Hiking up Table Mountain? 7 things you need to know
If you are keen to take in some views atop Table Mountain this Easter, you may want to read on.
With this being the first Easter holiday since the pandemic, travellers are urged to take extra caution to avoid a surge of positive cases.
Wahida Parker, Managing Director of the Table Mountain Aerial Cableway Company (TMACC), said that with more people wanting to explore the mountain, people should take the necessary precautions.
“No matter how experienced a person may be, unexpected things can and do happen in rugged terrain. The more prepared you are when exploring Table Mountain and other nature reserves, the more likely you are going to have a good experience," she said.
Some of the trails, such as the India Venster and Nursery Ravine, can be very technical. Some of the other hiking trails which require some level of preparedness are Platteklip Gorge, Skeleton Gorge and the Kasteelspoort.
"With several dangerous cliffs and ravines, a misplaced foot can easily lead to an injury. So, it is always best to plan where you go and who you do it with.
"Rising more than 1000 meters above sea level, weather on the mountain can change very quickly. If unprepared, fluctuating temperatures or a strong gust of wind can easily catch you off guard," she advised.
Parker said travellers also need to beware of their surroundings as some criminals may use the surrounding bushes to hide.
Travellers should leave valuable items such as their wallet and jewellery at home, and keep other items like cellphones out of sight.
Here are a few basic safety tips to make sure your experience is a safe and memorable one:
The Hikers Network’s SafetyMountain Tracking App: A tool to help keep you safe is the tracking app, a WhatsApp-based service that tracks users, so they remain along the approved SANParks routes.
Dress appropriately: With winter around the corner, it will soon get wet and windy. Dress warm, wear comfortable shoes for balance as it can get slippery when it rains. Layer your clothes.
Keep your eyes on the time: Plan your walks or hikes carefully to avoid hiking at night or when there is visible lighting.
Obey the rules: Stay on the route. Respect restricted areas. Do not take risks, even for that perfect Instagram picture. Stick to the designated paths and follow the signposts to avoid getting lost.
Go in groups: Avoid hiking alone. It is best to go in groups of four or more as an extra safety precaution.
Tell someone about your plans: If you’re planning on hiking, tell someone. This way, if you get stuck or lost, people will know where to look for you first.
Stay hydrated: Carry enough water to stay hydrated and take snacks with you.