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The Kogelberg Trail

The Kogelberg Trail is a circular, 24 km hiking trail in the Kogelberg Nature Reserve. Last weekend's walk was fifth time that I have done it, as I remember. All the gradients are gradual, there is no exposure nor scrambles and the trail has few obstacles. It is...

Twelve Apostles Traverse

Another bright idea from Santie. Peter and I had previously, many years ago, ascended Myburgh's Ravine and I suspect we came down Llandudno Ravine, but there are large sections of the Twelve Apostles that I have not walked. It was an exquisite day. The steel rungs at...

Tankwa Cycle Tour

Via Ouberg and Gannaga passes Our regular private cycle tours were interrupted by the pandemic and as the Cape exited its second wave, with all beaches and parks having been closed to the public, the need to get out on some remote roads took hold. I started recruiting...

Orange Face Back Table

Camel Rock, Wynberg Caves, Table Mountain National Park This was an interesting hike, at Santie's suggestion, on the well-trafficked Table Mountain. It is a track less travelled on which we saw no one else although there were hundreds of walkers and joggers on the...

Dropping down Cascades

When Paul suggested a lockdown escape to Cascades in Du Toitskloof, with a little abseiling involved, I thought it a decent idea. I knew that the MCSA often scrambled up it and abseiled down the next day. My conclusion was that if you can scramble up it, it can't be...

Kloofing Visgat

Almost by accident I was nominated to lead a MCSA Stellenbosch section kloofing trip down the Visgat canyon. Visgat is a highlight of the MCSA Cape Town section's summer calendar and they kindly allocate a few dates to Stellenbosch. The fact that I could have easily...

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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