Every year during Cape Town’s winter, Table Mountain’s cable car is shut down for annual maintenance. For about a month or more, usually in July and August, tourists find themselves disappointed they can’t enjoy this iconic experience. This year the closure is currently taking place, having begun on July 8 and ending August 18. But, I’m here to tell you that there are other ways you can marvel in the beauty of Table Mountain. Whether you take the adventurous route or stay completely relaxed, this natural wonder still awaits!
Hike up instead
Yes, the cable car is unavailable, but the scenic route isn’t! Table Mountain itself is still open and you can take the hiking trail up to the top. It’s not the easiest hike, but if you get rest, stretch, fuel up, and bring plenty of water, it’s more than doable. It can take around 2-3 hours depending on your level of physical fitness. And just like with the cable car, you’ll get to view amazing scenery on the way up.
If you like hiking, but think the Table Mountain hike will be too strenuous, consider the shorter, easier hike up Lion’s Head, which brings you to an amazing view of Table Mountain! You can expect this hike to be 45 mins to an hour and a half and ideally it’s great to time it for sunset at the top!
Head to the top of Signal Hill
While no hiking is required for this, Signal Hill can bring you up in elevation to see Table Mountain and get a panoramic view of the city. It’s quite easy to reach Signal Hill—my suggestion is just to grab an Uber!
Get views from the water
Okay, so maybe you don’t like hiking and you prefer getting out on the water. It’s very popular to go kayaking out in the ocean. While you’re paddling, you’ll not only see seals and other sea creatures swimming about, but you’ll get a fantastic view of Table Mountain and the city.
Venture out to Bloubergstrand for a view from afar
Head out of the city center a little bit and you’ll come across a dreamy beach with spectacular views. Bloubergstrand is a can’t miss! With its kite surfers, pools of blue water, and of course the iconic view of Table Mountain and the city, it’s the perfect way to admire the rugged formations in the distance while digging your toes in the sand.
The ultimate place to relax is on the rooftop of the Cloud 9 Hotel and Spa. With a pool, stocked bar, and comfy seating to lay out, you have another chance to take in an inspiring panoramic view of the Table Mountain and the entire city. The best time to head here is during the day on a Monday or Tuesday when it’ll be less crowded. The pool may be closed, but if your visit is in mid-August and the weather warmed up enough, it might be ready for you to dip your feet in!
Lastly, another great option is visiting the V&A Waterfront. Here you’ll find a plethora of dining, shops, and entertainment—and most importantly, a beautiful view of Table Mountain. It’s a perfect way to spend an afternoon or end your day. You can even head up on the Ferris wheel for a higher viewing!
There’s no denying the Table Mountain cable car is a convenient and quintessential experience in Cape Town. But, the city is so versatile and unique that it’s actually extra special to explore all the different ways you can view and enjoy the city’s grandest landmark.