Table Mountain in Final Bid for 7 Natural Wonders of World

TABLE Mountain has made it into the final round of the “New 7 Wonders of Nature” contest, beating the Atacama Desert in Chile, Azure Window in Malta and Rock of Aphrodite in Cyprus, the Table Mountain Cableway (TMC) said yesterday .

The world’s top 28 natural wonders were announced by the New 7 Wonders Foundation based in Zurich, Switzerland.

The finalists include legendary sites such as the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, the Grand Canyon in the USA and the Amazon in South America.

The seven man-made wonders were chosen two years ago.

“We were really excited when our mountain made it through to the list of 77 sites which were voted in by the public,” chief executive of TMC Sabine Lehmann said.

“And we are now delighted that the judges have shown their appreciation for this World Heritage Site and given Table Mountain a chance to compete against other incredible natural phenomena,” she said.

TMC, together with Table Mountain National Park, formed an official supporting committee to champion the mountain’s cause.

Table Mountain must now compete for a place among the top seven wonders, to be announced in 2011.

Table Mountain is one of only two African sites to have made the list, along with Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. It beat fellow contender Sossusvlei in Namibia in round three of the international competition.

The New 7 Wonders Foundation works to document monuments and conservation efforts worldwide.

Candidates in the Official New 7 Wonders of Nature campaign are clearly defined natural sites that have neither been created by nor significantly altered by humans for aesthetic reasons.

The choice of the 28 official finalists was advised by the New 7 Wonders panel of experts under the leadership of Federico Mayor, former director-general of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation.

Niederheim has a beautiful view on Table Mountain, which is now in the final bidding to become on of seven new natural wonders of the world.

“Now that we are in the final list of 28, we will put all our energy behind drumming up support from around the world to see that Table Mountain makes it to the final seven,” Lehmann said.

Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, comedian Marc Lottering and the Proteas cricketers had all voted for Table Mountain.

Voting for the 28 finalists in the New 7 Wonders of Nature will now resume and will continue throughout 2010 and into 2011. — Sapa