Table Mountain is one of the most iconic landmarks in Cape Town and South Africa. Because of its popularity, though, people sometimes forget that it’s a giant mountain – and hiking it comes with very real dangers.
Last year, the Table Mountain Aerial Cableway collaborated with Table Mountain National Park to put together a useful video for hikers or visitors. But, with winter season in full swing and the Cable Car set to shut down for extended maintenance this year, it’s worth revisiting.
The video focusses largely on the dos and don’ts for those visiting the mountain using the cable car. Here are some of the key points.
Tips for visiting Table Mountain
Stick to the designated footpaths.
Do not chip the rocks to take pieces with you.
Don’t pick the flowers.
Don’t feed the wildlife.
Make sure you have enough water if you are hiking – and if you are just visiting, don’t waste the water.
Smoke only in the designated areas.
Drones aren’t allowed.
Also worth adding to the list is making sure you know the open and closing times of the cable car. In winter, the hours are shortened. In summer, the cable car sometimes has to shut because of strong winds. And, in 2019, the cable car’s maintenance will be extended – which means the only way to get up and down is through hiking.
Table Mountain has many hiking routes, but there are some things to keep in mind with these, too. For hikers, the risks range from crime to getting lost or injured. The mountain has claimed many lives. Some of these accidents could have been avoided.
Make sure you carry enough water.
Tell somebody where you are going and what time you expect to be back in the range of signal.
If you don’t know the route, don’t take it.
If you are a novice, don’t hike alone. Even for experienced hikers, it is recommended that you hike in a group.
Only go hiking if you are sure you’re fit enough.
Don’t carry valuables.
Make sure you have the emergency numbers saved.
Make use of the hiker safety app.
Useful emergency numbers for hiking Table Mountain
Metro EMS: 021 9370300 (includes Mountain Rescue)
Wilderness Search and Rescue: 021 948 9900
Table Mountain Emergency: 0861 106417
SAPS Cape Town Central: 021 4678001/2
SAPS Mountain Patrol Vehicle: 082 411 2401
General Emergency Number: 0214807700 from a Cell Phone, or 107 from any Telkom Line
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