21 Table Mountain Maps

Aspects of Table Mountain Mapped to help better understand Cape Town


Cape of Morphs

Maps showing the morphology of the Cape Peninsula

Two snapshots back in time  - 400 000 years ago and 20 000 years ago - show the geomorphology of what's now known as the Cape Peninsula.

In a post-cryosphere - when the icy parts of the planet melt - would arrival at Table Island have been at Platteklip Harbour?

source:

TABLE MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARK



Base matters

Map showing geology of Cape Town sourced from wikipedia

Geology of Table Mountain

In the beginning there was shale ...

Starting some 800 million years back, it's a tale of magma up-wellings from the earth's hottest depths. Of the toings-and-froings over eons of continents adrift; when Gondwanaland fragments inland seas form in which granular sedimentary layers stack up eight kilometers deep and compress into sandstone. (Table Mountain rock weathers away slower than most.) Another continental collision follows. The land folds. The Mountain forms.  

To see how geology correlates with plant life see the map below.

souce:

OGMUS



Vegetation types on Table Mountain


map of vegetation types Table Mountain sourced from Wikipedia

A Cape Floral Profusion

Botanists have long been dazzled on first encountering the Cape Floral Kingdom. The region is comparatively tiny, occupying 0.6% of the world’s six Floristic Kingdoms' landmass.

It’s an often-windy region, with long, arid summers. Its gritty, acidic and leached soils are of limited nutritional value, and often the richer topsoil layers get washed off in heavy winter downpours.

You wouldn’t expect much to grow here, and ecophysiologists admit that their models fail spectacularly in this environment. They don't expect it to be as species-rich. Instead, the Cape Floral Kingdom’s diverse floral expression is more in keeping with what you’d imagine finding in tropical rain forest regions. About 9 000 plant species are found here, representing 3 percent of the world's total.

And Table Mountain is in the thick of it.

souce:

ABU SHAWKA



Table Mountain Groundwater


conceptual map of Table Mountain groundwater

This diagram is artist and architect Paul Andrews' impression of 'urban design concepts' to secure various sub-systems of The Table Mountain Aquifer - which is part of the greater Table Mountain Aquifer Group. It extends far beyond the peninsula. Its groundwater comes out of various city and mountain springs.

But first, rain has to seep into the subterranean networks of cracks and caverns which transmit and store the groundwater.

Source: RECLAIM CAMISSA



THE SPRINGS OF TABLE MOUNTAIN


maps showing sites of springs in Cape Town

Historically there were over 30 springs in the City Bowl. Depending on the amount of recent rain, sometimes water was forced out without need of pumps.

Five of the springs still yield 5.9million litres of water daily. Until recently most of it ran out via underground rivers into Table Bay. However, since the 2017 drought, the Main Spring, now feeds Molteno Reservoir with 2 million litres a day. 

Some of the spring water runs through the fynbos gardens of Green Point's Urban Park. One stream runs beneath The Little Theatre in Gardens. During performances a noisy pump in the orchestra pit is turned off, and after the final curtain the stage manager has to turn it back on again to prevent the theatre from flooding.

But many of the other rivers and springs may never be rediscovered. Rubble, concrete and old bones have seen to that. The City of Cape Town has only 13 springs on their records. Parliament is sitting on two springs.

A famous brand of mass-produced beer uses spring water in its production.

The main public collection point is at the Newlands breweries.

source:

CHANGCHONG WU



Reclaim Camissa


Map showing various water sources on Table Mountain

Talking of water, one of the shabbiest municipal charms the City provides is the Turkish Baths in Long Street. Back in the day its plunge pool was fed by constantly running chilled mountain water. After a morning of steam and soaking, one's skin never felt more silky and snug. Until of course some tenderer 'upgraded' the pool. A pump was installed needing chemicals. The water became murky. The big brass pipe is still there waiting to reconnect us.

Which brings us to this evolving map. Created by public participation, it is part of a visionary project - Reclaim Camissa. "Camissa meaning 'the place of sweet waters' is the ancient Khoi name for Cape Town. Embedded lost and obscured within the city's fabric this vital ecological link still exists."

Founder Caron van Zeil envisions bringing a progressive water management strategy to the city. A model to help the transformation of Cape Town into an equal society for everyone.

GOOGLE MAPS/COLLABORATORS



The Mountain's Rear End


Map showing tributaries of Table Mountain's Disa Stream

Fair Game for Fouling?

On the Back Table frogs bask in the clear, tea-red waters of Disa Stream. Yet just a few kilometers downstream, once it joins the Hout Bay River, it has become a murky mess. Several years ago word was that it had the highest e-coli count in the country. Bathers on the beach complained of its harmful effects.

Read the history of water in the Cape Colony and the building of Table Mountain's dams:http://new.capetrekking.co.za/information-notes/woodhead-dam-reservoirs-table-mountain/

More useful stuff about the river to be had here.

source:

FRIENDS OF THE RIVERS OF HOUT BAY



Fancy a Pint?

Map of Table mountain drawn in 1908 part of UCT digital collection

Topographical Map of Table Mountain, 1908.

(click link below to enlarge)

Prepared by The Mountain Club of South Africa this shows the coastline from Sea Point to 'Kommetje's Bay.' Features include the Back Table, Orange Kloof, Victorskloof or Kronen Dal and Modder Gat.

Major water sources on the mountain are Woodhead Reservoir, Hely Hutchinson Reservoir - and the Wynberg Reservoirs - now known as the Alexandra and Victoria dams, as well as the Molteno Dam. Also marked is that other great watering hole - Foresters Arms.

Note the Camp's Bay Tram station and the route of the Camp's Bay tram-line.

UCT DIGITAL COLLECTION



Leisure Mountain

Map of recreational activities catered for on Table Mountain

"I’M SO BORED" in this town doesn't wash. Except when it rains. (But don't expect the Cape Stormers in current 2017 form to keep you charmed indoors.)

key for recreational map of Table Mountain

SANPARKS



Wheelchair upon a Natural Wonder


map of wheelchair routes on Table Mountain

The Table Mountain Cableway has wheelchair access. This map shows you the routes along which you can roll once you are up there, to take in the views.

Note that the map has north at the bottom.  

TABLE MOUNTAIN ARIEL CABLEWAY



Roping it


climbing routes sketch

Adele McAnn's Cape Classic Climbs has a series of nineteen Table Mountain maps of carefully and quite beautifully drawn routes up the trickier parts of the Western Table.  

Just above from where you'd dangle, about 800 thousand visitors a year amble more prosaically in anything from designer shoes to slip-slops.

ADELE McANN



Get some perspective


Table Mountain birds-eye from Space

Courtesy NASA/JPL-Caltech

Table Mountain’s towering cliffs add dramatic effect to what is actually not such a high mountain.  Peaking at 1086 meters it is the first ripple in ranges of folded massifs that were created let's just say a long time ago.

When the Cape Doctor has blown, you can see out beyond the Cape Peninsula, to those far bigger bergs with similar geologic DNA to Table Mountain.

NASA



... Greater perspective

maps showing Table Mountain's size in perspective to other famous mountains

Anthony Finley's 1861 Comparative Map of the Principal Mountains of the World

Comparative maps of landmark mountains were all the rage in the 19th century. The biggest beast at the back is Dhaulagiri, in Nepal. They hadn't yet worked out the height of Chomalangma, later called Everest. But Dhaulagiri took longer to conquer - 1960.

Back to Table Mountain. X marks the spot.

WIKIMEDIA



Brown Mountain


Map of Cape Town depicting a 1510 Portuguese expedition of dispossession

In 1510, writes Nicolaas Vergunst, a Portuguese expedition of dispossession (of Khoikhoi children and non-human animals) led by Francisco d’Almeida landed in Cape Town. A battle ensued near Devil's Peak. Almeida and several of his men were killed.

KNOT OF STONE



White Mountain 1


map showing Jan van Riebeck's wild almond Hedge

Hedged In

Soon after the Dutch established the colony, van Riebeck stuck a hedge around it. Twenty-five km of wild almond trees provided a multi-branched horizontal tangle of stout trunks, made more impenetrable by brambles.

Why? To keep cattle which the settlers regarded as theirs from straying. Or being reclaimed.

Remnants survive at Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens.

LLOYDTHOMAS



White Mountain 2 - APARTOPIA 


apartheid era map his illustrates the group area proposals

Uprooted hedge replaced by policy

This 1950 map illustrates the group area proposals made to the Land Tenure Advisory Board by the Planning and Reference Committee appointed by the Government.

UCT DIGITAL COLLECTION



White Mountain 3


map showing residential area round table mountain by racial catagory

key for Cape Town census 2011 map

STATS SA



What goes around ...

A map of Cape Town imagining the sea having risen

2050

That was quick.

In a local survey: 'Cape Town in 2050  - what does the future hold?' mapmaker Chris Berens turns up the heat.  This chart enters the spirit of the Post-Truth moment that's helping to drive our swift drift into the Anthropocene.

CHRIS BERENS



Same same but different - 2 Table Mountain Birds-eye views


Then ...

Illustrated bird's-eye view of old Cape Town

by De la Loubere, 1691

Now (ish ...)

bird's eye view illustration of downtown Cape Town and table Mountain

MAPPERY

The rights holder and original artist are indistinct on this copy. It was created in 2007. I'd be pleased to hear from them so as to place an acknowledgement here; less so get a take-down notice because so lovely a map to finish off here with there cannot be.