The Khoi and San people named the mountain Hoerikwaggo or Mountain in the Sea.

But the history of this mountain dates back way more, to over 30,000 years and there is some evidence that the mountain was inhabited in the Stone Age as well as hand axes were found in the Kirstenbosch Garden.

The mountain was sacred for the Khoi and San people as they believed their god (Tsui or Goab) lived there.

The first European to see the Cape was Bartolomeu Dias in 1448. In 1497, Vasco da Gama spotted it as well. The first recorded climb of the mountain was done by the Portuguese navigator, Admiral Antonio de Saldanha in 1503. It was de Saldanha who gave the mountain its name, naming it Taboa da caba, meaning table of the cape.

In 1652 the Khoi and the San people were robbed of their land when the Cape was colonized by the Dutch led by Jan van Riebeeck. They quickly established Cape Town, built houses and brought slaves.

Since then, many people from all around the world have climbed the mountain. Starting with 1929 the cable car opened and since then reaching the summit was made easier than ever.

More than 22 million people have used the cable car which was renovated and reopened in 1997.

The mountain gained natural park status in 1998. In 2004 the Cape Floristic Region was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.