Is it safe to hike up Table Mountain? Here’s what you need to know

Hiking up Table Mountain is on the bucket list of many adventurers, and travellers must practice safety at all times.

Taking basic safety precautions and following easy rules can help ensure a memorable experience, says Wahida Parker, the Managing Director of Table Mountain Aerial Cableway Company (TMACC).

According to Parker, the risks that travellers should prepare for include weather-related hazards like sudden mists, uneven pathways, getting lost, and possible encounters with snakes.

Crime and Safety

With reports of criminal activity in and around Table Mountain and its national parks, travellers are urged to remain vigilant of their surroundings during their hikes.

“It is also better to hike in a group. Make sure that your group also sticks together and that you never leave any of the group members behind,” says Parker.

She recommends that travellers should also remain vigilant when encountering other people on the mountain.

The Weather

Hikers need to check the weather conditions before they embark on a hike.

“The weather can change very quickly, regardless of the season. One of the best things to do is to check the weather the day before and the morning of your hike to ensure it’s safe.

“Weather conditions on the mountain can be erratic, with winds, rains, extreme heat and dense fogs, sometimes all on the same day. There are risks of wild bushfire during the hot summer season, and the mountain is habitat to five of SA’s most venomous snake species, so it’s crucial to watch where you’re stepping and avoid long grass,” Parker warns.

Other Vital Information To Know Before Your Hike

• Never hike alone. Always ensure that there are at least four hikers.

• If you require company, join a guided tour up Table Mountain. Several tours follow different trails.

• Ensure your phone is fully charged.

• Don’t hike during the night or late afternoon in winter.

• If you choose a lesser-used route, go on the weekend when there are more people on the trail. 

• Carry enough water. There are no water sources on the mountain until you reach the top. The Skeleton Gorge is the only route where you can get water along the way.

What To Pack For Hiking On Table Mountain

• Trail running shoes or hiking boots

• A small hiking backpack

• A water bottle (a minimum of 1l is recommended)

• A cap or a hat

• Sunglasses

• A rain jacket or a hoodie, as it can sometimes get windy and chilly on the top.

• Sunscreen

• A fully charged power bank and mobile device

• Sufficient food and snacks for the duration of your hike.

Emergency Number

In case of an emergency, please call 086 110 6417

Source: Table Mountain Aerial Cableway Company

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