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Deep into Hottentots Holland Nature Reserve

With much perseverance and determination Santie had obtained a permit to hike to Shamrock Lodge (it's really a basic hiking hut) at Landdroskop, What we didn't know, however, was that the permit was a "special dispensation". So when I arrived at Nuweberg gate, before...

Zebra stripes and yellow streaks

The MCSA Stellenbosch's first official post-lockdown outing was a weekend hike to Zebra Peak (1458m ASL; Sebrakop on national geo-spatial maps) on Piketberg. It is located on private land on the plateau rim, north-east of most of the cultivated lands. With the...

Berg River Dam to Jonkershoek traverse

Via Assegaaiboschkloof With Santie having proposed another springtime foray into Assegaaiboschkloof to view the blushing brides in bloom, I misguidedly proposed a refinement to the hike: why not start at the Berg River Dam and continue over Bergriviersnek to...

Blind Gully and Diagonal, Table Mountain

I was keen to hike Table Mountain again after an absence of more than two years. The suggestion that we ascend via Blind Gully sounded interesting, but I was simultaneously wary given the name of the route. I was concerned about exposed scrambling and negotiating...

HH Epic Trail

Hepic Trail for short. The Hepic is a private hiking trail that follows the route of the original Epic cycle trail above the railway line that snakes out of the Helderberg bowl. It is located north-east of the Gantouw Pass below Hanskop. Access has to be arranged...

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 We all agreed afterwards that Oorlogskloof is probably the best hike in South Africa - mainly because of the care and...

The Postberg Trail

West Coast National Park The Postberg Trail is pretty exclusive, only opening for the spring months of August and September and accommodating just 12 hikers per day. It is a two-day trail of some 26 kms in length but with negligible elevations. Bring your own tent and...

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Tierkloof abseil

  Paul Verhoeven arranged this exclusive adventure for a small group of mountain club members. It involved climbing the Peaks (¨Pieke¨), some of the highest summits in the Jonkershoek area and then 9 abseils down Tierkloof, the cleft that angles down south of the...

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Witels – what else?

Having "done the Witels" back in 2009, I had little intention of doing it again, but then she-who-shall-remain-nameless talked me into another MCSA mission from 25 to 30 December. Anyway, when Christmas Day dawned it had already transpired that...

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Overland Safari 2015 vlog

I don't expect this post to be of much interest to others besides those who were in the party who drove the 8000 or so dusty kilometres. It is however a video record - comprising 5 short, amateur videos - of our overland safari through Botswana, Namibia, Zambia and...

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Welcome to RalphPina.com

Thank you for visiting my outdoor blog. RalphPina.com documents my experiences over many years of appreciating, and adventuring in, Nature. It celebrates visual beauty, advocates minimal impact, reflects on humans’ relationship with our ecosphere, spans the planet but focuses on the wild diversity of southern Africa. Photos, videos and GPS maps of hiking, cycling, kayaking, abseiling, canoeing and windsurfing..

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