Archives for Table Mountain fauna & flora

Hiking Table Mountain for more than just views – 24 January 2018

It’s a fact that most people expect stunning views when hiking Table Mountain. And when the mountain is free of cloud, the views certainly do not disappoint. But on days when there’s no views due to cloud, it’s a good idea to focus on the nature and the adventure that Table Mountain offers. Table Mountain’s location next to a city belies its wildness. Many Table
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It’s a jungle out there: hiking Table Mountain’s lush eastern slopes – 28 February 2015

Table Mountain’s typical shrubby vegetation and bare rock faces does not hint at its lush eastern and southern sides. Afro-montane forest carpets the lower slopes on those sides, extending up ravines. ‘Forest’ is misleading, as it resembles equatorial jungle, complete with vines trailing down from the canopy, branches draped with beard-like lichen and boulders covered in moss. Several Table Mountain hikes offer jungle settings at
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It's a jungle out there: hiking Table Mountain's lush eastern slopes – 28 February 2015

Table Mountain’s typical shrubby vegetation and bare rock faces does not hint at its lush eastern and southern sides. Afro-montane forest carpets the lower slopes on those sides, extending up ravines. ‘Forest’ is misleading, as it resembles equatorial jungle, complete with vines trailing down from the canopy, branches draped with beard-like lichen and boulders covered in moss. Several Table Mountain hikes offer jungle settings at
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Table Mountain hiking: In search of elusive orchids – 17 February 2014

When it comes to floral delights on a Table Mountain hike, one of the finest must surely be an orchid in bloom. The month of February sees no less than three species on display: the Cluster Disa (Disa ferruginea), the Blue Disa (Disa graminifolia) and the Red Disa (Disa Uniflora), also known as the Pride of Table Mountain. On days when the mountain is covered
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Photo of the week – September week #2: Wildlife sightings when hiking Table Mountain

Much as hiking Table Mountain takes you into pristine nature, it serves up little in the way of wildlife i.e. big game. The reason for this is two-fold: the longtime presence of Europeans and the vegetation type. The decline of large game at the Cape started with the arrival of Dutch settlers in 1652, who hunted antelop as a source of fresh meat, trapping and
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Photo of the week – July week #4: Table Mountain forests

Table Mountain hiking is not only varied in terms of terrain and views, but also vegetation. While most of the mountain is covered in low shrub, indigenous forest can be found on the lower southern and eastern slopes of  the mountain, and extending up the ravines on those slopes. Known as Afro-montane forest, this forest type is reminiscent of tropical jungle. If you enjoy jungle
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Photo of the week – February week #2: Table Mountain Red Disa

  One of the rare delights of hiking Table Mountain in February is the sight of Red Disas (Disa uniflora) along certain streams. Also known as the Pride of Table Mountain, it ranks as the most striking of the 70-odd Disa species found on the Cape Peninsula. It loves damp, semi-shaded riverbanks in the mist belt of Table Mountain, above 500m. Its peak flowering time
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Photo of the week – January week #2: Table Mountain water

 – View across the Hely-Hutchinson reservoir towards Cleft Peak – First-time hikers on Table Mountain often turn up their noses at the sight of the mountain’s amber-colored water, thinking it to be stagnant or contaminated. They couldn’t be further from the truth. Table Mountain’s water is basically fynbos-infused rainwater (fynbos being the indigenous shrub of the Western Cape). The mountain’s upper and lower plateau serves
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Quote of the week – January week #1:Table Mountain from different angles

“To see things from a new physical angle is sometimes to see them from a new spiritual angle. You can see disas and red crassula at Kirstenbosch, but perhaps you have not really seen them until, resting on some tiny ledge, you have seen them flaring from the sheer grey rocks.”  – Extract from C. A. Luckhoff’s book, Table Mountain – You don’t exactly have to go
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Photo of the week – December week #3: Puff adders

  Off the 22 species of snake found on Table Mountain and the Cape Peninsula, the puff adder is commonly regarded as the most dangerous, though not the most venomous. Hikers’ talk of snakes invariably includes hair-raising tales of encounters with puff adders; and climbers on Table Mountain all know about the cases of some hapless climber pulling up on a ledge to find him-
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