Take a safe walk up Platteklip


In the past month there have been numerous people rescued from Table Mountain due to dehydration and sunstroke. The most common area for rescues is Platteklip Gorge. You might think this is strange as it is the most common route for people to take up the mountain and is the shortest route to the cable car. However this route is one of the hottest routes on the mountain. It gets the full force of the morning sun, has no shade and heat is then reflected off the bare rocks. 

Luckily Cape Town does have a very skilled and good mountain rescue service. It is manned by volunteers only too keen to drop everything and rush to help. I witnessed one such rescue on Friday from the cliff path on top of the mountain. Although it is always exciting to see a rescue in action and a relief to know the lady was rescued successfully, I couldn’t help thinking that if people stuck to a few simple rules such a rescue might not be necessary. 

The rescue helecopter at work on Table Mountain

So if you are thinking of hiking up Table Mountain, here are some tips: 

Leave early, especially if going up Platteklip Gorge. By early I mean before 8am if not earlier. 

Take at least 2 litres of water per person. Although the mountain water is perfectly safe to drink during the summer most of the streams are dry so do not rely on being able to fill up on the mountain. 

Wear a hat and sunblock.   

Check the weather before you go. During the summer we do get days where the temperature soars in excess of 35 degrees C. If this is the forecast leave even earlier, choose a shadier route or postpone your hike. 

The cable car closes when the wind is strong. If you are planning to take the cablecar back down check that it is running before you leave. (also check the weather as if the wind picks up the cable car may close whilst you are walking) 

Table Mountain is the most wonderful place with some fantastic hiking and a multitude of beautiful and different routes. Do not be put off by the above, but do please plan your hike and make sure you have everything you need for a safe and enjoyable hike.