Various recent crime incidents involving Table Mountain’s iconic Orangekloof Tented Camp has forced SANParks to temporarily close the facility from this afternoon (21 November 2018) onwards, until the end of March 2019 as it is developing an action plan.

Today, one of our SafetyMountain Tracking subscribers notified our trackers of the closure of Orangekloof Tented Camp. When following up, Table Mountain National Park’s Hospitality Services, Film and Events Manager Saskia Marlowe confirmed the rumour.

“We have decided to temporarily close the Orangekloof Tented Camp after some of our guests were robbed at night at the camp,” she said. “We are just as upset as everyone else, but our visitors’ safety is paramount. We need to ensure we keep people safe. The victims were left very traumatized.”

Orangekloof Tented Camp opened its doors in 2007 as the first of five camps of the Hoerikwaggo overnight hiking trail. The decision to close it comes barely a week after the announcement of the temporary closure of Lion’s Head from 7 January 2019 to 15 February 2019. The aim is to repair and rehabilitate the severely eroded and damaged trails. 

Table Mountain National Park’s authorities are contemplating various solutions, Marlowe said, including the possibility of erecting a fence around the camp. This may be easier said than done because fences have an ecological impact.

Marlowe stressed the Orangekloof hiking trails will remain open, as always only with a permit. “We have not had any incidents during the day involving hikers,” she said, noting mountain users should take the necessary precautions when hiking the area, or any area of TMNP – and not just from a crime point of view. “Always hike in groups, carry enough water, and follow our other visitor safety tips. We hope to welcome people back at the camp next year.”

The Hikers Network is saddened by the turn of events but respects the decision by the authorities. “In the end, if you can’t guarantee people’s safety at the camp at night – which has dozens different entry points from all sides, making it difficult to patrol – there is only one thing you can do and that is to close it down whilst you are developing a plan to deal with these elements,” says Hikers Network spokesperson Miriam Mannak. “We hope a solution is found.”

Visitors who have booked a stay at the camp over the next few months are urged to contact Table Mountain National Park if they haven’t been notified yet. 

Should you seek to contact The Hikers Network, please check out our contacts page.

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