Cable Car from Base stationOn the 10th of July I got a free ride up to the top of our iconic mountain, care of the Table Mountain Aerial Cable Co Ltd.

It was my birthday, you see, and every South African (18 years old and over) is entitled to one free ride per year, on their date of birth – all you have to do is pitch up at the ticket office, hand over your ID, and voila!

(I’ve listed this awesome freebie under my Cape Town winter specials page, under ‘general specials‘, even though it technically runs throughout the year.)

Some buddies and I made the trip up (there wasn’t even a queue – the joys of winter season!) and walked along the alternate path to Maclear’s Beacon, standing, at times, only a few feet from the edge (not a path to choose when it’s windy or cloudy!).

Robben Island viewLuckily for me, the deluge that preceded that Thursday had cleared the skies of all smog and general yuckiness, and the visibility was phenomenal, the air crisp, the light golden.

It was so beautiful, so peaceful… and so soothing to have a chance to view the bustling city from afar for a while.  A great way to see in a new year of existence!

So, if you have a birthday coming up, I highly recommend taking advantage of this awesome special.  The cableway is currently closed for annual maintenance, but will ‘re-open for business, weather permitting, on Monday 4th August 2008’.

Anyone with a birthday falling between Monday 14th July and Sunday 3rd August can still claim their free ticket, but must do so during the week that follows the reopening of the cable car (ie 4-10 August 2008).

Apparently (this from a friend), if the cable car is not operating on your birthday because of bad weather, you’ll be issued a free ticket voucher, which you can then use on another day (you still have to turn up at the ticket office on your birthday).  No doubt the voucher has an expiry date.

Maclear’s BeaconCurrent Table Mountain specials:

  • Table Mountain Cableway ‘Family Winter Special’. Two children under 18 years travel free with every adult return ticket for R130.00. (This means 3 people go up for the price of one adult ticket of R130.00). Valid every day from 1 May – 15 September 2008.
  • Table Mountain Cableway ‘Birthday Special’. The Cableway will give you a FREE return ticket on your birthday. Conditions: Please present your South African ID document on the DAY of your birthday at the lower station ticket office. Offer is valid on adult (18 years and older) return tickets only.

The Table Mountain Cableway is closed until 4 August 2008, but thereafter will operate daily between 8.30am and 6pm (winter times: 1 May – 15 September).  An ‘Adult – Return’ ticket currently costs R130.00 (students R88) – prices valid until 30 September 2008.  Take a picnic – the food up there is very limited (restaurant is closed) and pricey (R19 for a litre of mineral water!)

I’ve posted more photos here.

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