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Scherpenheuwel circuit, Franschhoek

The Mountain Club’s plan was to head up to Perdekop in the hope that, it being midwinter, there would be snow on the peak. Instead an unseasonal black south-easter raged, clouding in all the peaks around Franschhoek. So, plan B was activated. It amounted to a very pleasant 13.5km circuit of Scherpenheuwel, which […]

Straddling the Olifants: wilderness walking trails

(another Kruger safari)

Olifants Wilderness Trail, Kruger National Park

Young leopard near Orpen. It was stalking impala. The rams were snorting at it and mobbing it.

The African bush has been calling for a while, so we packed up and headed 2000 km north-east for Kruger and our favourite means of really experiencing the […]

Slanghoek Peak via Witte River

The route to Slanghoek Peak curves south and east up the Witte River valley.

Slanghoek from Slanghoek Peak

A fairly level and scenic walk from the car park at Eerste Tol on Bainskloof Pass of 12.5 km to a saddle below Slanghoek on Mountain Club property, known as Springstygbeugel1, almost traverses the […]

Hiking Oorlogskloof’s Rock Pigeon Trail

Also known as “Wessel Reloaded”

5 days, 52.2 km (55.1 km according to my GPS recording), 18 hrs 27 min moving time at a moving average speed of 3 km/h

Yet another tunnel

We all agreed afterwards that Oorlogskloof is probably the best hike in South Africa – mainly because of the care and […]

Simonstown to Smitswinkel on foot

Swartkop to Hangklip and beyond

We took the Old Mule Trail up to Blockhouse Gap where two old blockhouses slowly weather away. Apparently the blockhouses were built at the beginning of World War I to guard the eastern approach through the nek to the naval ammunitions magazines that scar the high valley above Simonstown. […]

Victoria Peak with the Patagons

Kelson above Jonkershoek valley

At the beginning of the week that I finally became a member of the Mountain Club of SA, some of the Patagonian trekkers and I headed for Victoria Peak, the highest peak in the Jonkershoek mountains. It was a warm day with high cloud and haze and no wind. Pretty […]

Climbing Haelkop, Jonkershoek

Another mountain club uitstappie to Haelkop peak (1390 m), one of the loftier peaks that rim the Jonkershoek valley. The route upwards to the watershed north of Haelkop is a fairly easy, yet relentlessly uphill, hike. Near the top the gradients steepen markedly. From the summit the views are panoramic and breathtaking. On […]

Climbing Twin Peaks, Jonkershoek

Climbing Jonkershoek’s Twin Peaks (“Die Pieke“) is one of the outdoor experiences in the Jonkershoek mountains. On this occasion I went with the mountain club (MCSA) on the “uitstappie“. An uitstappie is one of those wonderfully euphemistic, Afrikaans terms that could mean anything from a stroll in the park to a mission. A Twin Peaks […]

Patagonia Treks in Google Earth

“The Earth never forgets that trees were its first thought”

This intriguing idea was carved in Spanish on a wooden sign as we left Puelo on our first multi-day trek on the Los Hitos trail to Chile. And when you enter the ancient forests of northern Patagonia you […]

Patagonia trekking photos

As you may know I have just returned from 3 weeks’ trekking in Patagonian Argentina and Chile. Words don’t do it justice, so here are some photos while I figure out the words and prep the GPS tracks….

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Climbing Victoria Peak

At 1589m Victoria Peak is the highest summit in the Jonkershoek area. It is visible beyond the valley from Stellenbosch and is often – as it is today – covered in a white blanket of snow. The route as shown in this Google Earth track winds up the eastern edge of the Jonkershoek […]

Doring River rafting

The Doring drains the Tankwa Karoo through the Cederberg range into the Olifants River. It can only be rafted in the winter-rainfall months of July to September. Photos and a Google Earth file.

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Rim of Africa Google Earth track

A Google Earth map of the Rim of Africa Conservation Mega Trail, Stage One, 120km from Pakhuis Pass in the northern Cederberg to the Koue Bokkeveld mountains follows:

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Rim of Africa photos

Here are the photos from the Rim of Africa Conservation Mega Trail. It was an epic.

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Hiking in Kogelberg

The Kogelberg Biosphere and Nature Reserve is my playground. When we’re not kayaking here, we are hiking its many routes. Kogelberg is the jewel in the crown of the Cape’s floral kingdom protected areas that make up the World Heritage Site.

If the slideshow does not render on your device, […]

Cape of Good Hope Trail

Erica hut and Platboom

The Cape of Good Hope Trail starts at the main gate to the Cape Point section of the Table Mountain National Park, and ends there 33.5km and two days later.

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The thing about African wilderness trails

Walking on a wilderness trail is the only way to feel the pulse of the African “bush”. That is what I believe anyway. I have experienced my fair share of the African safari concept: vehicle-based photographic safaris, game drives and stays in high-end and exotic game lodges, and even canoe safaris down the wild Lower […]

Machampane Wilderness Trail

Limpopo National Park, Mozambique: September 2007 Circles in the Bush

(With apologies to Dalene Matthee…)

Machampane Wilderness Camp shares the western bank of the Machampane River with tall fever trees at a pool called Xisivene – which apparently means “deep pool”.

The wilderness trail experience that runs out of the camp is similarly structured to […]

Impressions of The Great Walk in Tsavo

A 153km walking safari following the courses of the Tsavo and Galana rivers through Tsavo National Park, Kenya: June 2007

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Walking in Fernkloof

Fernkloof is a gem of a botanical reserve above the coastal town of Hermanus. Barely 1800 ha in area, it harbours upwards of 1474 botanical species. There are many paths and spectacular lookouts for all manner of fitness levels. The sensory returns are high for relatively little physical effort.

If […]

Sea kayaking and hiking around Robberg

Plettenberg Bay: 17 & 19 December 2006: The Robberg peninsula is a nature reserve and marine protected area at the southern extremity of Plettenberg Bay,

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Eden to Addo Mega-Hike 2006

400kms, 17 days, 6 mountain ranges, many rivers, numerous veld types: 11 – 27 August 2006

The first time I saw the phrase “Eden to Addo” it spoke to me. Then when I saw it juxtaposed with “mega-hike” the synapses fired in my brain. The concept was so evocative I had to go.

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Whale Trail De Hoop Nature Reserve

7-12 July 2005

This post is a photo journey down the Whale Trail. It was the second time that I walked this wonderful trail.

Sweni Wilderness Trail

Eastern Kruger Park: 13 to 16 July 2003

Sweni trails camp gate

The Sweni is one of the most sought-after wilderness trails in Kruger, primarily because of the likelihood of running into the Sweni lions. According to James, the trails ranger, Sweni has the highest concentration of lion per sq km in Africa […]

Mont Rochelle Trail

Franschhoek: 29 June 2003 Here’s a very short walk for great returns.

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