Cape Town’s iconic Table Mountain has been a little more accessible to locals in the past week, as the cable car celebrated their 85th birthday by reducing the cost of a return ticket from R225 to R85, via a coupon in the local community newspapers.

We attempted to go last week but underestimated the popularity of the special and weren’t prepared to wait in the long queue. So this past Saturday we made the effort to get there before the first car left at 8am. It still took about 90 minutes to get through the queue and up the mountain, but the kids coped well so all was good.

The views were were amazing as always, but what really struck me was how nice it was to share the mountain top with local Capetonians and not just tourists. Since only a small percentage of us have the stamina/drive to climb the mountain, for most of us the mountain is something we look at, and not often something we look down from.

The 3 year old had a blast at the top, climbing on the very kid-friendly rocks, checking out the “buffies” – surely the best mispronunciation of dassie ever – and claiming her free cookie at the restaurant.

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A really fun family day out!

I also learnt that you can get an annual pass for the cable car, which allows you one return trip a day. At less than the cost of 2 1/2 return tickets, it seems quite worthwhile if you live close-ish to the mountain and want to explore the table-top on a more regular basis. I think once the girls are a little bigger we may well look into trying this for a year.

So while the cable car ride up Table Mountain is always a top attraction for visiting tourists, I also think it’s a fantastic day out for locals.