The Orange Kloof Tented Camp opened in 2007 as the first of five camps of the Hoerikwaggo overnight hiking trail. Photo: SanParks.org
Cape Town – The beautiful protected Table Mountain’s Orange Kloof Tented Camp has been forced to temporarily close due to a spike in robberies.

Officials said the decision was taken to close the park yesterday until the end of March as the safety of their guests was paramount.

All guests who booked from yesterday were notified and refunded.

The Orange Kloof Tented Camp opened in 2007 as the first of five camps of the Hoerikwaggo overnight hiking trail.

About three incidents have occurred in the last 60 days, said Table Mountain National Park’s hospitality services, film and events manager Saskia Marlowe. She said the robberies happened at night.

“We didn’t want the incidents to escalate and see our guests who come to relax and have fun in a safe space injured.

“We would rather close and lose revenue than keep the place operational while we haven’t secured the area, because you cannot put a price on someone’s life,” she said.

Guests were left upset after their luggage was stolen in the last incident.

“Part of the safety measures that we will be placing include erecting a fence around the camp. This may be easier said than done because fences have an ecological impact. It’s really sad that things came to this point.

“We also appreciate the support from hiking groups such as Hikers Network on this decision we had to make. The Orange Kloof hiking trails will remain open as always, only with a permit, and we urge hikers to look for the hiking groups for safety reasons,” she added.

Hikers Network spokesperson Miriam Mannak said: “As we are in the summer season when people become adventurous, we are urging all mountain users to take the necessary precautions. 

"When we’re talking about safety, it’s not just from a crime point of view but accidents while climbing. Be cautious of snakes.

“People must not hike alone but in groups, and have a fully charged phone at all times so that if you get hurt there will be a quick response.”