January 2019 – It’s International Cable Car Day today and what better way to celebrate than with the arrival of Table Mountain Cableway’s 28 millionth visitor, a milestone that took the attraction less than a year to add the latest million.
As she neared the front of the queue at the Lower Station Ticket Office an unsuspecting Mildred Garrett from Somerset West, Cape Town had a celebratory surprise waiting for her as Cableway staff members waited to greet her and hand over a gift including Cableway tickets, and an official 28 millionth visitor certificate, as well as a variety of Cableway merchandise and Table Mountain Café treats.
All I can say is wow,” said an excited Mildred, who was accompanied by her sister Elizabeth Titus. “It’s my birthday today and I thought it was a good time to take my first trip up the mountain. What a wonderful surprise this has been, I look forward to telling my friends and family about it.”
“This was extremely unexpected, it feels a bit like a dream,” added Elizabeth.
The Cableway’s Managing Director Wahida Parker said the rate at which the latest million was achieved was as a result of a consistently high visitor numbers throughout 2018, and a successful peak season.
“As we move towards the Cableway’s 90th birthday in October, we are proud to welcome our 28 millionth visitor to the summit of our beautiful New 7 Wonder of Nature,” said Parker. “As custodians of Table Mountain we want to inspire local travel and encourage all visitors, especially locals looking to visit the mountain for the first time, to allow themselves to be captivated and mesmerized by this city and its attractions.”
In celebration of International Cable Car Day, here are some fun facts:
- Each of the cable car’s cables is 1 200m in length and weighs 18 tons.
- The two cable cars, which can each carry up to 5 200kg, counterbalance each other and cannot operate independently. As one goes up, the other must come down.
- The journey to
the summit takes visitors 704m up from the Lower
Cable Station at 363m above sea level to the Upper Cable Station at 1 067m
above sea level.
- The cable cars travel at a maximum speed of 10m per second.
- The original steel and wood
cable cars have been upgraded three times, first in 1958, again in 1974 and
most recently in 1997 when the round cars with revolving floors called
“rotairs” were introduced.
- Similar Rotair cable cars are found in Titlis, Switzerland and Palm Springs, USA.
- The cable car base is a water tank with a 3 000l capacity. This provides fresh drinking water for visitors, and is used as ballast in windy conditions.
- The cable cars have carried many famous visitors up the mountain including Jude Law, Oprah Winfrey, Dynamo, William Shatner, Maher Zain, Rodriguez, All-4-One, T.I., Milla Jovovich, Forrest Whitaker, Sting, Brooke Shields, Michael Buble, Tina Turner and Jackie Chan to name a few.
Locals looking to create their own sky-high summertime memories and enjoy the season’s long balmy evenings have until Thursday 28 February to take advantage of the Cableway’s #SunsetSpecial. Valid from 6pm daily, return tickets cost R145 for adults and R72.50 for children under 18 years of age. Don’t forget your SA ID or ID number and the SA ID numbers of the people that you are buying tickets for.