What about the walkers?

Arthur Clarke, Tokai

It has been two years since the big fire on the Cape Peninsula. Why can’t we go through the Arboretum – or can we? – and walk up the mountain to Elephant’s Eye?

I believe cyclists are allowed on paths/roads above the Manor House over weekends (paying an annual R500) but what about the walkers?

Merle Collins, spokeswoman for SANParks, responds: Hiking and jogging are free activities in Table Mountain National Park. However, hikers and joggers can access Upper Tokai from Silvermine entrances only that is Ou Kaapseweg, Constantia Nek and Blackburn Ravine.

Please also note that hiking and running is on weekends only and only on demarcated routes through Upper Tokai. Hikers and runners may not exit via the Tokai Arboretum as burnt trees and branches continue to come down.

Access for hikers from Tokai will be allowed once the Tokai Arboretum is reopened. A number of assessments have taken place by tree experts from Kirstenbosch and the Department of Forestry and quotations and funding to address the dangerous burnt trees in the Arboretum need to be finalised before work can commence. The opening of the Arboretum is dependent on ensuring that this area is safe.

Listers (tea room) will open when the Arboretum is safe and once a tender process has been followed in terms of outsourcing the facility to a private operator, potentially as an interpretive centre.