Cape Town - With the full moon lighting the way, hundreds of hikers are expected to make their way up the iconic Lion's Head in Table Mountain National Park (TMNP) this coming full moon.
TMNP, however, has urged climbers to be extra vigilant within the park, where a handful of tragic accidents and security-breaching incidents have happened in the past.
Over the years, many hikers died after falling on Lion's Head, and regardless of the route being popular, it remains a very dangerous one.
TMNP has warned hikers to stay on the designated paths, and also urged hikers not to hike in mass groups. TMNP says the park has capacity limitations and hikers should therefore limit group sizes between four and ten people.
There have also been reports of robberies and attacks on TMNP in the past. In July this year, a group of students were robbed of their belongings at knifepoint on Lion’s Head. TMNP urged hikers to be vigilant of the risks of hiking at night.
Regardless of the safety risks involved, city dwellers in the Mother City head to Lions Head in droves during full moon - all eager to catch a glimpse of the city lights.
It's best you err on the side of safety. Note the following when embarking on your next hike up Lions Head:
- If capacity is reached at Lion’s Head people will be turned back by SANParks' rangers to ensure the safety of others.
- The road leading to Lion’s Head will be closed to allow free flow in case of emergencies.
- Hikers are requested to make use of the Kloofnek parking at corner of Tafelberg and Signal Hill road.
- Hikers are requested to cooperate with the Visitor Safety Rangers and the Police.
When numbers increase, so does the danger of the hike, warns TMNP.
The following safety guidelines should be observed:
- Don’t hike or cycle alone – go in groups of four or more but no more than 10.
- Do not carry valuables, cash, cameras, i-pods etc. Theft has been reported in TMNP before.
- If confronted by suspects – do not resist.
Lastly, all hikers should save the following number on their phones before embarking on the hike, in the event of an emergency:
TMNP Control: 0861 106 417
In the event of an incident, please contact SANParks as the collection of information is important to prevent future incidents. All incidents must also be reported to the nearest police station.
If you take these safety cautions to heart, your hike to the top of Lion's Head should be a rewarding one!
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