Table Mountain is one of the provisional New7Wonders of Nature based on the first count of vote results on 11/11/11 following a three-year global race to choose the world's seven most wonderful natural sites.
It is possible that there will be changes between the above provisional winners and the eventual finally confirmed winners which will be announced early 2012 during the Official Inauguration ceremonies.
The Swiss-based New7Wonders Foundation announced the initial results of the competition on 11.11.2011, in which hundreds of millions of votes were cast worldwide via mobile and internet platforms, in Zurich.
Seven Provisional Winners
The seven provisional winners, in alphabetical order, are:
- the Amazon in South America
- Halong Bay in Vietnam
- Iguazu Falls in Argentina
- Jeju Island in South Korea
- Komodo in Indonesia
- Puerto Princesa Underground River in the Philippines
- and Table Mountain, South Africa.
"The results will now be checked, validated and independently verified," the New7Wonders Foundation said in a statement. "Once the voting validation process is completed, in early 2012, New7Wonders will then work with the confirmed winners to organise the official inauguration events."
It was a nail-biting finish for South Africa's landmark mountain after the organisers announced, just five days before the end of the race that the site was not in the top 10 and would need to wrestle for one of the seven places.
After three years of intense campaigning, an unprecedented number of votes and support from South Africans and visitors alike, Table Mountain will now - pending final verification - take its place in the history books for the wonder that it is.
"This is an incredible moment for us," Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille told the euphoric crowd gathered at the V&A Waterfront. "Our mountain, which we all cherish, is now officially recognized as one of the marvels of the environment.
Increase Number of Tourists
Tourism research company Grant Thornton has calculated that making the top seven in the list will increase the number of tourists visiting Cape Town by at least 20%. And since about 70% of them are expected to be foreigners, that could translate to R1,4bn a year in extra revenue over five years.
After hosting a successful 2010 Fifa World Cup, and Cape Town having recently been declared World Design Capital 2014, South Africans can be proud of yet another incredible achievement.
"What an amazing feat for South Africa," said Table Mountain Cableway CEO Sabine Lehmann. "I would like to thank everyone who took the time to vote for Table Mountain, and the celebrity ambassadors - from Archbishop Desmond Tutu and the Springbok rugby team to all the journalists, musicians, comedians, actors, politicians and sports stars who campaigned on our behalf.
Not underwritten by UNESCO
Unesco has distanced itself from the campaign. Unesco spokesperson Susan Williams said to SA Times that the organisation had been invited numerous times to be part of the campaign but had decided not to collaborate with the founder, Bernard Weber.
“There is no comparison between Mr Weber’s mediatised campaign and the scientific and educational work resulting from the inscription of sites on Unesco’s World Heritage List. The list of the ‘7 New Wonders’ will be the result of a private undertaking, reflecting only the opinions of those with access to the internet and not the entire world.
“This initiative cannot, in any significant and sustainable manner, contribute to the preservation of sites elected by this public,” Williams said
The New 7 (man-made) Wonders of the World, announced by the New7Wonders Foundation after its first competition in 2007, are the Colosseum in Italy; the Great Wall of China; India's Taj Mahal; Jordan's Petra; Brazil's Christ the Redeemer Statue; Machu Picchu in Peru; and the Pyramid at Chichen Itza in Mexico.
Table Mountain Facts according to www.southafrica.info:
- Table Mountain forms part of Table Mountain National Park, one of few conservation areas in the world that is entirely surrounded by a city.
- Table Mountain forms part of the Cape Floral Region, a Unesco World Heritage Site that is one of the richest areas for plants in the world. Table Mountain National Park has more plant species within its 25 000 hectares than the whole British Isles or New Zealand.
- For visitors, the trip up the Table Mountain Cableway to the plateau one kilometre above Cape Town is not to be missed. To the north you've got views overlooking the city, Table Bay and Robben Island, and to the west and south you're looking out on the Atlantic seaboard. Yes, there are panoramas in the world to beat this, but they're strictly reserved for high-end rock climbers.
- Speaking of rock climbers – and hikers, paragliders and casual adrenaline junkies (check out the world's highest commercial abseil) – Table Mountain offers an amazing yet accessible fix.
- Table Mountain, Wikipedia notes, is the only terrestrial feature to give its name to a constellation. The constellation Mensa – meaning The Table – is seen in the Southern Hemisphere, below Orion, around midnight in mid-July. According to Wikipedia, it was named by the French astronomer Nicolas de Lacaille during his stay at the Cape in the mid-eighteenth century.