Gaining perspective on the foothills of a world wonder

 
 
 

To say Maps Maponyane is busy is an understatement. The media personality’s mind is constantly divided between his ventures, whether it’s business or acting. Sometimes, Maponyane just needs to press pause and get away from the cameras. For that, there’s a place he can’t help but be drawn to. Tafelberg Road twists around the base of Table Mountain, providing panoramic views of the city below. It’s a sentimental spot for Maponyane. While living in Cape Town, he used to park along the drive and relax with friends. More than just providing a sense of nostalgia, the path also gives Maponyane a new perspective and a chance to slow his thoughts.

“It’s pretty incredible for me to be able to come here to clear my mind,” Maponyane says, describing the road which stretches for over five kilometres. While the first half is usually packed with tourists eager to take a cable car up to the mountain’s peak, the rest of the road is much quieter. Closed off to vehicles after a rockslide damaged the remaining path, it’s accessible only to cyclists and those on foot. But the bends in the road it takes to reach this spot is worth it. “From the moment you get to the foothill of the mountain, you get this awesome taste of the views to come,” Maponyane says. The entire life of the city can be seen from this point, from the moment the rising sun glints off the ocean to the time the city lights brighten the night sky. Whatever the time of day, Maponyane can come here to reflect. “It’s a place where I find peace and clarity,” he says.

Lion’s Head, Signal Hill, and the harbour can all be seen from the mountain pass, and are just a few minutes away. But Tafelberg Road is Maponyane’s favourite destination. As he navigates his active lifestyle, a trip here gives him a feeling of serenity. “You can let go of all your burdens,” he says. To gain a fresh outlook on life, sometimes all we need is to take the road less travelled.