This is how it happened:
We were on the Saddle and had just started up the path to Devil's Peak. We saw two guys moving quickly up the hill towards us from the Newlands side. We both had a bad feeling and we decided to turn around. We then saw that another two men had come up from below. They moved towards us very swiftly. One had a knife. They demanded our camera and backpacks, which we handed over without arguing. We asked if we could keep our keys which they allowed. And then they were gone, very quickly, back towards Newlands. It all happened really quickly.
We made our way back down to Tafelberg Road as fast as we could and reported the incident to the TMNP official at the bottom of Platteklip, who immediately alerted other rangers and the SAPS. We didn't get a terribly good look at the muggers - four young (early 20s) African guys wearing dark clothing. The SAPS think they might be the same lot who carried out some muggings in the Skeleton Gorge area a few weeks ago. They know who they are - had them in custody but had to let them go.
There were a lot of people on the mountain yesterday, but we happened to be alone at that place at that time. Unlucky. Although of course incredibly fortunate there was no violence and that we are fine. Perhaps we shouldn't have been walking just the two of us, but I feel this gang would not have hesitated to confront a group of four or five people. They were out to steal.
Michele is feeling enraged about the whole thing and is full of vengeful thoughts. While I am angry too, I also feel so sad and helpless and resentful that this happened AT ALL let alone TO ME. Walking on the mountain is one of my favourite things to do and now I feel scared to do it. I'm not sure yet what this means for me or for this blog.
For everyone using the mountain: please be mindful of your safety at all times and take every precaution!