Safety tips for hiking enthusiasts

Safety tips for hiking enthusiasts who enjoy exploring Table Mountain and Table Mountain National Park

This is Cape Town and sudden changes in weather is not uncommon. One day temperatures will be soaring and the next, the wind will howling. We recommend you contact the CapeNature contact centre on 087 087 8250 before you set off on your adventure to find out if there has been any closures.

Save these emergency numbers on your phone:

Emergencies: +27 (0)21 480 7700

Table Mountain National Park: +27 (0)21 957 4700

Wilderness Search and Rescue: +27 (0)21 937 0300

Cape Town Tourism: +27 (0)861 322 223]

· Don’t hike alone; four is the ideal number.

· Choose your route carefully and stick to it. Allow yourself enough time – start early. Inform someone of your route and what time you’re expected back.

· Choose a hike leader and walk at the pace of the slowest member.

· If lost – don’t split up. Rather try to retrace your steps. Remember that climbing down is more difficult than climbing up.

· Always take enough water, especially in summer, and food in case of a delay. Watch the weather and time, and turn back before you start running late or if bad weather threatens.

· Always take waterproof clothing, even in summer, wear walking shoes or hiking boots. Wear a hat or cap and sun block in summer. Weather changes rapidly.

· If lost or forced to stop because of bad weather, stay together and remain in one place. Find the closest shelter from wind and rain.

· In case of injury, assess the situation. Then send two people for help and let the third remain with the injured person. If possible, mark the position on a map and send it with those going for help.

· Stick to well-used paths, which will be indicated on the park’s hiking map and read the warnings on this map. Don’t take shortcuts and especially don’t wander into ravines.

· Take a fully-charged mobile phone. Some parts of the Park do not have mobile network coverage, but you will reach a place where you can use a mobile phone more quickly than you’ll get to a landline.

3 Rules for personal security when hiking Table Mountain National Park

As Table Mountain is an urban park, please exercise the same common sense and security precautions that you would anywhere else in the world.

· Do not attract unwanted attention by openly displaying cash, cameras or other valuables.

· If you are confronted by a criminal, don’t resist. Handover your goods as resistance might incite a mugger to violence.

· Program emergency numbers in your cellphone before your hike.

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