Table Mountain New Wonder of Nature

Table Mountain National Park has been officially inaugurated as one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature. At the ceremony a specially-cast bronze plaque was unveiled, listing the iconic mountain as one of the 7 worldwide places that receive the title.

Patricia de Lille, Executive Mayor of Cape Town, unveiled the plaque in front of 41 international delegates and said the title would bring significant economic and socio-economic benefits to South Africa. “Table Mountain’s inauguration as one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature is a worthy recognition of this symbol that we all own and cherish,” said De Lille. “While it defines our city, it is much greater than it. It is a natural heritage that belongs to all South Africans and, we believe, the world.”

Arguably one of the most well-known mountains in Africa, Table Mountain provides a magnificent backdrop to cosmopolitan Cape Town. Famous for the tablecloth of clouds that pours endlessly down its slopes when the south-easter blows, this is a mountain of many moods.

Bernard Weber, Founder-President of New7Wonders, said the inauguration marked the culmination of an inspiring campaign of which all South Africans could be proud. “Table Mountain is not only a spectacular backdrop for Cape Town, one of the most beautiful cities in the world, it also offer visitors the unique experience to actually walk on top of the mountain and enjoy the most awesome panoramic views,” said Weber.

Table Mountain National Park (TMNP), managed by South African National Parks (SANParks), was named an Official New 7 Wonders of Nature in May 2012. Dr David Mabunda, CEO of SANParks said this initiative has touched the lives of South Africans and  is a symbol of hope, unity and transformation. The mountain has brought South Africans together for a common goal.

SANParks took over the management of TMNP in 1998. “Since we took over we have improved its biodiversity so much so that it gained the world renowned natural heritage status as part of the Cape Floristic Kingdom World Heritage Site and is now a New 7 Wonder of the World. We are looking forward to capitalising on the status,” says Dr Mabunda.”

Sabine Lehmann, Managing Director of Table Mountain Aerial Cableway and chairperson of the Table Mountain Official Supporters Committee, is convinced the economic impact of the accolade was already being felt by the Cableway. “We have had a record November, the best in 10 years.”

This natural world heritage site, and Natural New 7 Wonder of the World, is a haven of magnificent mountains plunging into crystal seas fringed with bleached white sands of the Cape Peninsula. The mountain chain stretches from Signal Hill in the north, to Cape Point in the South and is also home to the world’s smallest, yet most diverse floral kingdom, The Cape Floristic Region.

The Official New 7 Wonders of Nature contest aimed to raise awareness of the incredible variety and beauty of nature around us.

The African icon is the sixth site to host its inauguration ceremony following the Puerto Princesa Underground River, the Amazon, Jeju Island, Halong Bay and Iguazu Falls. The seventh site, Komodo Island, will host its inauguration ceremony in 2013. Dr Mabunda concluded, ““Long after we are gone, Table Mountain National Park will remain a national park and now it will forever more remain a New 7 Wonder of Nature.”

This article is based on several press releases, one of them by SanParks

More information on the New7Wonders of Nature is to be found here

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