Skip to Content

Notices

Revised EMP for Mountain Biking and Road Cycling in TMNP

To whom it may concern,

Following an extensive review process, SANParks and the Table Mountain Mountain Biking Forum, together with SANBI, are hereby pleased to release the revised, approved Environmental Management Programme(EMP) for Recreational Road Cycling and Mountain Biking: Table Mountain National Park (TMNP), which becomes effective on 1 December 2016.

Please find attached the EMP report and the Comments and Responses Report for the Review of Environmental Management Programme (EMP) for Mountain Biking: Table Mountain National Park.Mountain Biking Environmental Management Plan

The Park thanks you for your participation and input into this process.

TMNP Season info

Cape Point

  • Additional staff are in place to assist visitors with parking at Cape Point over the festive period. Visitors are encouraged to follow the directional signage that will be in place over this time frame indicating parking availability and waiting times at Cape Point.
  • Visitors are encouraged to visit the park early in the day to avoid midday congestion at Cape Point and the picnic sites.
  • The beaches at Cape Point do not have life guards and you swim in the tidal pool or ocean at your own risk.
  • Baboons are present in the park. Please do not feed the baboons and make sure that all food is packed away if baboons are present.

Boulders

  • Penguins are best viewed from the three boardwalks starting at the Boulders Visitor Centre
  • Visitors should pay careful attention to tides as this limits the available space on the beach. When the beach has reached capacity the gates are closed The high and low tides are advertised at the entrance points daily although we would encourage visitors to consider this in advance when planning to visit Boulders to avoid disappointment.
  • We do not have life guards on duty at Boulders Beach and you swim at your own risk.
  • Boulders Hours of Operation are: 07h00 – 19h30
  • No gazebos or tents are allowed on the beach, only standard umbrella’s. No alcohol or smoking is permitted in the park.
  • Note selfie sticks are banned and we ask you respect the penguins space.

Silvermine

  • No braaing allowed in the summer months in Silvermine at the sites around the reservoir.
  • We however do allow picnicking all year round. The picnic sites around the reservoir operate on a first come first serve basis and cannot be reserved.
  • Cycling is only allowed during gate operating hours, and not at night.
  • Day permits for cycling are available at the Gate 1 access point. Visitors wishing to use the day permits as an access option may enter at Gate 1 only.
  • Swimming is allowed in the reservoir but is at own risk and we do not have life guards on duty.
  • Baboons do move through Silvermine. Please do not feed the baboons and make sure that all food is packed away if baboons are present.
  • Payment method for entry is cash only. There are no card facilities.
  • Tokai

    • The Tokai Picnic site is open 365 days a year to members of the public and one is permitted to braai year round.
    • No alcohol, music or gazebos allowed in the picnic site.
    • No entry permitted after 16:00 and no pass-outs allowed.
    • Baboons do enter the picnic site on occasion. Please do not feed the baboons and make sure that all food is packed away if baboons are present.
    • Note there is an additional charge per vehicle entering the picnic site over and above the per adult child or child entry fee.

    Oudekraal

    • The Oudekraal Picnic site is open year round and operates on a first come first serve basis. In the summer Oudekraal is open daily and in winter it is open on weekends and public holidays.
    • No alcohol or music is allowed in the picnic site.
    • We do not have a life guard on duty at Oudekraal and you swim in the ocean at your own risk.

    Newlands Picnic Site

    • Newlands Picnic site has no credit card machine and all entries have to be paid for in cash on arrival or upon production of a wild or green card.
    • Note there is an additional charge per vehicle entering the picnic site over and above the per adult child or child entry fee
    • No alcohol allowed.

    Newlands Forest

    • Serious parking problems occur at the Newlands Forest Parking area over weekends with the official parking area overflowing before 09:00am. Visitors to Newlands Forest are requested to please comply with the applicable signage and not to park illegally.
    • Cars that are parked illegally will be fined and cars that are blocking the entrance/exit for TMNP fire fighting vehicles will be towed away.

    Wild Cards and Green Cards

    • Wild card and My green card holders are reminded they need to produce proof of identification upon entering park gates. Every adult entering with a My Green card holder also has to produce a valid form of SA ID upon entry.
    • A wild Card and a My Green Card cannot be used to enter to carry out an activity which includes dog walking, cycling, fishing ,sport climbing. horse riding or paragliding
    • You cannot purchase another green card until after the expiry date on the current card.
    • More information is available on : https://www.sanparks.org/parks/table_mountain/tourism/access-cards-permits.php

    Signal Hill

    • Parking at Signal Hill is always challenging and we advise to avoid the congestion that you visit the site early before the bulk of the tourists arrive.

    Visitor Safety

    • The Park recommends that you never carry out your activity alone and strongly recommends you always have two or three buddies with you when out hiking, trail running. cycling or horse riding.
    • Please load our emergency number into your phone before setting off 0861 106 417 and let someone know which route you will follow and when to expect you to return home.
    • Entry to the park remains at all times at your own risk.

    Fire

    • We are in fire season and ask that you be vigilant at all times. Should you notice a fire anywhere on the mountain please call the TMNP emergency number at 086 110 6417 or 107 from a landline and 021 480 7700 from a mobile phone. Do not attempt to fight the fire on your own.

Oudekraal Picnic Site

Please note that Oudekraal Picnic site will be closed on the 9th of November 2016 for an exclusive use of function and will reopen again on the 6th of November 2016 to the public.

We request that everyone who parks their car inside the park be sure not to leave valuables in the car at any point and that the car is properly locked before departing. At Cape Point we have experienced a number of car break ins in recent months and we request you be extra vigilant in this location.

All recreational users are reminded that the presence and movement of great white sharks in waters around the park increases at this time of the year. Please be extra vigilant as none of our beaches have life guards or shark spotters on site.

Gate upgrade at Cape Point

The road at the gate is being redesigned to accommodate the upgrade of the gate. This is causing slightly longer delays on arrival at peak times. Please be patient as we process people through the gate as quickly as possible.

If you are entering on a wild card please have it ready to present on arrival or your confirmation letter. If you don’t have a current confirmation letter please call 021 7127471 and ask them to email you a copy.

If you are a tour guide please ensure your tour guide card is available to check and is valid.

Buses at Cape Point

Large buses need to exercise caution when using the bus lane at Cape Point Main Gate as we are in the process of adding an additional lane to the gate. Although there are barrier fences up and warning and directional signage in place, the lane is narrower than usual due to the upgrade. In addition there are workers and delivery vehicles on site so we ask that drivers be extra cautious when approaching the facility.

Tokai closures

All footpaths/tracks/access points leading from Silvermine West to Tokai are closed. This includes the Level 5 access point, the footpath from Elephants Eye down to Tokai, as well as the Vlakkenberg track from the Masts. Upper Tokai is closed due to tree felling operations.

Trail closures in TMNP due to fires

Swartkopberg Trail is under repair and currently closed.

The Chapmans Peak footpath (on the Noordhoek side) is closed indefinitely.

Cape Point construction update

Construction at Cape of Good Hope Main Gate is underway. While you may experience minor delays the gate entrance will remain open to the public. We appeal to vehicles using the bus lane to exercise caution due to the proximity of the construction site.

Hikers and Recreational Users Advisory: Fire-affected Areas in Simon's Town

The fire-affected areas are as follow:

  • From Klawer Valley over the Swartkopberg Mountain into Simon's Town.
  • North Peak, Swartkop and Simonsberg have burnt from Signal School through Blockhouse Gap to Rocklands.
  • It is not recommended that Blockhouse Gap be used for hiking at this time.
  • Signal School steps and Admirals Waterfall path is still open, as well as is the area from Signal School to Red Hill Road.

Hikers and Recreational Users Advisory: Fire-affected Areas in Simon's Town

A fire has swept through a portion of Table Mountain National Park in the Simon's Town area. The slopes on this mountain consist of small loose rocks, mixed with larger boulders. They are also north facing slopes, with very slow vegetation recovery, so the soils will be exposed. The sensitivity of the vegetation, means that any sort of trampling should be avoided. We would ask you be sensitive to the damage that has been caused by the fire and allow the area some time to recover.

Filming, Events and Functions

Table Mountain National Park will close for all filming, events and functions (bar Signal Hill) on 15 December 2016 and reopen on 18 January 2017. Oudekraal remains open for function bookings.

Visitor Tips

  1. TMNP recommends that all activities including but not limited to walking, jogging, trail running, cycling and horse riding are to be carried out in groups of four or more.
  2. Stay on demarcated pathways and trails.
  3. Wear the correct hiking gear and shoes.
  4. Do not carry valuables, cash, cameras, etc.
  5. Cycle, hike or run during daylight hours only.
  6. Keep an eye on the weather and other mountain conditions.
  7. Inform at least one other person not participating in an activity with you of your destination and estimated arrival time.

Main Attractions

  1. Cape Point, Cape of Good Hope
  2. Boulders Penguin Colony
  3. Silvermine
  4. Table Mountain
  5. Signal Hill and Lions Head

-- Top --



Accommodation

Full tariff document

Hoerikwaggo Tented Camps

Fall asleep under a myriad stars and awake to the healing sounds of nature. Our picturesque and comfortable tented camps, situated in unrivalled natural surroundings offer the ideal getaway.

Careful planning, use of invasive alien timber and innovative layout and design ensure minimum environmental impact.

Important information

All camps offer hot water, comfortable beds, open fires, fully equipped self-catering communal kitchens/dining areas and communal bathrooms. Bedding is provided at Slangkop and Smitswinkel tented camps. Bedding is not included at Orangekloof tented camp and is billed at an additional cost. Each camp accommodates a maximum of 12 people. Additional pax cannot be accommodated due to the tent size. All camps are easily accessible by car and have dedicated parking areas. Please take special note of the check-in and check-out times which are applicable to all Hoerikwaggo camps. These facilities are not universally accessible. The tented camps are hiking accommodation and do not have generators to supply power irrespective of Eskom load shedding.

Smitswinkel Tented Camp

This tented camp, situated just over the road from the entrance to Cape Point , lies in the shade of a weathered Flowering Gum plantation Its’ location provides the ideal base from which to explore the wealth of attractions in the South Peninsula. Boulders Beach , home to the world-renowned colony of African Penguins, is just 15 minutes drive away.

Accommodation

Activities in and around the area

  • Explore the Cape of Good Hope section of the Table Mountain National Park and the various activities the renowned Cape Point has to offer.
  • Take a picnic to Boulders Beach and see the world-renowned colony of African Penguins.
  • Pack your hiking gear and head down a short trail to Smitswinkel Bay.
  • Grab your bicycle and head out to Cape Point or along the scenic coastal road.

Slangkop Tented Camp – unwind next to the ocean

Nestled within indigenous Milkwoods, no more than 100m from the sea, this marine-themed tented camp is the perfect location to watch the sun sink in the Atlantic Ocean. Situated at the edge of the quaint village of Kommetjie, the camp offers a nature-based experience with the convenience of shops and restaurants close by. This is also the only camp with a dedicated play area for small children.

Activities in and around the area

  • Surf the waves of the world-renowned surf spots within 150m of the camp.
  • Take a tour through the tallest lighthouse in the southern Hemisphere by booking a Slangkop Lighthouse Tour. Bookings can be made through the National Ports Authority (seasonal).
  • Go hiking in the surrounding areas via a trail to Slangkop.
  • Visit the Cape of Good Hope section of the Table Mountain National park for game viewing, hikes and various picnic sites.
  • Explore the surrounding areas by bicycle.
  • At Slangkop tented camp (as with the other tented camps) there is no departing the tented camp site by vehicle on the closure of check in time. You are however more than welcome to walk into Kommetjie by foot if you wish to have dinner or enjoy the night life of the village.

Orange Kloof Tented Camp – relax in an ancient forest

The turnoff to this camp is just down the road from Constantia Nek going towards Hout Bay. The camp itself lies nestled within the ancient restricted-access Afromontane forest of Orange Kloof. The magic of the forest and tranquillity of the setting provides the perfect backdrop for a relaxing getaway.

Activities in and around the area

  • Orange Kloof is a restricted area and due to the conservation of the Afromontane Forest, guests must be accompanied by an accredited TMNP guide when hiking in this area (e.g. from Orange Kloof up Disa Gorge toward Table Mountain).

Check-in and check-out times for Hoerikwaggo Camps

Check-in Summer (October - March) 14:00 p.m. - 18:00 p.m.
Check-in Winter (April - September) 14:00 p.m. - 17:00 p.m.
Check-out 10:00 a.m. daily

The above times will be strictly adhered to.

Bookings

To book any one of the tented camps or for further information, contact +27 (0) 21 712 7471 weekdays from 08:00 to 16:00 or e-mail: hoerikwaggobookings@sanparks.org. Alternatively, check availability and book online. Prices are subject to change without notice and camp rules are available on request.

The Tented camps can only accommodate 12 people per night and no additional pax are allowed.

Olifantsbos Guest House

Possibly the most special accommodation available in Cape Town, this unique getaway is located deep in the southern part of the Cape of Good Hope and offers guests complete seclusion right on the beach.

Booking Details:

Buffelsfontein Visitor Centre on + 27 (0) 21 780 9204 between 09:00 to 16:00, Monday to Thursday and 09:00 to 15:00 on Friday’s. Alternatively email Sabrina.Adams@sanparks.org. Telephonic reservations are recommended.

Information for Olifantsbos Guest House

  1. Check-in time for accommodation is at Buffelsfontein Visitor Centre from 14:00 to 17h00 in winter ( April to September) and 14h00 to 18h00 ( October to March) in summer and accommodation must please be vacated by 10h00. Keys to be handed in at the Buffelsfontein Visitor Centre no later than 10h30.
  2. No late entry for this accommodation is permitted.
  3. All members of the party need to arrive at the same time. Due to the location of these units you need an escort to access them.
  4. Guests are required to be back at camp by sunset daily.
  5. Only the reserved number of guests will be allowed access to the accommodation unit. No day visitors/guests are permitted
  6. Conservation Fee (entrance fee) is not included in accommodation price and is payable daily, alternatively see more information on the WILD Card.
  7. Prices are subject to change without prior notice.
  8. Please note Olifantsbos has no electricity but a fridge, stove and gas lighting are provided
  9.  The My Green Card may not be used in lieu of daily conservation fees when using TMNP accommodation
  10.  Guests arriving after gate closure times will not be permitted to enter the park and will need to make alternative accommodation arrangements. No refunds will be granted
  11. The Annex is only available at the additional person tariff
  12. Note no firearms are permitted
  13. A 50% deposit is required within 30 days of making a reservation and the other 50% is payable 60 days before arrival
  14. These facilities are not universally accessible.

Eland Family Cottage

Ideal for family holidays the Eland Cottage is situated in the Cape of Good Hope section of the Park. It is electrified, offers a fully equipped kitchen and linen is provided. Note that we are reliant on Eskom for the provision of our electricity and request you bring a torch or headlight with you to ensure you can move around when the power is off as we do not have a generator on site.

This cottage is not situated on the coast but is inland and adjacent to a work station which experiences the movement of vehicles and staff during working hours.

Eland Family Cottage sleeps six people with one master bedroom and two bedrooms each furnished with two ¾ beds. There is an open plan kitchen/ lounge area and an enclosed patio with a jet master fireplace.

Booking Details

Buffelsfontein Visitor Centre on + 27 (0) 21 780 9204 between 09:00 to 16:00, Monday to Thursday and 09:00 to 15:00 on Friday’s. Alternatively email musam@sanparks.org. Telephonic reservations are recommended.

Payment Details:

By credit card, cash or cheque with 30% deposit required within 30 days of booking and the remainder 30 days before arrival. Full payment is required if you book within 30 days of arrival.

Information for Eland Family Cottage

  1. Please take note that you are entering The Table Mountain National Park and are subject to the conditions set in the National Environmental Management: Protected Areas Act (57/2003).
  2. We ask that all guests manage their activities to retain the quiet and peaceful ambiance of the site and the Park.
  3. Although a cleaning service is provided, we ask guests to respect the environment, keep the site clean and wash their own dishes.
  4. Baboons frequent the area and can be dangerous. Baboons should not be fed or disturbed in any way .Please keep all doors and windows closed for your own safety.
  5. Leave footprints and take only pictures.
  6. Emergency number 021 7809 100 and 086 110 6417.
  7. Please report all fires and emergencies without delay.
  8. In the unlikely event of an emergency please take note of the emergency evacuation plan posted in the lounge area. Staff will assist all guests during the emergency.
  9. If any abuse or deliberate damage of SANParks property occurs the client will be expected to pay for the losses.
  10. Check-in time for accommodation is from 14h00 to 17h00 in winter(Apr to Sept) and 14h00 to 18h00 in summer (Oct to March) and accommodation must please be vacated before 10h00. Keys to be handed in at the Buffelsfontein visitor Centre on day of departure by 10h30.
  11. Keys to be collected at the Buffelsfontein Visitor’s Centre before 17h00 in winter and 18h00 in summer on day of arrival. You will be asked to produce proof of reservation prior to the keys being handed over. Please have this available to hand over on request.
  12. No late entry/ check in after the park operating hours. Should you arrive after the closure of the check in time as listed above you will be obliged to find      accommodation elsewhere and will not be entitled to a refund.
  13. All members of the party need to arrive at the same time.
  14. No guests will be allowed to drive through the park after sunset.
  15. No day visitors / guests are allowed at any of the accommodation.
  16. All Guests are required to pay a daily conservation fee, per person, per day for the whole duration of their stay. If you have a valid Wild Card the persons that are loaded onto the Wild Card as members do not have to pay the daily conservation fees. Please note that the My Green Card cannot be used in lieu of daily conservation fees when using Table Mountain National Park accommodation. Entrance fees are not included in the accommodation price. Note Conservation fees increase annually on the 1st of November. You will be asked to produce proof of reservation on entry so have it handy to avoid delays.
  17. Bookings: can be made at the Buffelsfontein Visitor Centre at 021 780 9204 during office hours Monday to Fridays 09H00 to 16H00 or through the Travel Trade office on 021 422 2816 Mondays to Fridays 08h00 to 16h00.
  18. Advertised Prices are subject to change without prior notice.
  19. Gate Operating Times:
    • Summer - 1 October to 31 March - 06h00 to 18h00
    • Winter - 1 April to 30 September - 07h00 to 17h00
    • Proof of payment/confirmation must be provided to the gate official upon   entry and the Camp Supervisor upon arrival at Buffelsfontein.
  20. Alcohol Consumption is at your own discretion; however disorderly behaviour will not be tolerated.
  21. Loud music and parties are not permitted. The area is within a National Park and there are wild animals and other visitors to consider.

Accommodation:

Duiker Family Cottage

Ideal for family holidays the Duiker Family Cottage is situated in the Cape of Good Hope section of the Park. It is electrified, offers a fully equipped kitchen and linen is provided. Note that we are reliant on Eskom for the provision of our electricity and request you bring a torch or headlight with you to ensure you can move around when the power is off as we do not have a generator on site.

This cottage is not situated on the coast but is inland and adjacent to a work station which experiences the movement of vehicles and staff during working hours.

Duiker Family Cottage sleeps six people with one master bedroom and two bedrooms each furnished with two ¾ beds. There is an open plan kitchen/ lounge area with a jet-master fire place in the lounge. Duiker has its own boma and braai area.

Booking Details

Buffelsfontein Visitor Centre on + 27 (0) 21 780 9204 between 09:00 to 16:00, Monday to Thursday and 09:00 to 15:00 on Friday’s. Alternatively email musam@sanparks.org. Telephonic reservations are recommended.

Payment Details:

By credit card, cash or cheque with 30% deposit required within 30 days of booking and the remainder 30 days before arrival. Full payment is required if you book within 30 days of arrival.

Information for Duiker Family Cottage

  1. Please take note that you are entering The Table Mountain National Park and are subject to the conditions set in the National Environmental Management: Protected Areas Act (57/2003).
  2. We ask that all guests manage their activities to retain the quiet and peaceful ambiance of the site and the Park.
  3. Although a cleaning service is provided, we ask guests to respect the environment, keep the site clean and wash their own dishes.
  4. Baboons frequent the area and can be dangerous. Baboons should not be fed or disturbed in any way .Please keep all doors and windows closed for your own safety.
  5. Leave footprints and take only pictures.
  6. Emergency number 021 7809 100 and 086 110 6417.
  7. Please report all fires and emergencies without delay.
  8. In the unlikely event of an emergency please take note of the emergency evacuation plan posted in the lounge area. Staff will assist all guests during the emergency.
  9. If any abuse or deliberate damage of SANParks property occurs the client will be expected to pay for the losses.
  10. Check-in time for accommodation is from 14h00 to 17h00 in winter(Apr to Sept) and 14h00 to 18h00 in summer (Oct to March) and accommodation must please be vacated before 10h00. Keys to be handed in at the Buffelsfontein visitor Centre on day of departure by 10h30.
  11. Keys to be collected at the Buffelsfontein Visitor’s Centre before 17h00 in winter and 18h00 in summer on day of arrival. You will be asked to produce proof of reservation prior to the keys being handed over. Please have this available to hand over on request.
  12. No late entry/ check in after the park operating hours. Should you arrive after the closure of the check in time as listed above you will be obliged to find      accommodation elsewhere and will not be entitled to a refund.
  13. All members of the party need to arrive at the same time.
  14. No guests will be allowed to drive through the park after sunset.
  15. No day visitors / guests are allowed at any of the accommodation.
  16. All Guests are required to pay a daily conservation fee, per person, per day for the whole duration of their stay. If you have a valid Wild Card the persons that are loaded onto the Wild Card as members do not have to pay the daily conservation fees. Please note that the My Green Card cannot be used in lieu of daily conservation fees when using Table Mountain National Park accommodation. Entrance fees are not included in the accommodation price. Note Conservation fees increase annually on the 1st of November. You will be asked to produce proof of reservation on entry so have it handy to avoid delays.
  17. Bookings: can be made at the Buffelsfontein Visitor Centre at 021 780 9204 during office hours Monday to Fridays 09H00 to 16H00 or through the Travel Trade office on 021 422 2816 Mondays to Fridays 08h00 to 16h00.
  18. Advertised Prices are subject to change without prior notice.
  19. Gate Operating Times:
    • Summer - 1 October to 31 March - 06h00 to 18h00
    • Winter - 1 April to 30 September - 07h00 to 17h00
    • Proof of payment/confirmation must be provided to the gate official upon   entry and the Camp Supervisor upon arrival at Buffelsfontein.
  20. Alcohol Consumption is at your own discretion; however disorderly behaviour will not be tolerated.
  21. Loud music and parties are not permitted. The area is within a National Park and there are wild animals and other visitors to consider.

Accommodation:

Platteklip Wash House - Oranjezicht, Cape Town & Overseers Cottage – Back Table

Overnight on the slopes of Table Mountain, in the award winning restored Platteklip Wash House or fall asleep at the beautiful Overseers Cottage, with the city at your feet and the stars as your canopy.

Booking Details:

Tel: ( 021) 712 7471 or Central reservations (012) 428 9111, or
Email: hoerikwaggobookings@sanparks.org or
resevations@sanparks.org

Please note:

Accommodation images may differ from the actual units as refurbishment of various accommodation types occur on an on-going basis.

-- Top --



Activities

As the Table Mountain National Park (TMNP) includes mountains, beaches, forests and oceans, there are a variety of popular recreational activities for outdoor enthusiasts.

However, because the Park receives in excess of 2.6 million visits per year, regulations, permits and Environmental Management Plans (EMP’s), apply to certain of these activities in order to minimize the impacts on the environment. Users of the Park are asked to respect the environment at all times to assist us in protecting our unique natural heritage for the benefit of current and future generations.

What is an EMP?

When the Park was established there was a need to formally recognize appropriate recreational activities within the managed area of TMNP as these activities have impacts on both the environment and other users of the park.

The TMNP therefore, through public processes, developed Environmental Management Programs (EMP) for dog walking; hang and paragliding; sport/rock climbing; horse riding; mountain biking; and line fishing.
. These EMPs include:

EMP's require users to respect the rules and regulations of the park, undertake their activity with care and consideration for other users and to protect and conserve the natural and heritage resources of the park.

Rather than abuse the privilege of undertaking activities in the Park, users are encouraged to conduct themselves responsibly in the park by following the requirements of the relevant EMP. In this way promoting a safe and appropriate low impact means of enjoying and appreciating the Park.

Environmental Management Plans

For more info on Activity Permits, click here, or call the Tokai Tourism Office on 021 712 7471.

Please select an activity below for more information.

Hiking

Table Mountain National Park is a walking Park with exciting trails for all levels of walkers from the super-fit to the casual stroller. There are many routes to choose from along the Table Mountain Chain offering spectacular views of the City of Cape Town, rugged mountains and deep blue seas. Most of the popular hikes up Table Mountain such as Platteklip Gorge (north face), Nursery Ravine and Skeleton Gorge (the latter two being accessible from Kirstenbosch Gardens) are fairly strenuous, while Silvermine, the Cape of Good Hope and the Constantiaberg offer easier options. For a guide to the most popular hiking routes get yourself a copy of Mountains in the Sea - an Interpretive Guide to Table Mountain National Park by John Yeld. See details above. Have a look at our safe hiking in Table Mountain National Park guide.

Overnight Trail

The Table Mountain National Park also has an overnight trail namely the Cape of Good Hope Hiking Trail.

Fishing/Extractive Diving

The Table Mountain National Park Marine Protected Area (MPA) is a popular fishing area for shore and boat-based fisher people as well as extractive divers. However due to heavy recreational and commercial pressure on the rich biodiversity of the MPA, fishing and extractive diving are subject to strict regulations and permits. Certain activities such as recreational perlemoen diving are prohibited.

There are six restricted areas with five or "no take" zones within the MPA where no fishing or extractive activities are allowed, and in the sixth restricted area the Karbonkelberg , only snoek are allowed to be caught deeper than the 35m contour.

To purchase recreational fishing permits, please contact your local South African Post Office. An annual My Activity Permit Level 3 or 4 is also required. Please note that a Wild Card membership does not grant you entry to fish within TMNP.

For more information on these regulations, please read the Marine Recreational Activity brochure and visit their Marine section or do a search for "Fishing Regulations".

Dog Walking

TMNP is one of the few National Parks in South Africa where you are permitted to walk a dog. However dog walking is restricted to limited areas in order to minimize the impacts of dogs on the biodiversity of the mountain – these include running off the paths and chasing indigenous animals.

Dogs must be under the control of their owners at all times and it is illegal for dogs to be on the mountain unaccompanied. Popular areas for dog walking are Silvermine, the lower slopes of Table Mountain accessible from Constantia Nek, Noordhoek Beach and lower section of the Tokai Plantation.

Dog training at TMNP is prohibited.

Please download the Dog Walking Environmental Management Plan for details on the designated areas.

An annual Dog Walking Permit is required - more info.

An interactive guide to walking your dog in the Table Mountain National Park

Free Guided Walks at Cape Point

There are enthusiastic volunteers who are now offering free guided walks at Cape Point.

Please note:

Scuba Diving

Scuba divers are spoilt for choice in the Table Mountain National Park Marine Protected Area. Particularly rewarding are the numerous wrecks that scatter the coastline as well as the six restricted areas ("no take" zones) that have been established as breeding and nursery areas for marine species.

Popular dive sites include the Maori wreck off the Sentinel in Hout Bay, Oudekraal on the Atlantic Seaboard and Miller's Point and Smitswinkel in False Bay.
Please note that the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) has implemented a permit system for scuba diving within all MPA’s. Scuba divers must be in possession of a permit, even if not fishing and can be purchased nationwide from the South African Post Office.
 Diving has been restricted within the TMNP MPA since February 2008 - the areas affected are indicated on our map together with the regulations.

Mountain Biking

The steep slopes that characterise much of the TMNP make it ideal for mountain biking enthusiasts. However, because this activity is very high impact and negatively affects the biodiversity of the Park and often clashes with the more sedate activities such as hiking and dog walking, there are designated areas where mountain biking is allowed. Popular areas are certain parts of the Tokai Plantation and Silvermine (accessible from Gate One).

Documents

An annual My Activity Permit Level 3 for mountain biking is required. Alternatively, day passes are available for Tokai at the Braai Site Kiosk.

Surfing/Windsurfing/Kite Boarding

A plethora of reefs, rocky points, beaches and open ocean Atlantic swell provide numerous breaks that work in different conditions which means that there is usually a wave to be found somewhere on the peninsula. The World famous Red Bull Big Wave Africa is held at Dungeons just of Hout Bay and attracts top big wave surfers from all over the world.

Tow in surfing is only permitted in the following areas – Dungeons and Sunset's (off Kommetjie) and only if wave swell is five meters or more. Please note that the relevant permits are required for tow-in surfing. Jet Ski's are banned in the rest of the MPA.

Due to the high and frequent winds that characterise the Cape Peninsula there are many opportunities for windsurfing and kite boarding especially in the summer months.

Rock/Sport Climbing

The rocky ledges and huge boulders of the mountain attract climbers from all over the world. However climbing is a high impact sport and designated climbing areas are outlined in the Environmental Management Plan. Be sure to read our safe hiking in Table Mountain National Park guide. Please also be aware that Table Mountain offers challenges to climbers and it is highly recommended that you join a climbing club to benefit from local knowledge. Please download the Rock/Sport Climbing Environmental Management Plan for details on the designated areas. A My Activity Permit Level 2 is required for sport climbing.

Picnics and Braai's

Please note:
  • Newlands Braai and Picnic areas are closed during the winter period.
  • Oudekraal is closed to the public during week days and is open on weekends and public holidays from 08:00 - 18:00. Oudekraal will remain open for function bookings.

Table Mountain National Park offers numerous picnic/braai areas although braaing should be undertaken with care and is often banned due to high winds.
Alcohol, dogs and music are prohibited in the picnic braai areas.

View the Daily Conservation Fees.

Hang/Paragliding

Even though these activities take place primarily in the air they still cause significant environmental impacts at launch sites as well as disturb raptors that may be nesting or breeding on cliff faces.
There are numerous designated launch areas including Lion's Head and Silvermine.
Please download the Hang/Paragliding Environmental Management Plan for more details.

Horse Riding

Horse riding is permitted in certain areas of the park. This activity has a very high impact and negatively affects the biodiversity of the Park and often clashes with the more sedate activities such as hiking and dog walking, there are designated areas where mountain biking is allowed. Popular areas include Tokai, Noordhoek Beach and Black Hill.
Please download the Horse Riding Environmental Management Plan for more details

Forest Walks

A walk in an Afromontane forest is always uplifting. These deep green ecosystems are millions of years old and are home to a variety of smaller animals, birds and invertebrates.

The most popular of these walks are:

Prohibited Activities

There are various activities that are not allowed in the TMNP for various environmental reasons:

Important Notice:

The old practice of paying the normal conservation fee at the COGH entrance and then obtaining a credit/refund on purchasing a WILD Card at the Buffelsfontein Visitor Centre within the Park has been stopped as our auditors have indicated that this practice is not in compliance with the Public Finances management Act.

-- Top --



Vital Information

What to bring

Although the Table Mountain National Park is primarily a day-visit park there are several items that no-one should be without whether for a casual stroll or a more serious hike:

It is highly recommended that you purchase Mountains in the Sea – an Interpretive Guide to Table Mountain National Park by award winning environmental journalist John Yeld. The book comprehensively covers all aspects of the Park from biodiversity issues to popular hikes and history and will enrich any visitor’s enjoyment and appreciation of the Park.

It is available from TMNP outlets at Tokai Tourism Office, Tel. 021 712 7471, Boulders Penguin Colony, Tel. 021 786 2329 and Buffelsfontein Visitor Centre, Tel. 021 780 9204.

Also essential are:

Visitor Safety

Table Mountain National Park is a Park within a City and its urban context presents Park staff with some unique management challenges. Two of these are these are mountain safety and security issues.

Many people think that because Table Mountain is in the middle of a City that it is simply an easy walk to the top – a serious misconception. The reality is that it is a serious mountain standing 1000 meters above sea level and offers challenging, sometimes dangerous, hikes and is characterised by inconsistent weather. These factors result in people getting lost and injured.

Also as the TMNP is primarily an open access Park from time to time there is criminal activity in some of the urban edge areas of the Park.

In answer to both these challenges the TMNP recruited and deployed Visitor Safety Officers (VSO’s) to patrol popular use zones in the Park. The VSO’s give advice to hikers as well as act as a deterrent to criminals.

For some hints and tips for a hassle free visit to the TMNP please download the Visitor Safety Brochure.

Climate

When hiking in or visiting the Table Mountain National Park, it is advisable to ensure that you are equipped for all weather types. TMNP and Cape Town have a Mediterranean climate – characterised by typically hot, dry summers and short, wet, yet mild winters.

Cape Town is also known for the South Easter winds that often rip through the city in Summer. With the mountain topography of the Park – this means that weather patterns can change quickly, often creating a hot, clear day in one area, and rainy, misty conditions in another.

Be advised to bring all weather-gear when hiking visiting TMNP as you can never quite predict the weather patterns.

View the seven day Cape Town weather forecast.

People with Disabilities

View the information regarding the facilities offered by Table Mountain National Park in the interests of universal access.

Tourism Partners

When in doubt about where to go and what to do please be sure to contact our official tourism organisations:

If you want to travel further a-field in the Western Cape contact:

Brochures

Please note you will require Adobe PDF viewer to view the brochures.

Attractions

Download

Cape of Good Hope

Front

Back

Boulders Penguin Colony

Front

Back

Silvermine

Front

Back

Table Mountain

Front

Back

Accommodation

Olifantsbos Cottage

Front

Back

Wood Owl Cottage

Front

Back

Eland & Duiker

Front & Back

Accommodation Guide

Front

Back

Hiking Trails

 

Cape of Good Hope Hiking Trail

Front

Back

Environmental Education

 

Environmental Education Programme

Advert

General Park Information

   

TMNP brochure

Brochure


-- Top --



Main Attractions

Please note that Peter Slingsby publishes the only maps endorsed by the TMNP. Where can I find these maps?

The Cape of Good Hope

So named by Portugal's King John II this area has captured the imagination of European sailors such as Dias who first named it the Cape of Storms in 1488 and later in 1580 Sir Francis Drake who called it the "The Fairest Cape in all the World".

Rich in cultural and natural heritage this is one of the top tourist destinations in South Africa. Due to the variety of wildlife that occurs here it is the only section of the TMNP that is fenced and visitors should look out for Eland, Red Hartebeest, Bontebok and Zebra.

Be sure to visit the Buffelsfontein Visitor Centre that showcases all the plants and animals to look out for in a particular season and is full of informative signage. At the point, visitors are treated to excellent viewing opportunities from both lighthouses that adorn the most south western point in Africa, one still fully functional. The lighthouse is accessible by foot or one can catch the Flying Dutchman funicular to the top.

Cape of Good Hope is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts and offers hiking, surfing, angling, picnicking, beaching and cycling opportunities against the spectacular backdrop of the mountains and coastline of the Cape Peninsula. Free guided walks are offered at Cape Point on selected Sunday mornings throughout the year. Click here for a schedule of these walks.

Several of the activities are regulated and require permits. Please visit the activities section for more information. 

For those who wish to grab a bite to eat or do some souvenir shopping, Cape Point Partnership runs the stunning Two Oceans Restaurant and the Tigers Eye Curio Shop.

Contact Details:

TMNP - Buffelsfontein Visitor Centre: +27(0) 21 780 9204, 09:30 – 17:30, Monday- Sunday
Restaurant, Shops and funicular: +27(0) 21 780 9010 / 021 780 9200

Important Notes:

Take a virtual tour of Cape Point



Boulders Penguin Colony

Boulders Penguin Colony in Simons Town is home to a unique and endangered land-based colony of African Penguins. This colony is one of only a few in the world, and the site has become famous and a popular international tourist destination.

The Boulders section of TMNP consists of 3 pristine beaches, 1 penguin viewing area and 3 boardwalks. The boardwalks were built as a measure to allow for viewing of these wonderful birds, whilst keeping them safe from poking fingers, so please be sure to stay on the boardwalks at all times within the viewing area.  

This beach is ideal for children as immense boulders shelter the cove from currents, wind and large waves - but please always take care. Don't touch or feed the penguins – they may look cute and cuddly but their beaks are as sharp as razors and if they feel threatened they have no qualms about nipping the odd finger or nose.

Boulders Visitor Centre: +27(0) 21 786 2329.

A bit more about African Penguins:

African Penguins were reclassified on 26 May 2010 from a Vulnerable to now Endangered status. In 1956 when the first full census was conducted on the African Penguin, there were approximately 150 000 breeding pairs counted. In 2009 there were only 26 000 breeding pairs left in the world. These numbers indicate a loss of more than 80% of breeding pairs in just over 50 years.

The Boulders Penguin Colony was established in 1983 and numbers increased from surrounding island colonies to bring breeding numbers to 3 900 birds in 2005. Since then there has been a decrease. The 2011 figures sit at around 2100 birds at Boulders Penguin Colony. The decline at Boulders and the global decline is the suspected result of:

What can I do to help?

For more information on how to help the plight of the African Penguin, contact SANCCOB on +27(0 21 557 6155

What can I do there?

Important Notices:

Table Mountain

Arguably one of the most well-known mountains in Africa, Table Mountain provides a magnificent backdrop to cosmopolitan Cape Town and now boasts the accolade of New 7 Wonders of Nature.

Famous for the tablecloth of clouds that pours endlessly down its slopes when the south-easter blows, this is a mountain of many moods and offers walkers and hikers a range of routes that vary from light strolls to rigorous hikes.

You decide whether you want to reach the summit and revel in spectacular views of the city or simply stroll along in the cool shade of indigenous forest – which ever you choose you won't be disappointed. The ancient Afromontane forest has a fairy charm as vines and canopies create a magical atmosphere.

However please remember that even though it is in an urban setting it is still a wild mountain that offers challenging climbs and sheer cliffs so be aware of where you intend to walk and always ensure that you stick to the path and are kitted out for cold weather.

If it’s the views you’re after and not the exercise,  catch a state-of-the-art revolving cable car to the top. For more information call the Table Mountain Aerial Cableway Company (TMACC): +27(0) 21 424 8181

Silvermine

Please note:

Due to operational constraints, the Silvermine Gate 2 parking area will now be open for entry at 08:00 throughout the year. The closing times for this access point remain unchanged (18:00 throughout the year). For the other open access points to these Silvermine trails (6 access points), entry is still permitted from sunrise, exit by sunset. Enquiries: 021 712 7471. Gate opening times for Gate 1 will remain unchanged.

Located in the central section of the Table Mountain National Park (TMNP) Silvermine offers some of the best hikes in the Park with beautiful fynbos landscapes. There is plenty to take in, in and around Silvermine – a short and wheelchair-friendly boardwalk around the dam, a beautifully therapeutic river walk, a light walk to the Silvermine waterfall, bird spotting, picnics, dog walking and mountain biking, to name but a few.

There are no credit card facilities at the Silvermine Entrance gate.

There are two sections with formal parking:
Gate One: Turn right off Ou Kaapse Weg coming from Cape Town. This area offers mountain biking tracks and a selection of hikes ranging from easy to challenging. Hikers can walk to the top of the Constantaiburg Mountain for perfect views of Hout Bay or simply stroll around the reservoir's wheelchair friendly boardwalk. There are also picturesque braai/ picnic sites available.

Gate Two: A few hundred metres past Gate One, turn left into the car park. From here you can hike over to Kalk Bay or simply do a circuit route. This section of the Park includes Afromontane Forests, waterfalls and very interesting geology.

Signal Hill and Lion's Head

Signal Hill is the Northern-most tip of the terrestrial area of the TMNP and offers excellent views of the City and harbour. It is from here that the noon day gun marks 12:00 in Cape Town.

Lion's Head is the peak to the right of Table Mountain when facing it head on and offers a short but popular hike with 360 degree views of the Atlantic seaboard, the City and Table Mountain. A popular and new tradition in Cape Town is to hike to the top on full moon. But, while this is a memorable experience, it should only be done in groups, and led by someone with experience.

Beaches

TMNP has a beach for all preferences. If you like to mingle with bronzed beach goers and enjoy a bit of a beach culture, try Llandudno on the Atlantic seaboard. However, if you are more of a laidback beach user head south and try out Noordhoek, Kommetjie or Scarborough - all of which are spacious enough to accommodate crowds and are also good for watching the sun set.
The Cape of Good Hope section offers more wild and secluded beaches with the benefit of beaches on both the Atlantic and False Bay sides.

Be aware that strong rip tides characterise some of our beaches and that there are no life guards on duty on any of Table Mountain National Park's beaches. Swimmers should ensure that they are familiar with the area and should exercise caution at all times.

Alcohol is not allowed on Cape Town beaches.
**A level 1 My Activity Permit is required for dog walking.

For more information on available beaches please call our marine team: +27(0) 21 786 5656.

-- Top --



Climate

Winter:

From May to August, cold fronts sweep across the Atlantic and bombard the Peninsula with rain and the northwest gales - an apt reminder of why the early explorers referred to it as the Cape of Storms. The winters are cool with an average minimum temperature of about 7° C. Most of the rainfall occurs in winter, but due to the topography the rainfall varies quite dramatically. In the valleys and coastal plains it averages 500 mm per year, while in the mountainous areas it can average as much as 1500 mm a year.

Winter is a particularly beautiful time in the Cape as the vegetation regains its verdure and water pours from the mountain chain’s waterfalls, rivulets and ravines.

Summer:

From November to February the weather is warm and dry. During these months the Peninsula is exposed to the strong (sometimes gale-force), relentless Southeast wind known locally as the Cape Doctor because it blows away pollution and cleans the air. Summer temperatures are relatively comfortable with the average maximum around 26° C.

The days in between are hot and compliment the awesome beaches

Please note: The months we have listed here are merely guidelines. Always cater for all weather when visiting due to its unpredictability.

-- Top --



How to get there

Note to Travellers

GPS Coordinates

Name

Latitude

Longitude

Cape Point

S 34° 21' 22"

E 18° 29' 48"

Tokai Forest

S 34° 3' 42"

E 18° 24' 51"

Newlands Forest

S 33° 58' 26"

E 18° 26' 40"

Ouderkraal

S 33° 59' 12"

E 18° 20' 56"

Perdekloof

S 34° 12' 20"

E 18° 24' 20"

Silvermine

S 34° 5' 53"

E 18° 25' 16"

Boulders

S 34° 7' 55"

E 18° 26' 53"

Platteklip Wash House

S 33° 56' 46 "

E 18° 25' 03"

Smitswinkel

S 34° 15' 25.45450"

E 18° 27' 39.7069"

Slangkop

S 34° 8' 45.1382"

E 18° 19' 11.9972"

Orangkloof

S 34° 0' 17.7436"

E 18° 23' 32.0999"

Platteklip

S 33° 56' 47.2457"

E 18° 25' 4.7617"

Oversees Cottage

S 33° 59' 28.8899"

E 18° 24' 53.0185"

Routes to various destinations

Boulders Beach

Situated in Simon’s Town, which can be reached via the M4 (Main Road) from the city centre, although getting to Muizenberg via the M3 or the M5 are both quicker in road time. From Muizenberg, the M4 continues via Fish Hoek to Simon’s Town.

Cape Point

One can go via the M4, Simon’s Town and Miller’s Point, on the M64 and 65 via Ou Kaapse Weg, Sun Valley, Kommetjie and Scarborough.

The M6 via Chapman’s Peak is currently open but it is sometimes temporarily closed for repairs after heavy rains. There is signage on the road some distance before Chapman’s Peak, which tells you whether it is open or closed.

Kirstenbosch

De Waal Drive and then left onto Rhodes Drive in the Direction of Hout Bay

Oudekraal

Situated on the M6 between Camp’s Bay and Llandudno

Tokai

Situated on the Tokai Road off the M3.

Silvermine

Opposite the Silvermine Road turn-off.

Table Mountain, Signal Hill and Lion’s Head

Kloof Nek Road towards Camp’s Bay

Internal Road Network

Only a few areas of the TMNP allow private vehicle access – Cape of Good Hope section and Signal Hill. Vehicles are subject to strict speed limits and a required to keep to the designated roads. Other areas such as Silvermine, Newlands and Oudekraal offer secure parking within the gates.

Gate Hours

***Please take note of exit times when entering a gate***

Areas

Seasons

Entry and Exit Times

Cape Point

Winter: April - September

07:00 - 17:00

 

Summer: October - March

06:00 - 18:00

Boulders

Winter: April - September

08:00 - 17:00

 

Summer: December - January

07:00 - 19:30

 

February - March

08:00 - 18:30

 

October - November

08:00 - 18:30

Silvermine Gate 1

 

Winter : May - August

08:00 - 17:00

Summer : September - April

07:00 - 18:00

Silvermine Gate 2 All year round 08:00 - 18:00

Oudekraal

Winter : June - September (Only on weekends and public holidays)

08:00 - 18:00

 

Summer: October - April

08:00 - 18:00

Perdekloof

Winter: June - September

Closed

 

Summer: October - March

09:00 - 17:00

 

Holidays and weekends

09:00 - 17:00

Tokai Forest

Winter : April - September

08:00 - 17:00

 

Summer : October - March

07:00 - 18:00

Newlands Forest

Winter: June - September

Closed

 

Summer : October - April (open everyday - weekdays and weekends)

08:00 - 18:00

-- Top --



Park Maps

Recreational Map

This page displays various maps of the Table Mountain National Park (TMNP). For an overview of our recreational areas please view our recreational map.

Recreational Map - Click on the map to view enlarged version

To see the various sections which comprise the TMNP please view our management map.

Management map

Click on the map to view enlarged version


Please note that Peter Slingsby publishes the only maps endorsed by the TMNP. To expand the following thumbnails, please click on them directly. To download the original maps, click on the map name.

Table Mountain National Park Olifantsbos Steenberg Ridge Vlakkenberg Western Table

 

Activities

Approved Mountain Bike tracks


Accommodation

Map to the Platteklip Wash House


Orange Kloof Tented Camp


Directions to Orange Kloof Tented Camp


Silvermine Tented Camp


Slangkop Tented Camp


Directions to Slangkop Tented Camp


Smitswinkel Tented Camp


Directions to Smitswinkel Tented Camp

-- Top --



Tariffs

Please note:

Adult rates apply to persons 12 years and older. Child rates apply to persons aged 2-11 years.

Boulders

Conservation Fees for 1 November 2016 to 31 October 2017

South African Citizens and Residents (with ID): R70 per adult per day
R35 per child, per day
SADC Nationals (with passport): R70 per adult per day
R35 per child, per day
Standard Conservation Fee (Foreign Visitors): R70 per adult per day
R35 per child, per day

Cape of Good Hope

Conservation Fees for 1 November 2016 to 31 October 2017

South African Citizens and Residents (with ID): R135 per adult per day
R70 per child, per day
SADC Nationals (with passport): R135 per adult per day
R70 per child, per day
Standard Conservation Fee (Foreign Visitors): R135 per adult per day
R70 per child, per day

Newlands

Conservation Fees for 1 November 2016 to 31 October 2017

South African Citizens and Residents (with ID): R25 per adult per day
R15 per child, per day
Additionally: R25 per vehicle
SADC Nationals (with passport): R25 per adult per day
R15 per child, per day
Additionally: R25 per vehicle
Standard Conservation Fee (Foreign Visitors): R25 per adult per day
R15 per child, per day
Additionally: R25 per vehicle

Oudekraal

Conservation Fees for 1 November 2016 to 31 October 2017

South African Citizens and Residents (with ID): R40 per adult per day
R25 per child, per day
SADC Nationals (with passport): R40 per adult per day
R25 per child, per day
Standard Conservation Fee (Foreign Visitors): R40 per adult per day
R25 per child, per day

Perdekloof

Conservation Fees for 1 November 2016 to 31 October 2017

South African Citizens and Residents (with ID): R15 per adult per day
R7 per child, per day
SADC Nationals (with passport): R15 per adult per day
R7 per child, per day
Standard Conservation Fee (Foreign Visitors): R15 per adult per day
R7 per child, per day

Silvermine

Conservation Fees for 1 November 2016 to 31 October 2017

South African Citizens and Residents (with ID): R50 per adult per day
R25 per child, per day
SADC Nationals (with passport): R50 per adult per day
R25 per child, per day
Standard Conservation Fee (Foreign Visitors): R50 per adult per day
R25 per child, per day

Tokai Picnic & Braai Area

Conservation Fees for 1 November 2016 to 31 October 2017

South African Citizens and Residents (with ID): R25 per adult per day
R15 per child, per day
Additionally: R25 per vehicle
SADC Nationals (with passport): R25 per adult per day
R15 per child, per day
Additionally: R25 per vehicle
Standard Conservation Fee (Foreign Visitors): R25 per adult per day
R15 per child, per day
Additionally: R25 per vehicle

TOKAI FOREST

Reservations for the Wood Owl Cottage should be made directly with the Park on (021) 712 7471

General Tariff Information


-- Top --



Day visitors:

As it is situated within the City of Cape Town with its area fragmented by urban development and privately owned land, this is primarily a day visit Park.

Emergencies:

In case of emergencies please call: 021 957 4700

Contact Information

For enquiries e-mail Table Mountain National Park or phone us on the following numbers:

Tel: 021 701 8692
Fax: 021 701 8773

Office Hours:

Head Office – Westlake: 08:00 - 17:00

Gate Times

Cape of Good Hope section (Cape Point):

Winter: April - September 07:00 - 17:00
Summer: October - March 06:00 - 18:00

Boulders

Winter: April - September 08:00 - 17:00
Summer: October - March 07:00 - 19:00

Silvermine

Winter: May - August 08:00 - 17:00
Summer: September - April 07:00 - 18:00

Oudekraal

Winter: April - September 08:00 - 18:00
Summer: October - March 08:00 - 18:00

Check in/out times:

For the three cottages in the Cape of Good Hope section, Elands, Duiker and Olifantsbos check in time is 14:00 and check out is 10:00.

Hints & Tips

Internal Road Network

Only a few areas of the TMNP allow private vehicle access – Cape of Good Hope section and Signal Hill. Vehicles are subject to strict speed limits and a required to keep to the designated roads. Other areas such as Silvermine, Newlands and Oudekraal offer secure parking within the gates.

Natural and Cultural History

Please visit www.tmnp.co.za for some fascinating insight into this unique park.

Scientific Services

Table Mountain National Park has excellent ties with the SANParks service, other conservation agencies as well as academic institutions like the University of Cape Town.
Facts and Figures:

Personnel

There are about 133 permanent positions (operational and administrative) within the Park. The number of contracted staff varies according to the types of projects at any one time.

Concessions:

There are currently two concessionaires:

-- Top --



People & Conservation

Environmental Experience

The Table Mountain National Park’s Environmental Experience (EE) Programme is primarily aimed at the disadvantage youth of Cape Town.

These youth live far away from the TMNP and do not have the opportunity to visit the Park often. Much of the future of our conservation efforts hinge on building a love for nature in the hearts and minds of our youth – tomorrows leaders.

The Park has two busses - a 60 seater and a 22 seater – that pick children from schools on the Cape Flats and take them to the Park for the day. These excursions are not only recreational but have an educational angle as well.

Table Mountain is the perfect outdoor classroom to do a Natural Science lesson. Class in the Clouds provides you with a pre-prepared RNCS linked lesson to do on top of Table Mountain.

You can catch a ride in the cable car up Table Mountain into the Class in the Clouds. A learner will receive a free Coca-Cola, the guidance of a teacher assistant and a Class in the Clouds certificate. (There will be an extra charge if you travel with the Park bus). It is very important to make your booking at The Table Mountain Cableway by phoning +27(0) 21 424 0015 or e-mailing Fairuz Abrahams at fairuz@tablemountain.net

Cape Point

Cape Point is a unique area to visit where you can experience the fynbos, wild animals, beaches and multi cultural sites.

At Cape Point you will be able to integrate all learning outcomes. Natural Science lessons can include, fynbos identification, plant adaptations or dune ecology. The beaches and rock pools are also wonderful topics for a playful lesson. There are numerous short hikes that can form part of your lesson. Cultural historical sites also form a great part of the Cape Point area and can cover Social Science Learning Outcomes. Hikes and any lesson in the outdoor classroom should be planed well ahead of time.

Boulders is home to an African Penguin colony where learners can get up-close to observe these beautiful birds. RNCS linked lessons are available for foundation and intermediate phase.

Silvermine is a biodiversity rich area and the perfect spot to do any fynbos lesson. The dam also offers an ideal setting for fresh water ecology lesson. There are also beautiful hiking trails that can be included in map work lessons. This area has amazing lookout points which the learners can look over the city below. Many Social Science Geography learning outcomes can be covered in lessons in this area of the Park.

Silvermine also has areas that show the signs of early human habitation. These include Peer’s Cave - a well know Khoi/San site as well as the Sunbird Centre that is an old Homestead. This centre can be booked for overnight accommodation for children. Please phone +27(0) 21 701 8692 to make a booking.

Teacher Training

To fortify our commitment to educating the youth about the environment, the TMNP has developed a curriculum and training programme for teachers. This programme has been endorsed by the Western Cape Department of Education and teachers who participate and pass are qualified to do environmental education with their kids in the Park.

The Park also has various centres where kids can spend the day, and in some cases overnight, in the Park, that can be used in conjunction with the People and Conservation Department:

Sunbird Centre in Silvermine

An overnight facility - the Sunbird Environmental Awareness Centre is located in the scenic Silvermine River Valley within the Silvermine Section of the TMNP.

Bordjiesrif

Is situated in the Cape of Good Hope section – day visits only.

The People’s Trail

It starts at Constantia Nek at 09:00, opposite the Constantia Nek Restaurant, where you will meet a Table Mountain National Park guides. You can access Constantia Nek via Rhodes Drive, Kirstenbosch, from Hout Bay or from the Wynberg/ Tokai / Constantia area. The 2-day trail is a 15km hike, which ends on Table Mountain Road at the bottom of Platteklip Gorge, where you will descend. The trail will end by 15:00. People's Trail information brochure

For more information and bookings:

Contact: Nolene Mafakala, tel: +27(0) 21 701 8692, fax: +27(0) 21 701 8773, e-mail: nolenem@sanparks.org

-- Top --



People & Conservation

Junior Rangers

Junior Rangers

The TMNP Junior Rangers are a group of children from all corners of Cape Town that participate in nature conservation training to become well-informed voluntary rangers contributing to the vision and mission of SANParks.

The first cohort of Table Mountain National Park Junior Rangers was chosen at the beginning of 2009. A selection panel consisting of TMNP staff, iKapa Honourary Rangers and TMNP Volunteers chose 40 children out of 200 that applied to be chosen as part of the first TMNP Junior Rangers.

Application for 2009 have already closed but interested parties for 2010 can contact Christa Stringer on +27(0) 21 780 9006 from November 2009 for application forms.

If you would like to become involved with training on sponsoring a child for a year, please also contact Christa Stringer on the number above.

For further enquiries please call the People and Conservation Department: Tel. +27 (0) 21 701 8692.

More info on Environmental Education:

-- Top --



People & Conservation

Volunteers & Friends

The people of Cape Town are passionate about their National Park and as a result there is a vibrant volunteer and friend's community. These devoted citizens give freely of their time in order to assist the Park in a multitude of activities such as alien clearing, firefighting, path maintenance, guiding, cleansing and education.

Friends and volunteers differ slightly in that volunteers are directly linked to the Park whereas friends groups are independent associations that interact with the Park but have their own public voice.

However because many of these activities are specialised TMNP employs a fulltime Volunteer Manager to coordinate and oversee all activities.

For more information on volunteering in the Park or the various Friends groups please contact:

-- Top --



People & Conservation

Cultural Heritage

The Cape Peninsula has a rich social history to compliment its natural wonders ranging from the Stone Age to more modern times such as the two World Wars.

As custodians of the 25 000 hectare Table Mountain National Park that incorporates many of these historically significant sites, Park management is also tasked with protecting this valuable cultural heritage.

To this end the TMNP has developed a Heritage Resource Management Plan (HRMP) which outlines all the sites of cultural significance as well as identifies those most urgently demanding protection. Download the HRMP

A glance at our Cultural History

Traces of early stone age tools give evidence that early hunter gatherers lived on the Cape Peninsula around 600 000 years ago.

Later inhabitants – the San (hunter-gatherers) - harvested food from the seashore and evidence of their presence are the middens (prehistoric refuse heaps) that are found in a number of caves in the park and reveal a great deal about their lifestyle.

About 2000 years ago the Khoi Khoi migrated from the north, displacing the San, bringing with them their herds of cattle and sheep. It was the KhoiKhoi who were the dominant tribe when the Europeans sailed into Table Bay.

Other evidence of these early inhabitants is the rock art in Peer's Cave in the central section of the Park.

Early European Explorers

The first in a steady stream of Europeans to visit the Cape Peninsula was the explorer Bartholomew Dias who set sail from Portugal in 1487 to find a sea route to the riches of the East. And in 1488 they had unwittingly rounded the Cape of Good Hope.

It was a full 10 years later that Vasco da Gama set sail from Portugal, rounded the Cape and reached India, making him the first person to open the sea route from Europe to the East and proving that rounding the Cape of Good Hope did indeed provide hope of reaching the riches of the East.

Commemorative crosses have been erected to honour Dias and Da Gama at Bordjiesrif and near Platboom, respectively, in the Cape of Good Hope. Ever since, the Cape of Good Hope has been an important landmark for mariners and Table Bay at the foot of the majestic Table Mountain became, and still is, a haven where seafarers could seek shelter and take aboard fresh supplies of water and meat bartered from the Khoikhoi

Settlers & Slaves

In 1652, the Dutchman, Jan van Riebeeck, stepped ashore at Table Bay tasked with establishing a refreshment station for the Dutch East India Company and their ships that sailed the route to the Dutch East Indies. A fort (the Good Hope Castle) and gardens were established at the foot of Table Mountain. A viticulture industry was initiated and land was granted to settlers to grow crops. And so began European settlement at the Cape.

Tragically, European occupation of the Cape resulted in the virtual extermination of the Khoenkhoen tribes through slaughter and the introduction of European disease such as small pox against which these peaceful herders had no defense.

These European settlers have left a rich architectural history scattered around the Park such as the Kings Block House on Devil's Peak - an early fort built by the British in 1790 to guard against attack from the south west – and in the deep south an old farmstead, dating back to 1780, has been lovingly restored and is now the TMNP's Buffelsfontein Visitor Centre.

Other sites of interest include the lighthouse at Cape Point, the dams on top of Table Mountain, relics from both World Wars, Maclears Beacon (the highest point in the Park) and of course the numerous shipwrecks that litter the coastline.

However some of the most fascinating heritage sites have deep spiritual significance to the Muslim population of Cape Town. When slavery was rampant in the Cape slaves were imported from Malaysia and the east. Among these were prominent holy men whose Kramats are found in the Park such as those at Oudekraal and Signal Hill.

Probably the most well known heritage site in the Park is Rhodes Estate. Cecil John Rhodes was a powerful and controversial character who could be called the father of conservation on the Cape Peninsula having acquired land spanning the eastern slopes of Table Mountain from Devils Peak to Constantia Nek. On his death this land was bequeathed to the people of Cape Town and protected from development. This land, with the exception of Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens, is now managed by the TMNP.

For more information on the rich cultural history of Cape Town and the Peninsula please refer to the following museums:


-- Top --



Birding in Table Mountain National Park

Although bird numbers are not always impressive (compared to the bird rich eastern and northern parts of South Africa ), the Table Mountain National Park ’s cumulative bird list is a large one and there are several SA endemic species.

The diversity of habitats present (ocean, shoreline, cliff-face, rocky highland, fynbos, forest and suburbia) contributes to the large species count, as does the geographical positioning at a continent’s corner, which means many vagrants swell the list, due to weather conditions blowing stray birds or miscalculated flight journeys on the part of individual birds.

In fynbos regions one should search for Grey-backed Cisticola, Karoo Prinia, Cape Sugarbird , Orange-breasted, Malachite and Southern (Lesser) Double Collared Sunbird. Cape Siskin, Cape Rock-thrush and Ground Woodpecker should be looked for in rocky areas at higher elevation. In damp areas at high elevation, Striped Flufftail are found, although this species is more likely to be heard than seen. Birds of Prey should also be looked for overhead in these higher altitude areas. Verreaux’s (Black) Eagle, Jackal and Steppe (summer) Buz za rd, Rock Kestrel , and the occasional Lanner and Peregrine Falcon should all be scanned for. White-necked Raven is common.

In forest patches Sombre Greenbul (Bulbul), Olive Thrush, Cape Batis , Dusky and Paradise Flycatcher, Black Saw-wing, African Olive-Pigeon (Rameron Pigeon) and Lemon (Cinnamon) Dove are usually to be found. African Wood-Owl too is often present but is more elusive as are Rufous-chested (Red-breasted) Sparrowhawk and African Goshawk. In areas where exotic pines and oaks are present, pockets of the dwindling Chaffinch population may still be found. Dense thickets on forest fringes is the haunt of the Knysna Warbler, although this species is more likely to be heard than seen, particularly between September and November. Honey Buz za rd is another special to be searched for between from Newlands to Tokai, Constantia and Hout Bay .

One of the birding highlights of the peninsula is the African (Jackass) Penguin colony at Boulders Beach . Several hundred penguins are present all year round and the bird’s lack of fear and a well designed boardwalk means that visitors can obtain excellent sightings of this species at close quarters. During July 2000 a Greater Sheathbill found its way into the colony. It was thought to be a ship-assisted bird from the sub-Antarctic Islands .

If one has access to a telescope, pelagic seabird watching can prove rewarding at several points along the peninsula coastline. Cape Gannet, Blackbrowed Albatross, Sooty Shearwater, Whitechinned and Giant Petrels can be seen all year round when strong winds bring the birds closer to shore. Winter is the best time for seabirdwatching and Shy, and Yellownosed Albatross and Pintado Petrel compliment the previously mentioned species. Get on board an organised pelagic boat ride and you will see many more open-ocean species as well. Cory’s Shearwater is recorded in summer, particularly on the False Bay side of the peninsula.

Along the Peninsula coastline, African Black Oystercatcher may be found as well as four species of cormorant. Crowned, Bank, White-breasted and Cape Cormorant are all present, sometimes even seen side by side. Cape (Kelp) and Hartlaub’s Gull are abundant throughout, while Antarctic (winter), Swift (all year), Sandwich and Common (both summer) Tern may all be located.

-- Top --



Fauna

Ecosystems are not made up of plants alone and the animals that are indigenous to an area are integral to its health.

As you hike keep your eyes peeled for the animals that call the Table Mountain National Park home. Many are so well adapted to the fynbos ecosystem that you need to be quick to spot them.

The animals listed below are but a few of the Park's residents and may not be as overtly exciting as the “Big Five” but those lucky enough to observe them will be amazed by the variety of life supported by the Table Mountain chain.

Mammals

Historical evidence (rock art and fossils) give evidence that the Cape Peninsula was once populated by a variety of larger mammals such as lion, leopard and hyena, however due to hunting and environmental degradation they are but a memory.

TMNP management has started reintroduction of locally extinct species - but on the tamer side of things with the tiny klipspringer.

Antelope species adapted to fynbos are generally tiny and hard to spot but well worth the patience. Look out for klipspringer (Oreotragus oreotragus), recently reintroduced to Table Mountain. These petite buck are likely to be seen standing proudly on rocky outcrops. Grysbok (Raphicerus melanotis), common duiker (Sylvicapra grimmia), Grey Rhebok (Pelea capreolus) and steenbok (Raphicerus campestris) can also be spotted towards evening and in the early mornings.

Larger Antelope species such as Eland (Taurotragus oryx), Red Hartebeest (Alcelaphus buselaphus), Bontebok (Damaliscus dorcas dorcas) can be found in the Cape of Good Hope section of the TMNP.

Other mammals include: Cape Mountain Zebra (Equus zebra zebra), caracal or rooikat (Felis caracal), Large-spotted genet (Genneta tigrina), Small-spotted genet (Genneta genetta), porcupine (Hystrix africaeaustralus), Rock Hyrax (Procavia capensis), Chacma Baboons (papio ursinus), Cape Clawless Otter (Aonyx capensis), Water mongoose (Atilax paludinosus); Cape Molerat (Georhycus capensis), Striped Polecat (Ictonyx striatus); Cape Dune Mole (Bathyergus suillus) Water mongoose (Ayonix capensis), Small Grey Mongoose (Galerella purverulenta) and the Cape Fox (Vulpes chama).

Reptiles & Amphibians

Table Mountain hosts an amazing variety of reptiles and amphibians that, if you take the time to observe, are as interesting as larger animals, if not more so.

The TMNP is home to around 22 snakes, 10 of which are non-venomous, although they can still deliver a nasty bite if provoked and five of the venomous species include the Cape Cobra, the Puff Adder, Boomslang, Rinkhals and Berg Adder. The good news is it they are mostly shy and will avoid human contact. The one you are most likely to encounter is the Puff Adder which moves at a leisurely pace and enjoys a nice warm spots, such as rocks and pathways.

Of the species of lizard that inhabit the TMNP the most common are the Southern Rock Agama (males identifiable by a bright blue head during mating season), the Black Girdled Lizard (all black and definitely prehistoric in looks) and the Cape Skink (usually found relaxing on a good sunny rock).

TMNP is a haven for a variety of amphibians most notably the endemic and endangered Table Mountain Ghost Frog (Heleophryne rosei) and the endemic Cape Chirping Frog (Arthroleptella lightfooti).

Also look out for the Cape River Frog (Afrana fuscigula), the diminutive Arum Lily Frog (Hyperolius horstocki) and the Leopard Toad (Bufo pantherinus).

The slowest of all the reptiles, but definitely worth watching are the tortoises. Look out for the Angulate Tortoise (Chersina angulata) and the Parrot-beaked Tortoise (Homopus areolatus).

Birds

Although bird numbers are not always impressive (compared to the bird rich eastern and northern parts of South Africa), the Table Mountain National Park's cumulative bird list is a large one and there are several endemic species.

The diversity of habitats present (ocean, shoreline, cliff-face, rocky highland, fynbos, forest and suburbia) contributes to the large species count, as does the geographical positioning at a continent's corner, which means many vagrants swell the list, due to weather conditions blowing stray birds or miscalculated flight journeys on the part of individual birds. Please note that this list is not all inclusive.

In fynbos regions one should search for Grey-backed Cisticola (Cisticola subruficapilla), Karoo Prinia (Prinia maculosa), Cape Sugarbird (Pomerops cafer), Orange-breasted (Nectarina violacea), Malachite (Nectarina famosa) and Lesser Double Collared (Nectarina chalybea) sunbirds. Cape Siskin (Pseudochloroptila totta), Cape Rock-thrush (Monticola rupestris) and Ground Woodpecker (Geocolaptes olivaceus) should be looked for in rocky areas at higher elevation.

Birds of Prey should also be looked for overhead in higher altitude areas. Verreaux's (Black) Eagle (Aquila verreauxii), Jackal (Buteo rufofuscus) and Steppe (Buteo buteo vulpinus) buzzards, Rock Kestrel (Falco tinnunculus), and Peregrine Falcon (Falco Peregrinus) should all be scanned for.

In forest patches look for Sombre Bulbul (Andropadus importanus), Olive Thrush (Turdis olivaceus), Cape Batis (Batis capensis), Dusky (Muscicapa adusta) and Paradise flycatchers (Terpsiphone viridis), African Olive/ Rameron Pigeon (Columba arquatrix) and Cinnamon Dove (Aplopelia larvata).

African Wood-Owl (Strix woodfordii) are often present in forest areas as are Rufous-breasted Sparrowhawk (Accipiter rufiventris) and African Goshawk (Accipiter tachiro).
Dense thicket on forest fringes is the haunt of the Knysna Warbler (Bradypterus sylvaticus).

One of the birding highlights of the peninsula is the African Penguin (Spheniscus demersus) colony at Boulders Beach. Other seabird's include: Cape Gannet (Morus capensis), Black-browed Albatross (Diomedea melanophris), Sooty Shearwater, White-chinned and Giant petrels can be seen all year round when strong winds bring the birds closer to shore.

In winter look out for the Shy (Diomedea cauta) and Yellow-nosed (Diomedea chlororhynchos) albatross and Pintado Petrel (Daption capense).

Along the Peninsula coastline, the endangered African Black Oystercatcher (Haematopus moquini) can be found as well as four resident species of cormorant namely - Crowned (Phalacrocorax coronatus), Bank (Phalacrocorax neglectus), White-breasted (Phalacrocorax carbo) and Cape Cormorant (Phalacrocorax capensis). Kelp (Larus dominicanus), Hartlaub's (Larus hartlaubii) and Black-headed (Larus ridibundus) gulls are abundant throughout.

Download the birding checklist for Table Mountain National Park - Cape of Good Hope section.

Marine Life

The Cape Peninsula straddles the two bio-geographic provinces – the cool temperate Namaqua province to the west and the warm temperate South Coast province to the east. This is one of the most diverse and productive stretches in South Africa. The Cape Peninsula is even endemic to this change-over region. It is also the area of the longest commercial fishing in South Africa. The MPA was declared in order to protect this precious biodiversity from commercial and recreational exploitation.

Species that occur here range from microscopic planktons, crustaceans, abalone and rock lobster to giants such as the great white shark and the southern right whale. In between occur numerous types of fish such as hake, yellow tail and cape salmon – all three top-targeted commercial species. Others include red roman white steenbras and galjoen – popular for recreational anglers but under strictly regulated conditions due to their threatened status.

Want to find out the status of fish, simply SMS "fish species" to 079 4998795.

One of the reasons for the profusion of Great White Sharks in the False Bay is the abundant population of Cape Fur seals that have colonised Seal Island in the middle of the Bay. The Cape Fur Seal is also an efficient hunter in its own right.

Whale Watching

A major tourist attraction is whale spotting as the MPA is a popular breeding ground for species such as the Southern Right (Eubalaena australis) and Humpback (Megaptera novaeangliae) whales. From August to October these giants of the deep awe visitors on an annual basis with their amazingly graceful marine acrobatics. Good vantage points for whale spotting are Chapman's Peak Drive, Rooikrans, Boyes Drive and the Scarborough/ Kommetjie Pass.

Other popular marine mammals are the dolphins that inhabit the MPA, these graceful and curious animals can be found body surfing the various breaks around the peninsula. Commonly sighted species are the Bottlenose Dolphin (Lagenorhynchus delphis), the Common Dolphin (Delphinus delphis) and the Dusky Dolphin (Tursiops truncates).

Insects

There are a profusion of insects in the TMNP and they play an integral role in the fynbos ecosystem either by directly pollinating plants or as a vital source of nutrient for birds and animals that themselves act as distributors of seed.

Certain insects are especially adapted to service specific plants. Look out for butterflies such as the Mountain Pride Butterfly (Aeropetes tulbaghia) that is the exclusive pollinator of a variety of red plants such as the red disa, and the red crassula.

-- Top --



Flora

Fynbos

The Table Mountain National Park (TMNP) is rich in floral biodiversity and is part of the Cape Floral Kingdom World Heritage Site. The most common vegetation type in the TMNP is fynbos (meaning fine bush).

Fynbos is an ancient yet unique vegetation type and has developed over millions of years with restios dating as far back as 60 million years. It has a high level of endemism (when a specific plant occurs nowhere else on earth) often with a species being endemic to an area of a few kilometres only. It is this high level of endemism combined with the high rate of development and environmental degradation that has resulted in the Cape Floral Kingdom being declared a biodiversity hot spot.

Fynbos consists of four major plant groups:-

Fynbos is a fire-dependent vegetation that needs to burn around every 15 years to stimulate new growth and ensure that plant and animal communities remain healthy. However, because of the proximity of houses to the TMNP, often fires that would be beneficial to the vegetation are extinguished because of the threat to human settlement. If fynbos does not burn in about 20 - 30 years it will become moribund which could result in the extinction of some species.

On the other hand certain areas of the Park experience fire too frequently due to human intervention. This can be destructive to the ecosystem because when young fynbos (fynbos that has not yet reached seed-bearing status) burns, seed banks are depleted which can change the diversity of plant species in the area, e.g. more grass species, which could result in even more frequent fires.

Visit our section on Fire Management to find out how the TMNP Firefighting Unit operates.

Renosterveld

Renosterveld (rhinoceros field) is a type of vegetation found on the slopes of Signal Hill and Devil’s Peak, wherever there are exposures of Malmesbury shale.

It thus occurs on gentle to steep lower slopes forming a tall, open shrubland and grassland, typically with Renosterbos not appearing very prominently. This vegetation is very grassy due to frequent fires and lack of grazing. On south-facing slopes and upper slopes this unit merges into fynbos. The early seral (?) stages after fire are dominated by spectacular bulb displays and resprouting bush clumps of Wax Currant-rhus, after which tussock grasses, shrubs and ferns emerge. After only 12 months the reseeding species start to become more obvious, much faster than in Fynbos.

This is a critically endangered vegetation unit, with only 13% remaining, the rest having been lost under Cape Town’s urban sprawl. A fair proportion of the conserved area on Devil’s Peak is covered by pine and gum parkland, and is the focus of restoration research.

Renosterveld burns every 3–5 years to the dismay of Cape Town citizens, but this is the natural fire frequency for this vegetation type, especially where it is not heavily grazed.. Large portions of Signal Hill however, have been, protected from fire for up to 25 years, and as a consequence, bush encroachment and invasion by alien Thatching Grass is providing a management challenge for protecting the bulbs and succulents in this veld type.

Information from: Fynbos Biome in The Vegetation of South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland by A.G. Rebelo, C. Boucher, N. Helme, L. Mucina, M.C. Rutherford et al. 2006. L. Mucina & M.C. Rutherford (eds). Strelitzia 19, pp 52-219.

Afromontane Forest

While we have no real indication of the expanse of Afromontane Forest on the peninsula in pre-colonial times, today only small pockets remain in the TMNP as during 50 years of European settlement, large areas of Afromontane had been harvested.

Afromontane Forest usually occurs below 800m and requires good rainfall and nutrient-rich soil and today is found primarily in kloofs on the slopes of Table Mountain but it does occur as far south as the Cape of Good Hope. It consists of medium-height (15m-20m), evergreen trees and unlike its neighbour fynbos, it is not very rich in diversity and consists of around 33 species of trees.

Due to the dense nature of the forest canopy, only a few other plants, such as ferns, are found in the forest but there is an abundance of algae’s and mosses. The majority of animals in the forests are of the reptilian, invertebrate (insect) or avian persuasion although you can see rooikat and smaller antelope such as steenbok.

For good forest walks visit the activities section.

Sensitive Ecosystems

Rivers & Wetlands

The few remaining wetlands on the Cape Peninsula are of huge ecological significance. The Noordhoek/ Kommetjie wetlands and the central area of Table Mountain are excellent representatives of wetland ecology. Their slightly acidic nature limits the number of plants that grow there, although numbered among those that do are some of the Park's rarest floral jewels such as the Bokmakieriestert (Witsenia maura), Erica heleogena and three endemic leucodendrons all of which are numbered on the IUCN's Red Data List.

Recommended Read:

For an enlightening read that will greatly enhance your enjoyment of the TMNP, buy Mountains in the Sea – an Interpretive Guide to Table Mountain National Park by award winning environmental journalist John Yeld. The book comprehensively covers all aspects of the Park from fauna, flora and fire to popular hikes and history. It is available from TMNP outlets at Westlake, Tel: 021 701 8692, Boulders Penguin Colony, Tel: 021 786 2392 and Buffelsfontein Visitor Centre, Tel: 021 780 9204.

For more information on the flora of the TMNP visit: www.botanicalsociety.org.za or www.sanbi.org.za.

-- Top --



Alien Clearing

One of the biggest threats to the biodiversity of the Table Mountain National Park is the presence of alien invasive plant species. In particular, adult, woody seed-bearing alien invasive plants such as Port Jackson, Rooikrans, Wattle, Hakea, Pine and Blue Gum are especially threatening.

These trees have several negative impacts on the fynbos ecosystem:

For the reasons listed above alien clearing is a core part of TMNP's biodiversity management. The alien clearing programme is undertaken in partnership between TMNP and Working for Water, an Expanded Public Works Programme implemented by the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry (DWAF) which employs between 300 - 350 people from surrounding communities to work in the park.

Other alien clearing initiatives are being undertaken in the indigenous Afromontane forests. There are around 360 alien plants in Newlands forest alone, most of them invasive. These aliens are garden escapees such as Chinese Privet and Eugenia and pose a real threat to the natural diversity of the forests.

TMNP Mill

The Milling Project is a small project, based in Tokai, falling within the Working for Water Programme (WFW). Seen as a Value-Added industry, the Milling Team specifically mill alien tree species (e.g. gum trees) into planks which can be used by SANParks for repairing and building new boardwalks, bird hides, etc. The aim is to promote a culture of "reduce, re-use, recycle" whilst at the same time reducing fire risks on the mountain slopes. The most important objective is the relief of poverty and the development of communities through job creation.

After felling and de-branching the trees, the branches are stacked for prescribed burning. The excess material that is left over after milling the logs is used for fire wood and the sawdust can be used by the Horse stables nearby as "bedding" for the horses.

Interesting Links:

www.arc.agric.za
SAPIA (ARC-Plant Protection Research Institute) keeps you up-to-date via an electronic newsletter with information on what aliens you need to be on the lookout for as well as updates on biodiversity control.

http://za.ispot.org.uk
iSpot is an avenue for laymen to contribute (usually by uploading images) interesting sightings of animals, plants and fungi that they encounter. Any observations from the wild or your garden, from an alien to a threatened species, is welcomed. iSpot will help you to identify any unknown species.

How can I help?

If you would like to be a volunteer involved with alien clearing, contact Calvin Mojapelo of the People & Conservation Department on 021 712 0527.

-- Top --



To report a fire in the TMNP

Please call:

Fire Management

Fire season in Cape Town extends from November toMay and the dry and windy summers create the ideal conditions for wildfires to occur. The TMNP has a team of dedicated fire-fighters and firefighting volunteers on standby during the entire season.

Fire management in the TMNP is made complex by the fact that as biodiversity conservators Park Management must recognise that fact that fire is an integral part of the fynbos ecosystem while respecting the need to protect life and property on the urban edge.

There are various management interventions undertaken to meet both needs as well as various agencies responsible for Fire Management.

Download the TMNP Fire Management Plan.

Fire Management Organisations

TMNP manages 25 000 hectares of the 30 000 hectares that make up the Cape Peninsula Protected Natural Environment (CPPNE). The remaining 5 000 hectares is a mix of private, City and State-owned land.

The City of Cape Town and TMNP are responsible for the management of fires in the area and have a Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) that defines their areas of responsibility and working relationship.

Table Mountain National Park is responsible for managing fire in the Park and on the urban edge and will assist the City in fighting veld and forest fires on municipal land.

TMNP has 76 field staff available to fight fires but during the fire season we hire 70 trained contract fire fighters to assist Park staff in fire fighting with 40 on 24 hour standby duty through out the fire season.

The City of Cape Town aims to protect life and property from fire within the Cape Town Metropolitan area and will assist the TMNP in protecting houses on the urban edge and in fighting fires that have started in road reserves or municipal land that have spread to the Park.

Volunteer Wildfire Services (VWS) is a volunteer organization that assists TMNP with fighting and securing wildfires in the park. These firefighters are on call anytime night or day, all year round. The VWS runs from bases in Newlands and South Peninsula. To support, join or find out more about the VWS please visit their website: www.capefires.com

Working on Fire was started to assist government and private organizations in combating wildfires. TMNP went into partnership with Working on Fire (WoF) Programme in 2004 which gives us access to the assistance of additional ground crew and equipment, such as helicopters.

Fire Protection Association

Appointed as Fire Protection Officer TMNP’s Manager of Fire and Technical Services, the Cape Peninsula Fire Protection Association (CPFPA) was formed to prevent, predict, manage and extinguish veldfires. Membership is voluntary for private landowners but is compulsory for owners of state and local authority land.

Fire Management Interventions

Firebreaks

Prescribed Burns

These are burns set by fire managers under controlled conditions. In Cape Town they are generally planned for March and April once the weather is favourable: no or little wind and a good amount of moisture is present.

TMNP also needs to take account the risk of being on the urban edge - if a prescribed burn escapes it can result in expensive damage to properties and infrastructure.

Stack Burning

Alien plant clearing can result in the accumulation of large quantities of fuel in the form of dead brush, usually stacked in heaps. These stacks are burnt under moist conditions usually between June and August.

Alien Plants

There are many alien plants that grow in the TMNP. Aliens burn with more intensity than fynbos because they tend to be woody with high levels of volatile oils. If unplanned fires occur in old stands of alien plants the fire can get so hot it will sterilize the soil resulting in poor fynbos recovery. Alien fuelled fires are also difficult to contain.

For this reason, among others, the TMNP runs an intensive alien clearing programme funded by Working for Water.

Causes of Fire

-- Top --



Geology

Although not strictly part of Biodiversity Management, the unique and often oddly shaped geology of the Table Mountain National Park deserves a mention.

The Cape Peninsula is composed of three main rock formations of varying ages.

For more information please visit: http://web.uct.ac.za/depts/geolsci/cape.htm

-- Top --



Marine Protected Area

The seas around the Cape Peninsula are rich in marine biodiversity because it is where the cold Benguela and warm Atlantic currents mix. In 2004 the Table Mountain National Park Marine Protected Area (MPA) was pronounced to help ensure that commercial and recreational use of the ocean is sustainable.

The MPA includes 1000km2 of the sea and coastline around the Cape Peninsula from Moullie Point in the North to Muizenberg in the south. While fishing is allowed in the majority of the MPA - subject to the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries’ (DAFF) permits, regulations and seasons, it also includes six restricted areas with five "no take" zones within the MPA where no fishing or extractive activities are allowed. In the sixth restricted area around the Karbonkelberg in Hout Bay, only snoek are allowed to be caught deeper than the 35m contour.

These restricted or “no-take” zones are important breeding and nursery areas for marine life and through leaving these undisturbed there will ultimately be an increase in marine stock and threatened species are given a chance to regenerate.

The MPA is managed by TMNP in conjunction with the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF). TMNP undertakes the administrative and inshore law enforcement and educational activities while DAFF is responsible for issuing permits, quotas and law enforcement.  

There are strict rules and regulations in place regarding fishing in the MPA – click here to view these. Alternatively, visit the department’s website at www.environment.gov.za.

For further information on fishing, season dates, marine species, etc, please click on a link below:

West Coast Rock Lobster
Abalone
DAFF website 

The Marine Team, based at Kommetjie adjacent to the Slangkop Tented camp, is faced with the challenge of combating poaching and educating the fishing communities around sustainable use. Poaching is the single biggest threat to our marine environment and has resulted in strict regulations and bans on some recreational activities. Members of the public are asked to report poaching on 021 783 0234.

For information on sustainable use of the oceans please visit: http://www.wwf.org.za/sassi or send an SMS to 079 499 8795.

-- Top --



Planning & Development

The TMNP’s Conservation Planning and Development Department has a wide range of responsibilities:

Land Consolidation

Table Mountain National Park was established through the proclamation of the initial 14 500 hectares of City land as National Park. Park Management was tasked with incorporating all remaining, undeveloped conservation-worthy land on and around the Cape Peninsula Protected Natural Environment (CPPNE) within the TMNP’s management jurisdiction. The TMNP is 25 000 hectares in extent of the 30 000 hectares that comprise the CPPNE.

The Department has a process underway to secure the remaining conservation worthy City and public land and a CPPNE Private Land Consolidation Strategy which seeks to consolidate private land into the Park by donation, purchase, contract or cooperative agreement. Land consolidation progress is summarized in the Park’s “Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow” maps.

Policy Management

Management of the Table Mountain National Park is informed by various policies and management plans. The Planning Department is responsible for the management and updating of all policy documents. For more information please visit the Library.

Information Management

All information regarding the Park recorded by plotting it into an Environmental Information System (EIS). This includes topics such as footpath and road networks, alien clearing activities, heritage sites, boundaries, firebreaks, heritage mapping and facility positions.

Signage

Part of the Park’s Visitor Management Programme includes ensuring that there is a comprehensive system of directional and informational signage throughout the TMNP. A comprehensive Signage Manuel serves as the basis for provision of signage throughout the Park.

Land Use Planning

The Department has prepared an overarching spatial planning framework for the Park – the Conservation Development Framework – which identifies recreational use zones, visitor sites and provides for the management of the Park-City interface. Planning frameworks are prepared for priority areas for implementation of visitor infrastructure and outsourcing via the SANParks concession programme.


-- Top --



Research & Projects

The Expanded Public Works Programme

The Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) administered by the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry (DWAF) assists in various environmental projects in the TMNP as well as other sensitive areas across the country.  All alien clearing undertaken in the TMNP is funded by Working for Water.
EPWP Projects include those under the following programmes:

For more information, click here to visit EPWP’s website.

In 2004 TMNP received a R35 million grant from the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism (DEAT) for the Expanded Public Works Programme. This initiated Phase 1 of the EPWP programme at TMNP. The grant allowed the park to engage over 400 people from local communities surrounding the park, through skills training and development over a 3 year period..

At the end of 2007, the park received an extension for another year, and at the end of 2008, received a further R6 million as a further extension on phase 1. This brought the total grant to R41 million (2004 – 2009).

The second phase of the project received R8 million from which 92 beneficiaries were employed. Phase 2 was initiated in November 2009 and concluded in June 2012.

Forest Rehabilitation Programme

The TMNP Forest Rehabilitation Programme aims to protect, restore and expand the Afromontane Forests of the Peninsula.

Project

Project Sponsor

Seed Collection

Table Mountain Fund and SAPPI

Gap Management

City/ DEAT

Weed Control

DEAT

Medicinal Herb Garden

National Lotto Company

 

The Seed Collection Project

Seven seed collectors, employed from disadvantaged communities, have been trained in seed collecting, germination and propagation.
Seeds are collected locally in order to preserve genetic integrity. Once collected they are germinated in the nursery at Newlands. Seedlings are planted out once they are around 15 cm tall because they are more likely to adapt to ecological challenges than established trees. Trees are planted in groups or nurse stands – in forester’s jargon this is referred to as “trees growing trees”.
The seedlings are planted in smallish holes and watered just once - the rest is up to the tree and climatic conditions - this ensures that forest rehabilitation is as close to the natural process as possible.

Country-wide this type of forestry is still very much in a research phase.
Within the first five-years (2000-2005) 35 000 seedlings were planted in degraded areas of Newlands and Orange Kloof. In time the project will be rolled out to other areas in the TMNP

Gap Management

The Gap Management Project started in 2004 and aims to manage the felling of big forest trees (mostly alien) in order to minimize damage to the forest canopy if a large tree with an expansive crown falls naturally. Specialist felling is followed by intensive site rehabilitation.

The six staff, originally from the Chrysalis Academy, have been trained in arboriculture, advanced chainsaw skills and business management. Once their training is complete they will be well qualified to market their skills on the open market.

Weed Control

There are around 360 alien plants in Newlands forest alone, most of them invasive. These aliens are garden escapees such as Chinese Privet and Eugenia and pose a real threat to the natural diversity of the forests. In order to stem this deadly tide of growth 10 individuals from the Hangberg Community in Hout Bay have been recruited and trained to specialize in alien clearing in forested areas. This includes the ability to distinguish between alien and indigenous seedlings.

Klipspringer Reintroduction

In 1999 the TMNP started a klipspringer (Oreotragus oreotragus) reintroduction programme. This tiny antelope had been hunted to local extinction in the 1930’s.
The first introduction of 19 animals was into the enclosed Cape of Good Hope section of the Park in 1999. This population has settled down well and has begun breeding.

The second release was the historic reintroduction of the klipspringer onto Table Mountain and Klawer Valley in October 2003.
CapeNature donated 25 klipspringer to TMNP and the Table Mountain Fund (TMF) funded VHF radio collars and a master’s study.

Then in October 2005 CapeNature donated a further 10 klipspringer to the TMNP and the TMF came on board again and funded with more sophisticated GPS collars that are more suited to the mountainous terrain.
The klipspringer reintroduction programme is the subject of a master’s study and further reintroductions are currently being considered.

-- Top --



World Heritage Site Status

In June 2004 the Cape Floristic Region (CFR), which spans the eastern and western Cape, was declared to be: of universal significance to humanity and was inscribed as a Natural World Heritage Site.

The site is a serial nomination and is made up of eight separate areas that are considered to be representative samples of the entire region and is managed by four different authorities namely South African National Parks (SANParks), CapeNature, the Eastern Cape Nature Conservation Board (ECNCB) and the South African Biodiversity Institute (SANBI).

Why the CFR was declared a Natural World Heritage Site

The CFR is the smallest and richest of the six floral kingdoms that occur on earth. It is also the only kingdom confined to one continent and is home to an amazing 8 200 plant species - of which around 80% are fynbos. The significance of this hits home when you consider that the British Isles, 3 ½ times the size, boasts less than 1 500 plant species.

Many of the plants that occur here are endemic – that means that they occur nowhere else on earth. To add to this there are around 1,406 threatened plant species, 300 of which are endangered or critically endangered and 29 plant species are already extinct. It is this combination of high diversity and levels of threat from issues like urbanization, poor fire management and alien species that makes the CFR the world’s hottest floral hot-spot. Add to this the increase in global warming and pollution.

South Africa’s World Heritage Sites

The City of Cape Town now boasts no less than three World Heritage sites:

The other sites in SA are the Greater St Lucia Wetland Park, Sterkfontein – Cradle of Humankind, Mapungubwe Cultural Landscape and the uKhahlamba-Drakensberg Park.

For more information on World Heritage Sites, the Cape Floristic Region and threatened ecosystems please visit:


-- Top --



People with disabilities

Wheelchair Access

Accommodation

The park accommodation is geared towards hikers and while the camps themselves are equipped with boardwalks that enable mobility, the ablutions are not adapted for wheelchair users, but there are many accessible accommodation options around the park in the city of Cape Town.

Guide Dogs

Place Name Telephone E-mail
North Hilton Blumeris 021 4221601 hilton.blumeris@sanparks.org
North/ Table Mountain Jannie Du Plessis 021 4221601 jannie.duplessis sanparks.org
Central / Silvermine Jaclyn Smith 021 7892456 jaclyn.smith@sanparks.org
South – Cape of Good Hope & Red Hill Justin Buchmann 021 780 9100 justin.buchman@sanparks.org
South – Boulders Monique Ruthenberg 021 786 2329 monique.ruthenberg@sanparks.org

Accessible Activities & Facilities

There are several tourist destinations within the confines of the TMNP. The major visitor destinations are listed here. These have varying accessibility levels for the mobility impaired.

-- Top --




Have a question? Why not ask on the forums?

Help us improve! Did you find what you were looking for?

YES

NO