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Three Sisters and Perdeberg

Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve, Kleinmond I was expecting a stroll with a gradual climb to the Perdeberg lookout, something I have done a couple of times. But I was rapidly disabused of this notion when we veered up onto the Three Sisters ridge and proceeded to scale its...

Perdekop escape

While languishing in level 4 lockdown, we had been planning our escapes to the great outdoors where mega-social distancing is possible, and even desirable. Undeniably, outdoor exercise, fresh air and sunlight boost your immune system (along with other factors such as...

Botmaskop fly-past

Nobody said I couldn't fly the drone past Botmaskop while in lockdown, so here's a short clip of a virtual hike: [HTML1]

Kromrivier Kloof: bucket list stuff

Mountain man, Paul Verhoeven, has been the de facto custodian of my adventure bucket list, although he is unlikely to know this. It was he who pointed out the gaps in my admittedly-very-short list of abseil adventures, and insisted that the popular kloofing trips on...

Solitude at Agtertafelberg hut

Kevin had suggested a hike that has long been on our list: the Wemmershoek Traverse from Mont Rochelle above Franschhoek across the Wemmershoek mountains to the MCSA’s Agtertafelberg hut. When the designated weekend arrived heavy rain was forecast so departure was...

Zambezi Canoe Safari

Tamarind Canoe Safari, Lower Zambezi, Chirundu to Mana Pools: 9 - 12 July 2001 Having eaten and drunk our way across Botswana and Zimbabwe,never having to lift a finger, we were quite keen to do something physical. The famous Lower Zambezi canoe safari (with Canoeing...

Witels

I've long heard of it and I've always wanted to go there. Much of the area is owned by the UCT Mountain and Ski Club and the Mountain Club (MCSA) is able to obtain permits. I went with the Stellenbosch section of the MCSA. But be warned: be fit or be young... From...

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Klein River by kayak

The Klein River and Vlei near Hermanus can apparently claim that: at 80 km in length, the Klein River is the river with the shortest distance between its origin and its mouth in the world - 5 km as the crow flies (according to the Stanford Tourism Bureau) the bird...

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Baboons matter

On the Cape Peninsula there are few people who are neutral towards the local Chacma baboons: you either love them or hate them. The remnant troops of the Table Mountain National Park which now protects a large portion of the peninsula, range from the southern table of...

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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. The weather forecast for this weekend promised nothing good. Consecutive...

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A caracal in Stellenbosch

A few weeks ago, after the fires that charred the mountains in the Jonkershoek valley, I was cycling to work through the Jan Marais Nature Reserve which is located near the centre of town. As I rounded a corner I was stunned to see a beautiful big caracal standing in...

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Kruger Park and climate change

The IPCC's technical paper on Climate Change and Water (pdf), published in June, features some dire numbers for South Africa's premier national park, the Kruger National Park. Should the global mean temperature exceed 1990 levels by 2.5 to 3 oC, then 66% of its animal...

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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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