Table Mountain and her many
Table Mountain takes up a very special place in my heart and in he hearts of many Capetonians. Visible from over 150 miles away it is central to life in Cape Town. Even those who have never hiked up the mountain or even strolled on its slopes, will still navigate around the city based on where they are in relation to the mountain.
Most commonly known by its English name of “Table mountain” there are numerous names that it has been known by, and is still known by in different areas and countries.
Here are a few:
Taboa do Cabo – This is the name given to the mountain by Antonio da Saldhana. He was a Portugese explorer and the first European to anchor in Table Bay.
He is also the first man ever recorded to climb Table Mountain.
Mons Mensa – This is the Latin name for Table Mountain. Indeed Table Mountain is the only mountain to have a constellation of stars named after it. Nicolas Louis de La caille named the constellation after having made several early observations of the Southern skies from Cape Town.
Montagne de la Table – is the French name for the mountain. Also early colonisers of parts of Africa the French had a presence in Cape Town in its early settler days.
Umlindi – This is an African name for the mountain. Based on a legend of a giant created to protect the land. The giant was eventually turned to stone and became the “watcher of the South”
Hoerikwaggo – Perhaps the earlist known name for Table Mountain was the Khoisan name. Meaning mountain of the sea, and now adopted by the South African National Parks Board as the name for the 5 day hike that stretches along the Table Mountain chain.
Tafelberg – The Afrikaans name for Table Mountain. Still used by many in South Africa. The road leading to the cable way station is Tafelberg Rd.