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Table Mountain Safety

Beautiful and wondrous as Table Mountain is, it can be hazardous for hikers and should always be regarded with caution and respect. Do not hike alone, unfortunately Table Mountain safety need to be addressed and become an increasing concern. Incidents have occurred mainly in places low down on Table mountain slopes. I have never had the displeasure of being in nasty incidents in all my years of guiding but it is something to be aware of. Take extra precaution and be more vigilant.

Table Mountain safety only include checking the weather forecast. It can be very unpredictable and can change quickly, every year people have to be rescued because they set out inadequately prepared. It can be desperately unpleasant and on occasion even fatal.

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Here is a short list of some essential precautions:

  • Choose an experienced guide/leader for your group.
  • Carry plenty water and nutritious snack food
  • Take a whistle and basic First Aid kit.
  • Don't take short cuts
  • Always listen to your guide.
  • Choose your route according to your ability, fitness and experience.
  • Never split up and go in different directions.
  • Travel at the pace of the slowest member.
  • Avoid routes that are too hard or long, do not descend unknown ravines or cliffs.
  • If you feel you have lost your way, do not forge ahead but rather return along the way you came.
  • Watch the time - avoid walking in the dark, but carry a torch just in case you need one.
  • Know how long the hike takes before you start out; take into consideration the seasonal change in the time.
  • Plan your walk with sufficient time needed.



  • Do not plan to hike during or after bad weather.
  • The rocks on the mountain get very slippery in wet weather.
  • Get a proper weather forecast.
  • Do not plan to hike if there is a cold front approaching.
  • Do not continue in heavy rain or mist, you must conserve your energy.

Cape Town

Broken clouds
  • Broken clouds
  • Wind: South-Southwest, 18.5 km/h
  • Visibility: 10 km
Reported on:
Tue, 11/13/2018 - 06:00
Clothing and Gear
  • Be aware that weather on the mountain can change very rapidly, take wind and waterproof clothing.
  • Bring along sun-block, sunglasses and a hat for protection from the sun, wear suitable hiking shoes.
  • Always carry a cell phone and know the emergency rescue numbers.
  • Carry a good contour map - the best are by Peter Slingsby.
  • Carry adequate water (especially in summer) and food to replace energy.
  • The more strenuous the walk - the more refreshments you will need. If you are doing a 6 hour hike - take sandwiches and solid food.

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