Tour Locations | Upper Cableway Station Audio Guide: Tabletop Walking Tour
NARRATOR: As you walk, look to your right, at the unusual vegetation that covers the mountain's flat top. It’s called fynbos, which means 'fine bush'. This is because so many of these plants have tiny leaves, to keep them from losing too much water during our dry summers. Jeanette Clarke is an enthusiastic mountain hiker and botanist. I spoke to her about what makes fynbos special.
JEANETTE: In the Cape, we love to tell people about how special our vegetation is. The Cape Floral Kingdom is both the smallest and richest floral kingdom in the world! There are more than 9,000 species here, and an incredible 69 percent of them don't grow anywhere else in the world. Right here, on Table Mountain, there are more species of plants than in the entire British Isles. There is always something in flower on the mountain. In late January and early February it's the gorgeous Red Disa with its dazzling red blooms. Winter brings bulbs and other gorgeous flowers into bloom. But nothing can prepare you for the spectacle of the fynbos in spring! The most obvious feature of fynbos you can see right now are the restios. Look out for them all along the path: they're reed-like plants with green stems and gleaming, almost leaf-like bracts along the stem in shades of russet and gold. There are over 300 species in the restio family, many of them right here on Table Mountain.
NARRATOR: Carry on walking straight ahead.