Table Mountain History

The Khoi and San people named the mountain Hoerikwaggo or Mountain in the Sea.

But the history of this mountain dates back way more, to over 30,000 years, and there is some evidence that the mountain was inhabited in the Stone Age and hand axes were found in the Kirstenbosch Garden.

The mountain was sacred for the Khoi and San people as they believed their god (Tsui or Goab) lived there.

The first European to see the Cape was Bartolomeu Dias in 1448. In 1497, Vasco da Gama spotted it as well. The Portuguese navigator Admiral Antonio de Saldanha did the first recorded climb of Table Mountain in 1503. Saldanha also named the mountain Taboa da caba, meaning table of the cape.

In 1652, the Khoi and the San people were robbed of their land when the Dutch colonized the Cape, led by Jan van Riebeeck. They quickly established Cape Town, built houses, and brought slaves.

Since then, many people from all around the world have climbed the mountain. Starting in 1929, the cable car opened, and since then, reaching the summit has been made more accessible than ever.

Over 22 million people have used the cable car, which was renovated and reopened in 1997.

The mountain gained natural park status in 1998. The Cape Floristic Region was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2004