As the end of the year approaches, more people are on leave and have time to visit some of the beautiful nature parks the Cape has to offer. As a result, Table Mountain National Park is urging all visitors to exercise caution during festive season and take note of the information below before visiting the Park.
All visitors who wish to take their dog for a walk, sport climb, paraglide, horse ride, line fish and cycle in the Park either need a day activity permit or an annual activity permit. Visitors must inform the park of any specific activities they plan on carrying out in the park, as there may be a permit that needs to be issued.
“We do not accept electronic proof of SA ID on the phone but we do accept certified copies of SA ID or driver’s license. There will be increased recreational visitors to all sites and please take note of the key information below for all sites,” the Park said in a statement.
The Rooikrans satellite parking area will be available as overflow parking for Cape Point between December 15, 2019 and January 5, 2020. There will be buses available to transport visitors to and from Rooikrans and they will run free between the dates mentioned.
Additional staff will be there 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. A capacity allocation will be implemented at Cape Point and the gates will be closed daily when this threshold is reached.
Note that in some places in Cape Point the road markings are currently not in place due to road buildings operations – please drive with extreme caution and stick to the advertised speed limits in the Park. The beaches at Cape Point do not have lifeguards 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.
For more information call 021 780 9100
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,” TMNP said in a statement.
“We do not have lifeguards on duty at Boulders Beach and you swim at your own risk,” it said.
Boulders Hours of operation are 7am to 7.30pm.
No gazebos or tents are allowed on the beach, only standard umbrellas. No alcohol or smoking is permitted in the Park. Note, selfie sticks are banned. “We ask you to respect the penguin’s space. Parking is limited at Boulders and the parking areas become quickly congested,” it added.
Should you encounter any traffic issues over season please contact 021 799 5100 and 021 812 4580. For more information: 021 786 2329
No braaing is 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,” TMNP said.
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 lifeguards 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, and opens at 7am to 7pm,” the park added.
No entry permitted after 6pm and no pass-outs allowed. A capacity allocation will be implemented at Silvermine. The policy of ‘what you bring in, you take out’ is in place at Silvermine visitors to take their litter with them.
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. Opens at 7am and closes at 8pm. No entry permitted after 4pm, and no pass-outs are allowed. No gazebos or tents are allowed, only standard umbrellas. Visitors are also urged to bring their own grid.
Baboons 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 per adult child or child entry fee,” the park added.
For more information contact the Tokai Picnic Kiosk on 021 715 5849. Fires may only be made in demarcated braaing sites and areas only.
The Oudekraal Picnic site is open year-round and operates on a first come first serve basis.
In the summer Oudekraal is open daily. No alcohol or music is allowed in the picnic site. No gazebos or tents are allowed, but standard umbrellas are. Visitors are advised to bring their own grid, and no free-standing braais are permitted. This includes Webers (or similar), and no gas cookers are permitted. “We do not have a lifeguard on duty at Oudekraal and you swim in the ocean at your own risk,” TMNP said.
Oudekraal is open to the public at 8am and closes at 6pm. For more information, call 021 422 1601.
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.
No alcohol and music allowed. No bookings are taken for this site, as it works on first come first serve basis. Please bring your own grid. No free standing braais permitted. This includes Webers (or similar), and opens at 7am and closes at 6pm. For more information, call 021 422 1601.
Serious parking problems occur with the Newlands Forest Parking area over weekends, and in season, with the official parking area overflowing at approximately 9am on the weekends. 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. An activity permit is required to walk your dog or cycle in Newlands Forest. For more information, call 021 422 1601.
“Parking at Signal Hill is always challenging and we advise you to avoid the congestion that you visit the site first thing in the morning before the bulk of the tourists arrive,” TMNP said.
Wild Cards and Green Cards
Wild card and My Green card holders are reminded they are required to produce proof of identification upon entering at park gates.
“Every adult entering with a My Green card holder also has to produce a valid form of SA ID. To facilitate entry at TMNP gates with your wild card please also have your confirmation letter available on request,” the park said. “A copy of the confirmation letter can be emailed to you if you call 0861 46 9453 or 021 712 7471 A Wild Card and a My Green Card cannot be used to enter to go fishing, cycling or to walk your dog for example.”
More information and sales locations are available at https://www.sanparks.org/parks/table_mountain/tourism/access-cards-permits.php
The Park recommends that you never carry out your activity alone and strongly recommends that you always have four or more partners with you when out hiking, trail running, cycling or horse riding, etc.
“Please load our emergency number into your phone before setting off 0861 106 417 or 107 or 021 480 7700. 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,” the Park said. “Do not attract unwanted attention by openly displaying cash, cameras or other valuables. Leave footprints and take photos; leave the Park as you found it.”
For more safety hiking tips please follow this link:https://www.sanparks.org/parks/table_mountain/tourism/safe_hiking.php
“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,” the TMNP said. “Please do not attempt to fight the fire on your own.”
Please note there are other National Parks in the Cape Region that you can visit during festive season. You can visit Agulhas National Park, Bontebok National Park, West Coast National Park and Tankwa Karoo National Park.