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Safety on Table Mountain

We want everyone to have a great experience in Table Mountain National Park. Here’s our advice on how to keep safe while having fun and who to contact if you need help.

Safe Hiking

The main risks on Table Mountain are injuries, getting lost and dangerous weather. Less common, but still important to bear in mind, is the possibility of crime.

10 Basic Rules of Mountain Safety

  1. Don’t hike alone; four is the ideal group size. 

  2. Plan your route and stick to it. Allow yourself enough time – start early and turn back if you’re running late. Inform someone of your route and the time you’re expected back.

  3. Walk at the pace of the slowest hiker.

  4. Stick to well-used paths. Don’t take shortcuts or stray into ravines.

  5. Always pack waterproof clothing, even in summer, and wear sturdy walking shoes or boots, a hat and sunblock. The weather can change rapidly – be prepared.

  6. Take a fully charged phone. Some parts of the park do not have reception, but most of the time you’ll be able to reach a place with signal quicker than you’ll get to a landline.

  7. Carry more than enough water – at least 2L in summer – and extra snacks in case of a delay.

  8. If lost, try retracing your steps, but remember that climbing down is often harder than climbing up. Please call for help instead of taking a risk (see the relevant emergency numbers below).

  9. If lost or forced to stop because of bad weather, stay together and remain in one place. Find the closest shelter from wind and rain.

  10. In case of injury, take time to assess the situation. Then send two people for help and let the third remain with the injured person. If possible, use your phone’s map app to pin the location.


Emergency Numbers

Save these numbers in your phone before you head out.


For rescue in and around Cape Town:

To report crime, fires or other emergencies in TMNP:

  • Table Mountain National Park Emergency Services: +27 (0)21 480 7700

Other useful numbers and apps:

  • National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI): +27 (0)87 094 9774

  • Table Mountain Cableway: +27 (0)21 424 0015

  • For tracking on the mountain – and help should you encounter any difficulties – sign up for the WhatsApp-based SafetyMountain Tracking.

  • ​Download the Buzzer app for another way to report crime, fires or medical emergencies in Cape Town and alert nearby private security companies. This community safety app provides your precise location to responders.​

Buzzer App
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Download Buzzer

South Africa's fastest growing personal safety app.

Groups to Join

Have fun, meet new people and stay safe.


  • There are several hiking groups on Meet Up.

  • Tuesday Trails and Chicks Who Trail (women only) organise weekly group trail runs. (Note that neither are suitable for beginners.)

  • Post on the Hiking Cape Town Facebook page to link up with like-minded mountain users.

  • Book a professionally guided hike.

Crime on Table Mountain

Cape Town has an extremely high level of inequality, which is a key driver of crime. As such, it is a reality that there are instances of car break-ins and muggings on Table Mountain. Cases are relatively rare considering the amount of people on the trails every day – but awareness is important.

  • Do not leave anything visible in your car (even a sweater).

  • Double-check your car is locked (thieves use remote jamming devices).

  • There is safety in numbers – hike, run or bike in a group.

  • On the trail, try to keep valuables hidden as much as possible.

  • If you are confronted by a criminal, please do not resist handing over your belongings.

Positive results


Since the end of 2023, a joint security and awareness effort from various stakeholders has yielded positive results, thanks to more law enforcement presence on the trails and better collaboration between private and public organisations.


At FOTM, we are advocating for more security personnel and a continuation of improved communication between relevant parties.

Trail hotspots


The vast majority of the mountain is free of crime, but there are consistent ‘hotspots’ worthy of extra caution – such as adding a couple more people to your group – or, in some cases, avoiding completely.


Please note this is not an exhaustive list and crime can occur anywhere.


  • Signal Hill (extra caution)

  • Deer Park jeep tracks (extra caution)

  • Rocket Road-Sandy Bay (extra caution; hike in a big group)

  • Hangberg trails and the Sentinel Peak (hike with a local guide or avoid)

  • Trails around Kleinplaas Dam, between Simon’s Town and Scarborough (avoid)


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