The spectacular Table Mountain National Park is known for its extraordinarily rich, diverse and unique flora, containing the world's Sixth Floral Kingdom, named fynbos.
Previously known as the Cape Peninsula National Park, Table Mountain National Park covers several reserves such as the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve, Table Mountain Nature Reserve and Silvermine Nature Reserve, plus the Boulders beach penguin colony. The coastal waters surrounding the Cape Peninsula are proclaimed as a marine protected area: the Agulhas Bioregion and the South-western Cape Bioregion. The boundary is at Cape Point.
The Cape Peninsula has an unusually rich biodiversity which forms part of the Cape Floral Region protected areas. These protected areas are a World Heritage Site, and an estimated 2,200 species of plants are confined to Table Mountain range; many of these species, including many types of proteas, are endemic to these mountains and can be found nowhere else. Its vegetation consists predominantly of several different types of the unique and rich Cape fynbos, including some critically endangered species.
Wildlife is diverse and prolific in the area. The most common mammal on the mountains is the dassie or rock hyrax, and Table Mountain is also home to porcupines, mongooses, snakes, lizards, tortoises, and a rare endemic species of amphibian that is only found here: the Table Mountain ghost frog. The mountain cliffs are home to several raptors species: the charismatic Verreaux's eagle, jackal buzzard, booted eagle (in summer), African harrier-hawk, peregrine falcon and rock kestrel.
Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve is home to the beautiful brown and white bontebok antelopes, tortoises, ostriches, and southern right whales roam the sea around the Peninsula from August to October to mate and calve. Boulders Beach is known for its growing colony of the vulnerable African penguins, which can easily be viewed at close quarters from a boardwalk.
A large population of baboons lives in the Peninsula, and a dozen troops, varying in size from seven to over 100 individuals, wander on the mountains from the Constantiaberg to Cape Point.
Ideal for viewing: African penguin, southern right whale, Verreaux’s eagle, rock hyrax, Cape baboon
Where: Western Cape, South Africa
is featured in the following itineraries:
This 37-day comprehensive itinerary, which visits no less than seven countries, delivers the ultimate African safari experience and a wealth of contrasts. Travel to some of Africa’s best National Parks and stay in a range of classic lodges, hotels and tented camps on this wildlife trip of a lifetime.
When to go: Apr-Dec
Duration inc. flights: 37 days
Price inc. flights: From £16,495 pp
Tailor-made trip idea
From the flowers, birds and stunning scenery of the Cape, to wonderful flower-rich Namaqualand, this trip visits an astoundingly beautiful and varied land, rich in wildlife. All this at a time of year when the flowers and birds here are at their best, and when whales are displaying close inshore.