Cape Town - Summer holidays are upon us and with the sun rays heating up the Mother City, we've put together some helpful tips and special promotions to help you enjoy Table Mountain National Park (TMNP) and surrounding sites.
In TMNP, crimes against visitors have become a serious concern over the past two years, with muggings being a number one risks for hikers and mountain bikers.
In November this year, visitor and overall wildlife safety in the Cape Region's national parks, and Table Mountain National Park specifically, was improved thanks to extensive new Environmental Management Inspectorate (EMI) training, completed by 119 SANParks rangers from the Cape Region alone.
The rangers acquired skills which will equip them with environmental law enforcement capacity, in the fight against mountain and environmental crime, as well as crimes against visitors in the parks.
READ: Table Mountain safety: SANParks Rangers speak out
So, you can enjoy the TMNP with more peace of mind this summer season.
Here are some helpful hints to make the most of your Cape Town nature getaway this holiday season:
ALSO READ: SA summer safety: What you need to know to keep safe this holiday season
Table Mountain Aerial Cableway
The Table Mountain Cableway are currently running their ½ price Sunset Special promotion from November 1 to December 18 and then from January 4 to February 29 whereby return tickets are half price after 18:00.
Please note that these dates exclude 19 December 2015 – 3 January 2016.
SEE: Table Mountain Cableway launches half-price sunset special for summer
Keep your eyes glued to Cape Point’s social media platforms [Facebook, Twitter and Instagram] to see how you could win amazing prizes as they run their Summer 2015 campaign: “What at Cape Point am I?”.
From tips to shores, to shipwrecks, historic places and so much more. Follow the clues each week to unveil where we are and learn more about our favourite spots – guess where we are and you could win! Watch their Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages for clues to reveal the weekly location from 14 December 2015 – 3 January 2016.
Important Gate Times and Closures
Due to capacity constraints there may be delays or temporary gate closures at popular tourist spots such as Boulders and Cape Point.
Boulders Beach hours are from 07:00 - 19:30. Please remember to check the tide table, high tide means very limited space on the beach. Once capacity is reached, the beach will be closed.
The Cape of Good Hope section closes daily at 18:00 and the Park kindly advises visitors to arrive early if you plan to picnic or braai, as space is limited to first come first serve.
The Tokai Wild Card Sales Office will close at 13:00 on 24 December 2015 and reopen at 08:00 on 4 January 2016.
The Wild Card office will commence normal working days from Monday to Friday, 08:00 to 16:00.
READ: What you need to know about the Wild Card membership fees increase
Please note that My Activity Permits and My Green Cards can be purchased from Cape Town Tourism Visitor Centres in addition to the Tokai Wild Card Sales Office. Some of these offices will be open over the public holidays in season and can be contacted on (0)21 762 0687.
NOTE: A My Green Card may not be renewed prior to the expiry date as exhibited on the card. Wild Cards can be renewed online on www.wildcard.co.za
Some valuable tips when hiking in the Park:
Don’t hike or cycle alone – go in groups of 4 or more but no more than 10.
Don’t carry valuables, cash, cameras, i-pods etc.
If confronted by suspects – do not resist.
Do not cycle or hike before 08:00am or after 18:00pm.
Emergency numbers: TMNP Control 0861-106-417/ SAPS 10111
Take plenty water with you – and remember your dogs. Please also remember to bring along poo bags – this will keep the trails clean for all mountain users.
Visiting the picnic and braai sights this holiday? Please follow the following rules:
Remember to keep the area clean from litter.
Wear sun-block, a hat and bring a light, all-weather jacket with you in Cape Town you can never be sure how many seasons you’ll get in a day!
Programme the TMNP emergency phone numbers (seen above) onto your cell phone and make sure someone at home knows where you are. Use this number if you see suspicious individuals on the mountain, if you get stuck, lost or injured – rangers are there to help you.
Don't throw your cigarette butts out of your car window – Cape Town summers are often dry and windy and it takes just one spark to start a devastating fire – to animals, plants and neighbouring communities.
Please do not feed any baboons you may encounter – they are wild animals and can become dangerous. If you see a problematic baboon – call the Baboon Hotline on 071 588 6540.
Keep a watchful eye when out in the sun for our shy and slinky citizens – the Cape likes to show off in the sun, whilst her friend, the Puff Adder, is often out on night shift.
ALSO READ: What to know about snakes in SA this dry, summer holiday