South Africa (1,085 m) – Most Iconic Mountain in Southern Africa
Table Mountain is a magnificent mesa-like mountain which looms over the South African city of Cape Town. Essentially a flat-topped outcrop of sandstone, Table Mountain is a solitary peak left behind by the erosion of the land around it. Located close to the southernmost tip of Africa, it is one of the best known features on the continent, and is by far the most prominent and famous mountain south of the volcanic region of east-central Africa.
Local tribes have inhabited the rich and fertile region around Table Mountain since prehistoric times. The first Europeans to explore the area were the Portuguese, who discovered the mountain while rounding the continent. It was scaled by the Portuguese in 1503. During the Colonial era, Table Mountain’s height and location made it a perfect landmark for navigation and is one of the reasons that Cape Town became one of South Africa’s most prominent cities.
Table Mountain is one of South Africa’s most popular tourist destinations. It is both climable and hikeable, and there is a cable car to the top as well. Both colonial powers and visitors have left their marks on the mountain, in the form of monuments and commemorative plaques. Table Mountain is conveniently located approximately three miles south of Cape Town.