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~ I dont blog about things to be liked. I blog about things that I like ~ ... so that one day, on my death bed, I will have said and done what I wanted to do, and die peacefully without regrets.
Live your life in such a way that when your feet hit the floor in the morning, Satan shudders & says..' Oh shit....She's awake'

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Wolfberg Cracks - Part 1: Getting there

Hiking Trail: Wolfberg Cracks and Wolfberg Arch
Name of Reserve / Area: Private Property, Cederberg,
Nearest Town/s: Clanwilliam via N7, or Ceres via N1
Province: Western Cape
Country: South Africa

Duration of hike: 8 hours

Directions to get there: It took us 3 hours from Cape Town, but we also were stuck in the peak hour traffic at 16h00 for an hour, so it took us 4 long hours to get there.

From Cape Town CBD, take the N1 towards Paarl. Take the turnoff towards Wellington, and pass through it and follow the R44.  Pass the Voelvlei Dam on your right and continue until the road makes a 3way junction. Turn right at the junction towards Ceres (and not Tulbach). Follow the road to Ceres.  Once you get into the small town of Ceres, turn left at the second set of traffic lights.  Pass through Prince Alfred's Hamlet.
 As soon as you have driven through PA Hamlet, you will head up onto the Gydo Pass, which then takes you to an even smaller town called Op Die Berg (in an area also known as Die Koue Bokkeveld). Continue on the R303 and soon just outside Oppi Berg, you need to turn right at the Cederberg Sign
 A 17km tarred road will take you onto a gravel road.  From here you need to keep left and follow the Oasis signs for 48km to your over night destination called Oasis.

The following morning we had a scrumptious breakfast, bacon, eggs, toast and a good cuppa coffee to get us going.  This farm kitchen is filled with character and definitely worth a visit.
Gerrit was ready to personally draw up the map of our planned route for the day.  This was 2 A4 pages of pure mapping on both sides.  We held on to this map like never before.  And oh boy, did this map help us enjoy our journey just that much more.  Thanks Gerrit!
 With your back to Oasis, you follow the road to the right for about 6.5km and turn left at the Clan William sign.

...3km further is where you pass the sign for Stadsaal Caves and Rock Art.
Drive for another 3km where the road forkes left to Krom Rivier.  Dont turn left here, but take the right more obvious main road and drive for 5km to the Sanddrif Wine Farm.  This is where we stocked up on necessities (like Cederburg Cabernet) and our permits for the hike.

After leaving Sanddrif main house, turn left towards another Sanddrif sign.  The road drives down into the valley through a few cottages and soon you will cross a low water bridge.  After the bridge take a sharp right.  The road splits into 3. Take the left fork, drive pass more cottages and what seemed like a stunning and very popular camping ground. The road forkes again, take the left fork upwards until you reach the gate.  Enter in your code and drive through to the furthest end where you can park your car and start the walk.

Contact Information:
We stayed at the Oasis Bed and Breakfast.
23. 33. 20. 21 S
19. 21. 55. 31 E
Tel: +27 27 482 2819

The owners were extremely friendly and welcoming.  Once you get there, you feel a very welcome vibe.  The visitors seem like regulars, and the place was packed to the brim with tents and the rooms were all fully booked.

Our room did not have an on-suite shower, but we were lucky to have the loo next door to it and a small area on the balcony to make our fire to cook our food on.

Cost was R120pppd, and breakfast was an added R40pp, but comes highly recommended before a journey like the one we were about to tackle.

Best time of year to go: .
April (its coming to the end of summer) and September (just after winter, and flowers everywhere)

What costs did you incur to do this hike:
Accomodation: R120pppd
Breakfast: R40pp
Permit for Cracks: R25pp
Permit for Arch: R25pp

How safe is it: There is no crime here.

Fresh Water: None. Take at least 3 liters per person if you are going to the Wolfberg Arch.

Difficulty: Very easy climb to the top, but its a long hike. Tricky to know where exactly to go, but with good guidance from our host at Oasis (Gerrit), we headed for the hills with confidence.

It took us about 1h30 to get to the top of the cracks.
Then another 1h30min inside the cracks,
30min coffee break
and then an 1h30min to walk to the Arch.
30min at the Arch,
1h30min to walk back,
and 1h30min to get back down.
Total walking time of about 8 hours...

Pets: No pets allowed, environment is very harsh.

How will I rate this hike? Best hike Ive done so far in my life.  Loved it.

The rest of this hike is documented under the Wolfberg Cracks link.  I hope you enjoy reading this hike as much as we enjoyed doing it.  Or just scroll down for Parts 2,3,4 & 5.

We can not wait to go back here again, and hopefully take a group of people with us next time.


Anonymous said...

Hi!! we just went for our December Holidays and stayed/camped at Kliphuis, part of Sanddrif. We travelled from Durbanville,, and I found it much shorter to travel through Malmesbury then take the Mooreesburg road and carry on straight untill you turn off for Citrusdal,, from Citrus dal 30km on, you take a right at Algerie.And much shorter than from Ceres this gravel road is about 43kms.Untill Sanddrif.I took the Ceres road back home but was very dissapointed, it was to long, way to long.We enjoyed the wolfbergs Cracks very much,, but found it to be very tough if you are not fit and you are overweight.The maalgate was a must see.!!!absolute relaxation and no cell phones or tv or radios,, jipeee!!!!

Hello! from Juanita. said...

Wow, thanks for that information, its always nice to find out about shorter routes. Yes, isnt this place just SO special. You only really know this after you have experienced it for yourself :)

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