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Upper Tokai section of Table Mountain National Park reopening

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MATTHYS
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Upper Tokai section of Table Mountain National Park reopening

Unread post by MATTHYS » Thu Dec 08, 2016 3:20 pm

Media Release: Upper Tokai section of Table Mountain National Park reopening

08 December 2016

In the interest of public safety as well as for the protection of the environmental integrity the Tokai section of Table Mountain National Park (TMNP) remained closed to the public for safety and rehabilitation reasons. SANParks has however continued to engage with various stakeholders and is now pleased to announce that Upper Tokai will reopen to the public on 10 December 2016 at 7h00am on a trial period for weekends only (excluding Christmas Day).

TMNP commends the great teamwork done between stakeholders which has now resulted in the reopening. TMNP management understood that users were eager to access Upper Tokai and therefore SANParks teams together with volunteers embarked on an extensive rehabilitation process including repairs to certain routes/tracks which were damaged during the fires as well as ongoing tree-felling operations. The tracks are almost complete with 80% rideable, other operations which are ongoing include:

Removal of alien invasive plants.
Erection of signage/chains/fencing/gates to demarcate “no-entry” areas/routes in order to prevent users from accessing the burnt lower slopes in Tokai where the dangerous gum tree harvesting operations are ongoing.
Installation of info signage (map, indemnity, conditions) at pay point and trail head.
Arranging of Marshalls at the approved designated trail heads and strategic points to assist riders and monitor compliance.
While access for user groups will be from all pay points, park management would like to recommended that mountain bikers access the trail from the Tokai Picnic site (parking) while hikers, joggers and walkers are encouraged to access from the Silvermine entrances eg Ou Kaapse Weg, Constantia Nek and Blackburn Ravine, for safety reasons. Cyclists are asked to be aware that there are a limited number of parking bays available and for ease of access we recommend that you arrive on your bike. Activity permit checks and day fee payments will also be managed at these sites.

We would like to remind users that the purchasing of activity permits can only be done on weekdays at the Tokai Wildcard Sales Offices, while Cape Town Tourism Offices and Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens are other alternatives to purchasing the card. The Park also encourages users to firstly purchase a day permit to test the tracks before purchasing the yearly Activity Permit.

The early reopening will be continually assessed in terms of compliance, safety and environmental issues that will dictate whether the area is eventually opened during the week as well. In addition, the removal of the burnt pine, gum trees and the alien infestation from more than a century of commercial timber harvesting, means the area looks very different. Fynbos and Afro mountain forests will be restored through ongoing alien clearing efforts with broken shade in areas offering spectacular views to the sea and beyond.

Currently R440, 000 in contractors are still in-field with a further R1, 060,000 planned bringing the envisaged alien clearing operations to a total of R1.5 million. Five contracting teams are currently working in Tokai running the equivalent of approx. 10 teams between them comprising of 110 people. The park is also pleased to announce that we envisage a budget of R2.5 million within the TMNP-Central Section for further rehabilitation projects.

Finally, TMNP management and staff would like to encourage user groups to be courteous in sharing the reopened tracks/paths and more so to take in the panoramic views now on offer. For security reasons SANParks recommends that you ride in groups of four or more. Please do not carry any valuables on you and ensure that you notify someone of your intended route and return time. Please load the SANParks emergency number into your phone 0861 110 6417.

NB: Cyclists to please note that many of the tracks are shared tracks with horse riders, hikers and trail runners. Please respect that they have right of way and enjoy the ride! The Tokai Arboretum is still closed to all public access.

Tokai gate times:
May - September 8am to 5pm
October - April 7am to 6pm

Silvermine gate times:
May - August 8am to 5pm
September - April 7am to 6pm

Day Permit Fee: R75.00
Annual Activity Permit: R500

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Issued by:
South African National Parks (SANParks) Cape Region Communications

Enquiries:
Tarcia Hendricks
Public Relations Officer: Cape Region
South African National Parks (SANParks)
E-mail: tarcia.hendricks@sanparks.org
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