Dramatically looming over the city of Cape Town is the distinctive, natural geological landmark of Table Mountain. An iconic symbol of South Africa, the mountain appears to form, as the name suggests, the shape of a table, with a 3 km (1.8 mi) long flat plateau top edged by steep cliffs. The plateau stands at a height of 1,085 m (~3,560 ft) above sea level, overlooking the slopes of Devil's Peak to the East and Lion's Head to the West, together forming part of the Cape Peninsula range. With the Atlantic Ocean on one side of the city and the three peaks enveloping the others, Cape Town seems to lie within a stunning natural amphitheatre. Looking across from Cape Town, Table Mountain is at the centre of these peaks and draws the eye from the cityscape.
While strolling around the base of the mountain it is possible to view a higher concentration of different floral species in this small area than anywhere else on Earth and in fact the area of Table Mountain contains over 1,470 species of flora.
Dassies (mammals resembling, but unrelated to, guinea pigs), snakes, tortoises, porcupines and mongooses are commonly seen on the mountain.
No climbing skills are required to make the dramatic ascent to the plateau, thanks to the Table Mountain Cable Way. Opened in 1929, the Cable Way has since allowed over 16 million visitors to experience the spectacular views from the top.
Rock climbing and caving are particularly popular with visiting thrill seekers, although gentler activities include the 57 km2 (22 mi2) of hiking trails to explore, which allow walkers to witness the myriad of wildlife that Table Mountain National Park has to offer. Jeep tracks criss-cross the slopes and mountain biking is allowed on these.