Take a peek at two lesser-known faces of the Cape’s most famous landmark: ascend the mountain to discover sacred rocks and ancient legend, then descend to the shoreline where a luxury lodge, hidden below Chapman’s Peak, has risen up from the ashes.

More than a hundred sites on Table Mountain may have been used by the ancients as a giant cosmic clock to track the changing of the seasons. This mystical dolmen on the slopes of Table Mountain above Muizenberg catches the rays of the rising sun only at the winter solstice. Did the ancients build it? And how? “No one really knows,” says archaeoastronomer Dean Liprini, who has been studying the sacred sites on Table Mountain since he was a boy. He has identified a network of carefully aligned geometrical marker stones based on a grid of light. Is this our own Stonehenge? Next time you’re on the mountain, look out for the craggy profiles in the rocks of the mountain’s stone guardians. Take a guided half-day tour to sacred sites, or a five-day guided slackpacking trail using the Hoerikwaggo route facilities. – Marion Whitehead

For more information, visit www.sacredsites.co.za or contact Sunpath Tours on +27 (0)79 404 8762 or
[email protected].

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The Tripod, above Kalk Bay, is aligned with mathematical precision to capture the first rays of the rising winter solstice sun. Picture by Marion Whitehead

Number One Chapman’s Peak Drive is an address that has a certain ring to it. Undoubtedly the Cape Peninsula’s most scenic road, this engineering masterpiece built into the side of the mountain was completed in 1922. Just before the toll gate, a steep single track winds down to the coastline, where a spectacular lodge is perched on the rocks and the soundtrack is a sea symphony. The only hotel within Table Mountain National Park, the reason Tintswalo Atlantic is allowed on this special site is that there were existing buildings here before the area was declared national park land. You are treated to particularly fine dining from an interactive kitchen and a boutique wine cellar. Throughout my stay, the mountain trails above the ruins of the East Fort, an 18th century gun battery and national monument, looked very inviting. My reward for finally lacing up my hiking boots was a stupendous vista over the ocean that beckoned ancient and adventurous seafarers. – Romi Boom

To book your stay, call +27 (0)21 201 0025 or email [email protected].

Intimate weddings on the Atlantic shore are a speciality at Tintswalo Atlantic. Where else in the world can you say your vows in a World Heritage Site, in the shade of an ancient milkwood tree?
– Romi Boom

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Tintswalo Atlantic is one of SANParks’ Golden Kudus, the luxury lodges that offer five-star accommodation in a national park. The view stretches across the ocean to Sentinel Mountain and Hout Bay. Pictures supplied by Tintswalo Atlantic, David Smith

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Stylish interiors complement the gorgeous setting.

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The lodge, constructed from wood and glass, was rebuilt after being damaged by a veld fire in 2015.

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