If you’ve held out in anticipation for this day then this is for you – dust off the bike, oil your chain and renew that Activity Card.
Contractors still clearing the last of the burnt trees will be done by the 29th of December, 2017 and that can only mean one thing, Tokai is reopening 7 days per week!
Official SANParks media release reads:
UPPER TOKAI WEEKDAY OPENING
The Upper Tokai section of the Table Mountain National Park will re-open on weekdays from 29 December 2017 and not just on weekends as per the current status quo. Despite there still being some restrictions in place, Table Mountain National Park Management has decided that the area can be reopened 7 days per week from the above date.
It was in the interest of public safety and the protection of environmental integrity that the Upper Tokai section of Table Mountain National Park (TMNP) was closed following the devastating fire that swept through the plantation and arboretum in March 2015. The area remained closed to the public for safety reasons whilst the remaining burnt plantation and dangerous burnt trees were removed and for rehabilitation reasons as measures were put in place to secure the exposed slopes from erosion.
SANParks engaged with various stakeholders during the course of the closure resulting in the successful reopening of Upper Tokai on 10 December 2016 over weekends only.
Local mountain biking stakeholder and volunteer non-profit group, TokaiMTB, has played a crucial role in facilitating access for users by means of an access indemnity through their local International Mountain Bike Association (IMBA) representative, Amarider. In terms of this indemnity TokaiMTB employed marshals to ensure users did not stray into the remaining hazardous areas and to monitor compliance. TokaiMTB have also invested a further R350 000.00 in addition to the R145 000.00 from the Pedal Power Association towards the post fire rehabilitation of the mountain biking tracks as part of the community’s contribution to cycling in the park.
Upper Tokai access limitations:
- At the time of reopening on 29 December 2017, the Arboretum and Elephants Eye trail will offer access only up to level three while rehabilitation of the rest of this hiking trail continues.
- Parking in designated parking sites will remain in the Tokai picnic area as per the current arrangement. This is however dependant on parking space and availability.
- Limited vehicular access will be allowed, at a cost of R27.00 per vehicle for parking.
- No dogs allowed
- No after hour activities allowed
- Enter at your own risk
NB: Cyclists and hikers should be aware that there are a limited number of parking bays available at the Tokai Picnic site and for ease of access, it is recommend that visitors arrive on the new Non-Motorised Transport routes installed by the City, or via the greenbelts.
SANParks teams together with volunteers continue to rehabilitate Upper Tokai including repairs to certain trails and tracks damaged as a result of the fires and ongoing tree-felling operations. The removal of alien invasive plants is also an ongoing exercise. The alien infestation in Tokai is a result of more than a century of commercial timber planting and harvesting and it may take as many years to fully rehabilitate the area.
More than R5 million has been spent on the rehabilitation of the vegetation in Upper Tokai with another R1 million budgeted for next year. Contracted teams are assisted by volunteers under the guidance of the Friends of Tokai Park.
Upper Tokai can be accessed by user groups from the Tokai Picnic site or Silvermine pay points. Hikers can also access the Upper Tokai from Constantia Nek and Blackburn Ravine hiking trails.
Activity permit checks and day fees will be managed at the Tokai and Silvermine pay points. Staff will conduct routine patrols and permit inspections.
Finally, TMNP management and staff would like to encourage user groups to be courteous in sharing the reopened tracks/paths and to take in the panoramic views on offer.
Tips to enjoy Upper Tokai:
- Please don’t hike, cycle or horse ride on your own.
- Go in groups of at least 4 people and at the speed of the slowest person.
- Avoid carrying valuables as far as possible – cash, jewellery, i-pods etc.
- If confronted by suspects – do not resist.
- Emergency numbers: TMNP Control 0861-106-417/ SAPS 10111/
Important: Permits and Gate Times
(Click here for the current times and permit fees)
Exit: Please ensure you exit by the stipulated times. Failure to leave on time will result in a fine being issued.