Is it safe to hike on Table Mountain?
Many people ask about safety concerns with hiking on Table Mountain and of course there are 2 aspects to this issue.
First are the safety concerns that should be considered when hiking anywhere. Even though a relatively small mountain (1086m) Table Mountain should not be underestimated. There are a myriad of trails and a lot of space up there. Getting lost is definitely a possibility, especially if the visibility is not good. And the weather conditions may not be the same as the city of Cape Town and can change in a couple of seconds.
With these safety issues in mind the basic rules of mountain safety should apply:
- Do not walk alone
- Let someone know where you are going and when you expect to be back
- Be prepared for all weather conditions.
- Take a fully charged cell phone with you.
- Ensure someone in the party knows the route, or if you are relying on a map ensure someone in the party is proficient at map reading.
The other aspect to Table Mountain safety is security as far as people are concerned. Unfortunately in a country with the socio economic problems we have, there have been incidents of mugging and car break ins in the National Park although these have been fairly isolated incidents and usually in certain specific areas easier for these muggers to access.
There are many Capetonians (such as myself) who hike every day. Whether with guests or my dogs and I have never for one moment felt even remotely threatened on the mountain. I am however careful to avoid certain areas on the mountain unless I am with or group or at a time of day when I know there will be other people around. There is absolutely no reason not to hike on Table Mountain but you do need to ensure you know which areas not to go to.
In general my advice is?
- Ask a local who hikes regularly which areas are not considered safe and which are?
- Do not leave your car in an isolated parking area
- Do not leave valuables in your car.
So to answer the questions posed. Yes it is safe to walk on Table Mountain but it is generally not advisable to walk alone on any mountain.