Cape Town – The Table Mountain Cableway’s (TMC) celebrated its 28 millionth visitor – Mildred Garrett from Somerset West, who had decided to take her first trip up the mountain on her birthday – on Thursday.
"It’s International Cable Car Day today and what better way to celebrate than with the arrival of Table Mountain Cableway’s 28 millionth visitor, a milestone that took the attraction less than a year to add the latest million," the TMC said in a statement.
“All I can say is wow,” said an excited Mildred Garrett from Somerset West, who was accompanied by her sister Elizabeth Titus.
“It’s my birthday today and I thought it was a good time to take my first trip up the mountain. What a wonderful surprise this has been. I look forward to telling my friends and family about it.”
The Cableway’s managing director, Wahida Parker, said the rate at which the latest million was achieved was as a result of a "consistently high visitor numbers throughout 2018 and a successful peak season".
“As we move towards the Cableway’s 90th birthday in October, we are proud to welcome our 28 millionth visitor to the summit of our beautiful New 7 Wonder of Nature,” said Parker.
“As custodians of Table Mountain, we want to inspire local travel and encourage all visitors, especially locals looking to visit the mountain for the first time, to allow themselves to be captivated and mesmerised by this city and its attractions.”
Some fun facts in celebration of International Cable Car Day:
– Each of the cable car’s cables is 1 200m in length and weighs 18 tons.
– The two cable cars, which can each carry up to 5 200kg, counterbalance each other and cannot operate independently. As one goes up, the other must come down.
– The journey to the summit takes visitors 704m up from the Lower Cable Station at 363m above sea level to the Upper Cable Station at 1 067m above sea level.
– The cable cars travel at a maximum speed of 10m per second.
– The original steel and wood cable cars have been upgraded three times, first in 1958, again in 1974 and most recently in 1997 when the round cars with revolving floors called “rotairs” were introduced.
– Similar Rotair cable cars are found in Titlis, Switzerland and Palm Springs, US.
– The cable car base is a water tank with a 3 000l capacity. This provides fresh drinking water for visitors and is used as ballast in windy conditions.