Monthly Archives November 2011

Table Mountain: New Wonder of Nature

Table Mountain has been elected as one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature in the first tally of global votes (along with the Amazon jungle, Halong Bay in Vietnam, Iguaçu Falls on Brazil-Argentina border, Jeju Island in South Korea, Komodo in Indonesia, Puerto Princesa Underground River in the Philippines). Not that I ever thought of the mountain as anything less than a wonder of nature, but it’s
Read More

Singular sightings on Sugarloaf

One hardly expects to come across animals on the well-trodden slopes of Sugarloaf (Lion’s Head circa early 1600s). Scarab beetles, girdled lizards and red-winged starlings are the usual suspects, with a rock kestrel putting in an occasional appearance. Great was my surprise then when, on a recent climbing foray with my favorite miscreant and fellow climber, I startled a 1,20-meter rhombic skaapsteker (snake). Sleek and patterned, it packs about as much
Read More

Snakes and Ladders

No, not the board game – real snakes and ladders. I came across a Berg Adder the other day meters after negotiating one of the steel ladders on Table Mountain, making me feel like I was playing a game of real-life snakes and ladders. So, with no common ground other than their significance with regards to foot placement – the one you want to step
Read More

The first European to climb Table Mountain

At first thought I wanted to head this blog with ‘The first man to hike Table Mountain’, but that distinction belongs to a traceless individual whose name we shall never know – probably a young herdsman or hunter from the Khoi-khoi tribe, indigenous people who settled around Table Mountain hundreds of years before the arrival of the white man. However, we do know the first
Read More