Table Mountain - Safety and Security

Agulhas, Bontebok, Table Mountain, Tankwa Karoo, West Coast

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MATTHYS
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Re: Table Mountain - Safety and Security

Unread post by MATTHYS »

Safety concerns in Table Mountain National Park

12 January 2018

Table Mountain National Park is an urban park, surrounded by a City with more than 5 million residents. At least 75% of the Park is open access with multiple access points across 25 500 hectares. Crime is a challenge in the City of Cape Town and across South Africa and may spill over into the natural and remote areas on the Peninsula.

To this end, Table Mountain National Park has appointed a dedicated Visitor Safety Team whose role it is to keep crime to a minimum in the Park. The team has produced many successes since its inception. In addition the Park also boasts a ranger corps who have as one of their roles law enforcement in the Park. These teams are supported by a dog unit consisting of twelve level 4 security trained canines.

The Park is also a member of the Table Mountain Safety forum. The other members to this forum are SAPS, the Department of Community Safety, the Metro Police, Law Enforcement and Civil Society. Working jointly between the above departments we seek to keep crime to a minimum and address safety concerns across the Park.

Given the extent and remoteness of the Park, it is a challenge to have a presence everywhere at all times. Thus entry remains at own risk at all times.

Safety tips:

• Never hike, run, cycle etc alone - four or more is an ideal size for a party.
• Plan your route from start to end and Choose the route according to the ability, fitness and experience of the group. This will prevent potential injury.
• Inform someone exactly which route you are taking as well as your expected time of return) and stick to this route and plan.
• Always go prepared for bad weather, i.e. take proper weatherproof clothing even on a sunny day (wind and rain proof); torches
- with spare batteries and globes; good footwear - strong boots or shoes with non-slip soles; food; water; a flask of tea or some other beverage; a rucksack to
carry it all in - so as to leave your arms and hands free.
• Undertake your activity with somebody who knows the way and carry a guidebook, map or route description. A registered guide is recommended.
• Keep to the designated routes on well-used paths. Heed signs advising of danger and do not take short cuts or unknown routes.
• Leave valuable like cash and cameras behind.
Our team is deeply concerned about any incidents and we request that hikers please save our emergency number on their phones - 086 110 6417 or 107/021 480 7700, where we can be contacted immediately via radio. Please also report criminal incidents to the nearest police station and open up a case to generate an active docket for every incident that occurs.

Issued by:
South African National Park Regional Communications - Cape Region

Enquiries:
Merle Collins
Regional Communications Manager - Cape Region, SANParks
Cell: 072 627 3910; Email: [email protected]
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DianeGracieB
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Re: Table Mountain - Safety and Security

Unread post by DianeGracieB »

Several muggings in various sections of Table Mountain National Park, today.
Please take note of the crime warnings at the entrances to trails. We are dealing with a very vicious group of attackers.
DO NOT walk alone (even a group of 9 people were attacked), don't carry valuables, have the emergency phone numbers stored on your phone. You will find these on the signage at the entrances to the trails.
There will be a big patrol by various concerned parties, above Kalk Bay on Sunday.
Attackers have taken to wearing khaki clothing - trying to imitate rangers.
Please stay safe, folks!
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Graham_5000
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Re: Table Mountain - Safety and Security

Unread post by Graham_5000 »

I don't suppose SANParks has released a statement in response to the recent murder within the park?
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MATTHYS
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Re: Table Mountain - Safety and Security

Unread post by MATTHYS »

I might have missed it, but I have not seen another statement after this one, Graham_5000.
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Re: Table Mountain - Safety and Security

Unread post by Graham_5000 »

Yes I saw that. There has since been a tragic murder, so I'm keen to see what they are going to do to rectify the escalating problems that are affecting various areas within the park.
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Re: Table Mountain - Safety and Security

Unread post by MATTHYS »

I can understand your concern re this tragic murder and the escalating problems, Graham_5000.
If I hear or see anything more, I will post it here.
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Re: Table Mountain - Safety and Security

Unread post by Lesego »

Dear 'Mites

We are very concerned about the increased crime incidents in Table Mountain National Park(TMNP) and deeply regret that a life was lost in a recent attack. Safety in all our Parks remains a great priority for SANParks and we strive to do everything to fight all crime in Parks and within the Marine Protected Area (MPA) under SANParks management and beyond. Along with the Safety and Security Park Management plans which are developed through extensive public engagement processes, we also work with other law enforcement agencies such as Metro Police and SAPS. We participate in security cluster forums like that of the Table Mountain Safety Forum. It is through joint efforts that we can tackle the issue effectively and SANParks will continue to explore new ways of working with all relevant stakeholders. We have also increased our ranger deployment and utilised our dog unit consisting of 12 highly trained dogs patrolling in the Park.

The overspill of urban crime into TMNP, is a phenomenon common to all urban national parks. The challenge is more extreme in those which are open access urban parks. TMNP is primarily an open access system with hundreds of places where entry/exit is possible and a whole mountain range to hide away in. The Terrain / Topography is very mountainous, remote and no signal/reception makes reaction times challenging. As SANParks we will continue to pursue the joint approach working closely with various law enforcement agencies, the City, government and community groups.
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Re: Table Mountain - Safety and Security

Unread post by MATTHYS »

Thanks for the feedback, Lesego :gflower:
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Graham_5000
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Re: Table Mountain - Safety and Security

Unread post by Graham_5000 »

Undoubtedly it is a challenge to secure the entire TMNP, as it is huge. Focusing on a few iconic trails is a good idea in my opinion. There are rumours in both the hiking and tourism community that something significant along these lines is about to be announced?

Iconic "protected" trails will no doubt include the likes of Platteklip (recently hit with three muggings), Lions Head, Skeleton Gorge, the Pipe Track above Camps Bay etc. I don't suppose thought could be given to securing one of the two routes that start on Chapmans Peak Drive? One is Blackburn Ravine above East Fort near Hout Bay, the other is Chapmans Peak itself. I've seen three sets of tourists (German & British) walk up to the warning signs that warn of a security issue, full of excitement about their hike, only for them to turn around with disappointment and anxiety after reading the security warning. Given how many tourists visit Chapmans Peak Drive, I really think one of the two spectacular routes could be secured (as much as is possible), so that the efforts to address security issues aren't exclusively made around the Front Table, Camps Bay & Kirstenbosch.

Muggings, fear on our trails and tourists and locals aborting hikes because of safety concerns are a blot on the copy book of an otherwise incredible, inspiring park.

I don't suppose anyone from TMNP has any thoughts on this issue?
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Re: Table Mountain - Safety and Security

Unread post by Graham_5000 »

I don't suppose my post was noticed? I don't suppose there is an official in charge of the safety that I could email?
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Sentinel and Karbonkelberg?

Unread post by Hiker »

Is the Sentinel area still part of the park? IE can I still visit it? A friend of mine (who may also join us on a S.A. hiking holiday) spotted an article about houses being built on the land in the last few weeks and that there is some dispute or other? I am very interested in this area as I have identified that you can see Chapman peak and the drive from the "other side" from a distance on these mountains. I will ask a safety question on the safety thread nearer the time as it seems that there are some issues in some areas. I am well aware the Sentinel and Karbonkelberg are quite high risk areas so I intend to use a guide in this area and may even use a security company staff member. I know little about South Africa and the positives and negatives, so I intend to do research and not make premature judgements when I do not have all the facts. What I know is that things clearly vary from area to area. Thanks.
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Re: Sentinel and Karbonkelberg?

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There also is a Karbonkelberg coastal route, but not sure if this is what you had in mind, Hiker ?
Please see the under the special permit section on this page.
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Frightened Off Re: Table Mountain - Safety and Security

Unread post by jacquiandphil »

For the last 8 years we've come from UK for a holiday . We stay 4/5 days Hout Bay, 4/5 days Stellenbosch, and a 3 day trip further afield.
We come to enjoy your fantastic wine and food and allow ourselves to do this by offsetting that against walks. We have done some guided walks, for example; One year we did the SanParks Dolphin Trail, fantastic.
Ages ago we did a 3 day SanParks Harbour to Kirstenbosch guided walk, again fantastic.
And one year we booked a SanParks guide to take us on a day walk through Orangekloof, again brilliant.
But what we love are all the walks we can do ourselves based around Table Mountain, like Platterkloof and the circular walk above Kalk Bay.


This October however we were warned not to. A kind gentleman on the path above Kirstenbocsh waited for us at a fork in the path in order to tell us not to take the higher path to Newlands, we were going to, but rather head back down. Because of this I'm not sure if we'll come in 2019, we've loved the area around Table Mountain because of the amaising restaurants combined with the fact we feel we can walk off the previous days meal before that days feast. No good though if we dont feel safe.
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Re: Table Mountain - Safety and Security

Unread post by Yoda »

Jacqui and Phil,

Hopefully someone with local knowledge will come around soon and post some up-to-date info for you.
However I recall seeing on a general travel forum that over the past year, there have been a number of incidents on Table Mountain and surrounds.
It would be a shame if you didn't come to Cape Town, but fully understand as it's your safety which is paramount.
"It is often said that before you die your life passes before your eyes. It is in fact true. It's called living"
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Re: Table Mountain - Safety and Security

Unread post by MATTHYS »

Thanks to all for posting concerns here.

Thank you very much to the Table Mountain National Park Hospitality Services, Film and Events Manager for reading here :gflower: and for her reply :

Table Mountain National Park and Safety Concerns

Cape Town will always be a fabulous city to visit due to its unique location and the fact that the city is enveloped by amazing landscape.
The reality is that the crime figures in The City of Cape Town have increased over the last few years and in certain locations the park is feeling crime seep into the park from the urban edge
The park has no boundary fence and hence it makes it a very difficult landscape to patrol and police.
In recent months Table Mountain National Park has successfully partnered with community policing forums in monitoring of the boundary between the city and the park.
We have also engaged in a number of joint initiatives with The South African Police Services and Metro Police in a variety of locations. Our staff patrol the mountain daily and we try to cover as much ground as we possibly can.
The park is actively encouraging people to walk in groups and to take steps to mitigate the risks like leaving their valuables at home
There are indeed locations where we have no seen any crime occur but that does not mean that your safety in that location is guaranteed.
We appreciate that you have walked for years on the mountain without incident and many people continue to do so however we would be irresponsible to reassure you and advise that you would continue to be a 100% safe at all times
Walking on the mountain is at own risk and we advise everyone to do so with caution following the steps laid out in our safety advisory. ( see attached)


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