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Turret Peak mission

Koue Bokkeveld mountains In 2009 the inaugural Rim of Africa mega-hike was aborted two days shy of our destination, Turret Peak, due to adverse weather. By then we had been on trail for 10 or 11 days. But I have always wanted to eventually get to Turret Peak, so when...

Hunting in Assegaaiboschkloof

It’s spring in the Cape and Santie decided that she wanted to hunt a wild population of blushing brides (Serurria florida) in Assegaaiboschkloof, the valley in which the Berg River rises before it drains into the Berg River Dam. So Santie, Magdel and I set off with a...

A weekend at Zoo Ridge

Red Cederberg The name “Zoo Ridge” has always struck me as a bit of marketing hyperbole. It is a name given to an area between the Swartruggens and Skurweberg mountains in the south-eastern Cederberg. But when you get to wander through its mazes and arches and wonder...

A pristine winter’s day on Victoria Peak

At 1589 m ASL Victoria Peak is the highest summit in the Jonkershoek range. From the grassy dome one can see Table Mountain beyond Stellenbosch Mountain and Haelkop, south over the Groenland mountains above Grabouw and Elgin, the blue - and once more spreading -...

A militarised Wolhuter Wilderness Trail

Kruger National Park This was my third or fourth Wolhuter Trail since the late nineties, but it was like no other. The anti-poaching ¨war¨ has changed the atmosphere in the park. It is like we are clinging on to a century-old, island model of conservation that is...

Picnic at Hangklip

The unmistakable Hangklip (hanging rock) peak is in the Hangklip Core Conservation Area, one of many such areas in the Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve. It is a nature gem wedged between the growing and ugly sprawl of Pringle Bay and Betty's Bay residential areas. The...

Arangieskop hike – take two

Arangieskop Hiking Trail is a very fine trail, well laid out by somebody who was determined to show the diversity of views and flora to be found on a single mountainside. Make sure that your knees are in good nick and that your pack is light, because the climb is...

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Full moon at Dwarsberg

So there I was in bed, sleepily easing into a lazy Saturday morning with no particular plans or obligations when an SMS pinged in on my 'phone: would I like to join the mountain club party that was heading up that morning to the Dwarsberg plateau to overnight under...

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The Otter Trail

19 to 23 January 2013 I last hiked the Otter Trail, perhaps South Africa's most famous hiking trail, circa 1994 with some friends. It was mid-winter, fairly cold and mostly cloudy. Nevertheless, I remember that it was spectacular and never really expected to walk it...

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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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