15 November, 2011

Table Mountain is a New 7th Wonder of Nature

November 2011

Table Mountain is a New7Wonder of Nature, following the official announcement on Friday, November 11, 2011.

We are very, very excited about this win! From being awarded the World Design Capital 2014 designation just a few weeks ago to Table Mountain being named one of the New7Wonders of Nature today, Cape Town and South Africa are standing proud! – Cape Town Tourism CEO Mariëtte Du Toit-Helmbold "

Having initially been chosen as one of 440 candidates in 2009, Table Mountain attracted millions of votes from around the world before voting closed on Friday.

The New7Wonders of Nature are the Amazon, Halong Bay, Iguazu Falls, Jeju Island, Komodo, the Puerto Princesa Underground River and Table Mountain.

In Cape Town, a crowd gathered at the V&A Waterfront amphitheatre for the official announcement on Friday night. There were huge celebrations when Sabine Lehmann, CEO of the Table Mountain Cableway, read out the results in alphabetical order.

Table Mountain’s campaign was promoted by various celebrities, including Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, Hollywood actor Blair Underwood and the Springbok rugby team.

A survey by respected accounting firm, Grant Thornton, forecasts a R1.4-billion annual boost to the South African economy, as well as the creation of 11 000 jobs in the next 5 years.

Table Mountain, which at about 360-million years old is 1 of the world’s oldest mountains, is an iconic landmark for many reasons. Of all the final 28 contenders for the New7Wonders of Nature, it was the most accessible, just 20 minutes' drive from Cape Town International Airport.

The Table Mountain Cableway, established in 1929, has taken more than 21-million visitors to the top of the mountain, where there are fantastic views of the Cape Town coastline, city centre and suburbs. Hikers can take the Platteklip Gorge route up Table Mountain, and be at the top within an hour.

Table Mountain is home to a wide range or fauna and flora, boasting more species of plants than the entire United Kingdom. Table Mountain forms part of the Cape Floral Region, which is a Unesco World Heritage Site.
Said Lehmann: 'I would like to thank everyone who took the time to vote for Table Mountain and the celebrity ambassadors - from Archbishop Desmond Tutu and the Springbok Rugby team to all the journalists, musicians, comedians, actors, politicians and sports stars who campaigned on our behalf.'

Table Mountain’s New7Wonders of Nature status follows Cape Town’s recent confirmation as the 2104 World Design Capital.

Said Cape Town Tourism CEO Mariëtte Du Toit-Helmbold after the announcement: 'We are very, very excited about this win! From being awarded the World Design Capital 2014 designation just a few weeks ago to Table Mountain being named one of the New7Wonders of Nature today, Cape Town and South Africa are standing proud!'
For further reference and resources:
http://tablemountain.net/blog/entry/wondrous_win_as_table_mountain_claims_new7wonders_of_nature_spot/
http://www.news24.com/SciTech/News/World-shows-love-for-Table-Mountain-20111111
Fun Facts about Table Mountain:
Sourced from http://www.tablemountain.net and http://www.capeinfo.com/
Table Mountain is the only terrestrial geographical feature to have a constellation named after it. Visiting the Cape of Good Hope in the mid-18th century, French astronomer Abbé Nicolas Louis de la Caille named a constellation near the Southern Cross Mons Mensa, Latin for Table Mountain.
It is one of the oldest mountains in the world, estimated to be about 260 million years old. It dates back further than the Andes, the Rockies and the Swiss Alps.

One of the first women to record her experience of the mountain was Lady Anne Barnard, who climbed Platteklip Gorge in her husband’s trousers. Barnard’s husband was Andrew, the Colonial Secretary during the first British occupation of the Cape between 1795 and 1803.

The first recorded climb was in May 1503, when Portuguese navigator Admiral Antonio de Saldanha climbed Platteklip Gorge and referred to the mountain as Taboa do Cabo (Table of the Cape).

In 1894, rock climber George Travers-Jackson was accepted into the Mountain Club of South Africa at the age of 14. He took part in 51 first ascents on Table Mountain, one of which was of G-grading, climbed without safety equipment.

The cableway has been in operation since 1929. The first cable car had a tin roof and wooden sides and carried 20 passengers. The cable cars were imported from Switzerland and there are only two other such cable cars in the world, one in Titlis in the Swiss Alps in Switzerland, and one in Palm Springs in America. It has a 100 percent safety record.

The Table Mountain ghost frog (Heleophryne rosei) is a critically endangered species endemic to the eastern and southern slopes.
Table Mountain’s cloudy “tablecloth” is the stuff of legends: one tells of the San Mantis god smothering a blaze with a huge white karos (animal pelt). Another says the cloud comes from a smoking contest between the Devil and a pirate called Van Hunks.

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