, the cableway has carried more than 29 million visitors up the 700-metre traverse which towers above the Mother City.

Present-day passengers travel in style, enjoying a quick five-minute journey from the base station on Tafelberg Road to the plateau atop Table Mountain. The cable car can accommodate 65 passengers and features a rotating floor which provides a 360-degree view of one of the world’s most iconic natural wonders and the city bowl below.

Table Mountain Cableway
Present-day cable car (Getty Images)

But a trip on the cableway wasn’t always this comfortable. Back when it first launched, a wooden cable car with a tin roof, accommodating 19 people at a squeeze, took nearly 10 minutes to reach the top.

Table Mountain Cableway
The cableway's lower station in the 1950's (Image: Table Mountain Aerial Cableway Company)

“A lot has changed over the decades, but the cableway remains one of Cape Town’s biggest tourist attractions, ensuring that every visitor has a world-class experience when enjoying the heritage and beauty of Table Mountain,” says Wahida Parker, the managing director of the Table Mountain Aerial Cableway Company.

The Covid-19 pandemic has been seriously unkind to the tourism sector, with the Table Mountain Cableway experiencing a lull in activity as the usual influx of international tourists flatlines. Local lockdown restrictions haven’t helped and, in accordance with Covid-19 safety protocols, the cable car isn’t operating at 100% capacity.

Table Mountain Cableway
The tea room atop Table Mountain in 1932 (Image: Table Mountain Aerial Cableway Company)

Birthday celebrations coincide with an easing of lockdown regulations, the reopening of important international travel routes, and the approaching summer season, making it the perfect time to honour Table Mountain, says Parker.

The #CelebratetheCableway campaign, which runs throughout the month of October, offers discounted trips to locals. A limited number of discounted tickets, which allow for trips aboard the cable car from Monday to Friday, are available online.

A return ticket for adults costs R200. This would usually cost R390 for the morning ride and R320 in the afternoon. Return tickets for children, under 18-years-old, are R100.

These discounted tickets are only available to South Africans. Passengers must present a valid South African identity document.

Table Mountain Cableway
View from the top (Getty Images)

October is a big month for the Table Mountain Cableway. In addition to celebrating 92 years of operation, it’s also contending for the honour of being named the World's Leading Cable Car Ride and the World's Leading Tourist Attraction as part of the World Travel Awards 2021. Voting ends on 24 October.

(Compiled by Luke Daniel)

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