Sitting at the south-western tip of Africa, the Table Mountain National Park (TMNP) encompasses the incredibly scenic Peninsula mountain chain that stretches from Signal Hill in the north to Cape Point in the south – a distance of some 60km. This narrow finger of land with its many beautiful valleys, bays and beaches is bound by the cold waters of the Atlantic ocean in the west and the warm waters of False Bay in the east.

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The proposed core area of the park is the CPPNE, an area covering some 29000 ha.  The area includes most of the Peninsula’s remaining natural landscape and incorporates both public land (including the three former nature reserves on the Peninsula – Table Mountain Nature Reserve, Silvermine Nature Reserve and the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve)…

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The Cape Peninsula’s dramatic topography and Mediterranean-type climate has produced an enormous array of habitats which in turn means the park offers an incredibly rich variety of plants and animals.

The Table Mountain National Park (TMNP) was proclaimed on May 29, 1998. Since then the park has grown to nearly 22 100ha, or about 73% of the entire Cape Peninsula Protected Natural Environment (CPPNE). 

Of this about 15 700ha is proclaimed and some 6 400ha is public land managed by the CPNP but not yet proclaimed. It is hoped that all public land will eventually be proclaimed and that the owners of much of the private land within the CPPNE will agree to contract their land into the park. 

Approximately 6 000ha – nearly a third of the area managed by the park and a fifth of the CPPNE – has now been initially cleared of invasive alien vegetation, and 22 000ha have been followed up during the first three years of the Global Environment Fund (GEF) funded clearance programme. This programme has created employment for nearly 300 people drawn from historically disadvantaged communities adjacent to the park. 

Conserving this unique natural heritage was first mooted in 1929 when the South African Wildlife Society proposed the idea of declaring Table Mountain a national park. The establishment of the TMNP has been a long and often arduous road. In the years preceding the establishment of the TMNP, Table Mountain was proclaimed a National Monument, several local authority nature reserves were established and the natural areas of the Cape Peninsula were proclaimed a Protected Natural Environment.

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The Cape Peninsula is in a unique position in that the coastal environment lies at the junction of two major southern African marine (biogeographic) provinces, namely: the cool Namaqua Province on the west coast and the warmer Agulhas Province on the east coast. Cape Point forms the boundary between these two provinces. Because of this the biology of the marine area surrounding the park is tremendously diverse.