Table Mountain safety

In general walking and hiking on Table Mountain are extremely safe and enjoyable activities.  As with all mountains though, there are some general safety tips that should be taken into account:

  • Do not walk or hike alone
  • Let someone know what trail you are taking and stick to that plan
  • Take a cell phone (there is network coverage all over Table Mountain)
  • Preferably have someone with you who knows the trail.
  • Make sure you have the correct equipment for the conditions and are prepared for any changes in weather.

When considering a hike on Table Mountain, the issues you need to consider are:

  • The weather conditions
  • Getting lost
  • Your equipment
  • Dangerous animals
  • Crime

The weather conditions – It is essential that you are always prepared for all weather conditons when you go walking on Table Mountain. Even if the weather is warm and clear, by the end of the day it may be cold and miserable. Cape Town has very unpredictable weather patterns. Essential kit includes warm and wet weather clothing PLUS plenty of water, a hat and sunblock.

Getting lost:- Many people each year become disoriented and lost on Table Mountain. The area covered by Table Mountain is a lot larger than many people think. There is an extensive network of paths and trails and the cloud cover can come in very quickly. If you are not an experienced hiker and map reader I would take care when thinking about a hike on Table Mountain.

Your equipment:- Despite being in the middle of a city, Table Mountain is a mountain and should be treated with respect. Hiking in slops and without proper equipment is not recommended.

Dangerous animals:- Wildlife does not pose a risk to hikers on Table Mountain. The animals are generally small mammals who keep out of your way. There are snakes on Table Mountain but like the other wildlife these keep out of the way of humans. Take care,  however if you are walking off the trail for any reason.

Crime:- Unfortunately South Africa is a country where crime is something that needs to be considered. There have been some isolated muggings on Table Mountain that have recieved a lot of press coverage despite being a fairly rare occurence. Most of these incidences have occurred at areas which although falling inside the National Park are accessible by road.

In general hiking on Table Mountain is a very safe activity. Enjoy the mountain, it is a beautiful and remarkable place.