Kirstenbosch NBG: Safety on the Mountain

If you are planning to walk or hike in the natural area of Kirstenbosch or on Table Mountain, please take note of these safety guidelines and take care:

Table Mountain has many steep gorges and sheer cliff faces, which are dangerous to even the most experienced and well-equipped rock climbers. Only Nursery Ravine and Skeleton Gorge provide safe routes up and down the mountain behind Kirstenbosch. Please keep to the demarcated footpaths.

The Cape weather is notoriously changeable and differs from one place to the next. In summer, clouds can descend on the top of Table Mountain blanketing it in mist with no warning, suddenly turning a hot sunny summer day into a cold, windy and misty-wet one on top of the mountain. Another factor is the wind, which can gust and blow very strongly.

Muggings and attacks on Table Mountain have increased in recent years. Even though the Kirstenbosch and Table Mountain National Park security are constantly on patrol, and have apprehended culprits, it is not advisable to walk alone or in small groups. Also, do not carry large amounts of money or valuables with you.

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Mountain Safety Checklist

  • Never hike alone and never split up. A group of 5 or more is advised.
  • Choose your route according to your group's ability and fitness.
  • Take a good map of your route.
  • Tell someone at home which route you are taking and stick to it.
  • Wear suitable hiking clothing: sturdy shoes, a hat, sunblock and always take a windbreaker.
  • Always take fresh water with you, at least 2 litres per person.
  • Get back before dark.
  • Turn back if the weather turns cloudy or rainy, and don't set out if the weather conditions are cloudy, misty or the wind is very strong. Check to see if the Cable Car is running - Cable Car Tel: +27 (021) 424 0015.
  • If you get lost, particularly in the mist or the dark, stay put, find shelter, keep warm and dry and wait it out.
  • If you lose the path, retrace your steps, do not push on.
  • Take a charged cellphone with airtime and emergency numbers programmed in. e.g. Kirstenbosch Info Desk +27 (021) 799 8783, Kirstenbosch Security +27 (021) 799 8618, Table Mountain National Park emergency +27 (086) 110 6417, Claremont Police Station +27 (021) 657 2251/2250

Report all incidents to the Information Desk, Visitors' Centre.

Last updated on 06 June 2014
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