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South Africa: Table Mountain Inaugurated As One of New 7 Wonders of Nature

Pretoria — Cape Town's iconic Table Mountain National Park (TMNP) was officially inaugurated as a New 7 Wonders of Nature in Pretoria on Monday.

The national park is managed by South African National Parks (SANParks).

Dr David Mabunda, SANParks CEO, said: "Long after we are gone, Table Mountain National Park will remain a national park and now it will forever more remain a New 7 Wonders of Nature."

He said the initiative had touched the lives of South Africans and was a symbol of hope, unity and transformation. The mountain has brought South Africans together for a common goal.

Table Mountain was named an Official New 7 Wonders of Nature in May 2012 and rightfully won the opportunity to take its place in the history books of the world for the true wonder that it is.

"We are elated to be part of this gallery of icons and are looking forward to capitalising on the status," said Dr Mabunda.

Arguably one of the most well-known mountains in Africa, Table Mountain provides a magnificent backdrop to cosmopolitan Cape Town. Famous for the tablecloth of clouds that pour endlessly down its slopes when the southeaster blows, this is a mountain of many moods.

SANParks took over the management of TMNP in 1998.

"Since we took over, we have improved its biodiversity so much so that it gained the world renowned natural heritage status as part of the Cape Floristic Kingdom World Heritage Site and is now a New 7 Wonders of the World."

This natural world heritage site is a haven of magnificent mountains plunging into crystal seas fringed with bleached white sands of the Cape Peninsula.

The mountain chain stretches from Signal Hill in the north, to Cape Point in the South and is also home to the world's smallest, yet most diverse floral kingdom, The Cape Floristic Region.

The Official New 7 Wonders of Nature contest aimed to raise awareness of the incredible variety and beauty of nature.

The African icon is the sixth site to host its inauguration ceremony following the Puerto Princesa Underground River, the Amazon, Jeju Island, Halong Bay and Iguazu Falls.

The seventh site, Komodo Island, will host its inauguration ceremony in 2013.

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