South Africa’s Table Mountain becomes a wonder

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This photo taken on April 2, 2010, shows a general view of the Table Mountain and the city of Cape Town. South Africa’s Table Mountain was formally inaugurated as one of the world’s new seven wonders of nature at a ceremony on Sunday, Dec. 2, 2012. AFP PHOTO/GIANLUIGI GUERCIA

CAPE TOWN—South Africa’s Table Mountain was formally inaugurated as one of the world’s new seven wonders of nature at a ceremony on Sunday, a move officials hope will bring major economic benefits to the area.

The mountain, which towers over Cape Town, was crowned one of the natural wonders last year after a global poll that allowed anyone in the world to vote via telephone, text messages or social media networks.

Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille said she expected the listing of Table Mountain to “bring tremendous direct economic and socio-economic benefits” to the city and the country.

The impact has begun to show already with officials saying they received a record number of visitors to the mountain in November.

Founded in 2001 by filmmaker Bernard Weber in Zurich, the foundation New7Wonders is based on the same principle on which the seven ancient wonders of the world were established.

“Table Mountain is not only a spectacular backdrop for Cape Town, one of the most beautiful cities in the world, but also offers visitors the unique experience of walking on top of the mountain and enjoy the most awe-inspiring panoramic views,” Weber said at a ceremony at the foot of the mountain.

The flat-topped mountain, 1,086 meters (3,563 feet) at its highest point, offers breathtaking views over the Atlantic Ocean and forms part of a national park.

Table Mountain joined the Amazon rainforest, Vietnam’s Halong Bay, Argentina’s Iguazu Falls, South Korea’s Jeju Island, Indonesia’s Komodo and the Philippines’ Puerto Princesa Underground River as the newly listed wonders.

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