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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'

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Go to the Wolfberg Cracks

This route comes highly recommended for those in need of a nice long-weekend away:    Try the Wolfberg Arch and Wolfberg Cracks. The perfect time to go is the end of April or September.  Book ahead of the long-weekend to ensure you can get there.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Activity Permits Table Mountain National Park

Recently one of our members whilst trad climbing on Lions Head was approached by a Parks Board Ranger & asked to produce his Activity Permit.

Activity Permits are not in fact required for traditional climbing. They are required for Sports Climbing but this does not apply to card-carrying MCSA members.

 If you are approached by a Parks Board Ranger & requested to produce your permit I would suggest that you politely explain the position to him and suggest that he obtain confirmation from the Park Manager Paddy Gordon.

Please pass on details of any approaches that you may receive from Parks Board Rangers to Brian Lambourne.

Also see for more information on TMNP's activity permits.
Mountain Club of South Africa - Cape Town
97 Hatfield Street, Cape Town 8001

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Trail Runners Guide South Africa

Hiking has been taken to a new level in recent years, and a very popular sport has emerged called Trail Running.   If you are into your hiking and want to take it to the next level, then Trail Running is what you should consider. Many road runners have also exchanged the hustle and bustle of the busy roads to the tranquillity of the nature and its jeep tracks and animal paths...
Jacques Marais is pro-photographer and authored numerous outdoor titles, but I would rather give him the title of extreme outdoor photographer.  He has combined his passion for photography, writing and his love for outdoor sport and put together the first edition of the Trail Runners Guide for South Africa.
This comprehensive book includes :
•    Trail Running Event Information
•    Trail Descriptions
•    Detailed Map of the Trail
•    Fact Panel
•    Altitude Profile
•    Great Photographs
•    An interview with an expert who has run this trail

Another lovely section in the guide is a monthly list of all the various Trail Running Events that take place around South Africa every year.  This alone will be a great way for you to plan your fun for the months ahead.  Each trail review has a listing of items to pack, where to stay and what kind of weather conditions to expect.

To add this easy to read Trail Running Guide to your library and things-to-do list, it can be purchased for R250.00 at selected bookstores around South Africa or you can get your copy online at

MapStudio, the leading publisher and distributor of maps and travel guides in Africa, has just launched the Trail Runners Guide, which features 100 events and trails in detail.

South Africa offers a variety of terrain, surrounding landscapes, abundance of animal life, and weather conditions.  Trail Runners Guide is a one stop guide to training, gear, footwear, nutrition and events as well as insider tips from South Africa's leading trail running experts.

The foreword was written by ultra-runner Ryan Sandes (find him on twitter @ryansandes, From Streets to the Trails by Elana Meyer, The Minimalist Movement by Benita de Witt, The Thin Edge of the Wedge by Jen Rorrison, The End of the Pasta Party by Tim Noakes and Woman Alone by Kim Van Kets.

So get your Trail Running shoes on and start going off road for some extreme running fun.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Hiking Platteklip Gorge

Once you experience hiking up this gorge in the early morning, before the sun rises, then its difficult to go back to doing it at any time later than sunrise.

The views from all directions are magnificent!  "Well done and thank you Mother Earth for making another turn to show us another beautiful sunrise!"

Thats just it. Getting up early and starting a hike at 6h00 has never been 'my thing', but as of late, Im loving it more and more.  There is however nothing better than doing it with a friend who is as blown away by the experience than I am. 

Normaly my love would join me, and Im supposed to be doing it with an official group that do this all the time before work (us working class slaves!), but for today's sunrise... I dragged my friend Nedine with me.  You can see from the smile on her face, she must be hooked too. 

Thanks for a lovely hike Nedine, and looking forward seeing you on the mountain again soon.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Wolfberg Cracks Wolfberg Arch Cederberg hiking

Wow, what a pleasure to get a report from one of our blog readers on their recent visit to the Cederberg too.  Thank you to Ingrid and Gareth for sharing with us their version of this awesome experience, and the great photographs to go with it too. 

Im most certainly going to push for an overnight at the Arch on our next visit in the flower season.  You have inspired us with your images too.  Hopefully next time we go, there will be less clouds for us to do some night photopraphy of the stars too.

Herewith their version of this hiking trail...

Hi there once again.
Well, I don't know where to begin!
We arrived at Cederberg Oasis on Friday afternoon after a stop at Sanddrif to collect our permits for the Wolfberg and Stadsaal.

Stadsaal is amazing and a great into into weathered rock formations but the best was yet to come!

The hike to the Cracks and Arch went well though our backpacks presented a bit of a problem getting through narrow spaces but we made it. What an adventure! At the top of the cracks we debated whether to camp there in the soft sand and hike to the arch in the morning but eventually headed off to the arch arriving at around 3 pm when all the day hikers had long gone.

Our evening at the Arch was amazing - there had been quite a lot of rain and the night was cool. Both the sunset and sunrise was unlike anything ever experienced, the plateau below the arch was grey in the early light and both Gareth and I agreed it had a sort of Martian vibe - almost sci fi and alien.

I think of all the places on earth that have had an impact on me, this must be one of the top 3.  

At sunrise Gareth scampered below to take pics and I wrapped myself in my sleeping bag and watched the dawn. The memories will never fade. I almost backed out of number 3 crack and I would have missed out on so much! Thanks for all your help and advice !!
Thank you so so much
Ingrid Hardman

Well done to Ingrid and Gareth for surviving a night out in the cold on the alient planet called Earth :)

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Hiking Platteklip Gorge - there is no easy way

Pictures and story copyright

 Hiking to the top of Platteklip gorge has no mercy for the unfit... this route is just straight up.

 once you get to the top, the view is always rewarding

 we ventured off the beaten track to enjoy a quiet moment with the view and a coffee... unbeknown to us the 'locals' decided to pay us a visit...

 during our escape from the barbarian hordes at the top - who took the easy up the cable car, we thought we were alone...

 once the day-visitors noticed how the 'locals' came to say hello to us, we were swamped the happy snapping tourist like you have never seen before. We went from being in complete isolation (so we thought!!!) to the highlight of the moment ontop of the mountain, as the happy snappers came to enjoy watching 'the locals' swamped us, begging for scraps.

 here you can notice a rather 'swamped' Al' and a happy me. trying to enjoy the view :)

After a very fast run down the cable way, we walked back about 2km to our car. The sky opened and the mountain presented to us and everyone her full glory.

 ... perfect ending to a really fun walk up the mountain

 Table Bay and the foot of Devis Peak in the far distance

Proteas are starting to bloom and the colours are just awesome!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Crime warning signs for Cape Town beach

Cape Town - Noordhoek Beach in Cape Town is to get warning signs indicating it is a mugging hotspot, it was reported on Tuesday.

The signs come after at least eight people were mugged in separate incidents at the beach since February, the Cape Times reported.

Community Safety MEC Dan Plato said tourists were most vulnerable.

"Specifically tourists don't know the dangers of the area. What we will have to do is put up signboards that say: 'Only walk in these designated areas' or 'Please don't go beyond this point'," he said.

Plato was also looking at the possibility of installing quad bike patrols but said this would not solve all crime.

"Attacks are happening almost any time of the day. If criminals want to attack, they attack."

In the most recent incident, a father and daughter were attacked by a knife-wielding man on the beach on Saturday. The father was stabbed in the right leg and a cellphone and ring were taken.

Table Mountain National Park spokesperson Merle Collins warned people to walk in groups of four or more and not to carry valuables.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Cederberg Wolfberg Cracks Hiking Pictures

 The Easter weekend stumbled upon us and it was a tough decision of 'where to go' or 'what to do'.

My advice, if you want to visit this area, book Cederberg Accommodation or Citrusdal Accommodation far in advanceCitrusdal info takes you to 22 km away and further from all the main attactions of the Cederberg.  Cederberg Accommodation puts you in the heart of all the action... its up to you.

 This time around, we found self catering cottage at Keurbos about 50km from where we wanted to stay.  The advantage of this was, we were forced to enjoy the majority of the cederberg valley from Clanwilliam, pass Algeria, right up to the heart of the Cederberg. The cost was R350 per night for a cottage that sleeps 5, with electricity.

You need a permit to hike this route, and on the permit is the code to get into the gate.  I take no responsibility for information shared on this blog, but I do hope it will help you to enjoy this hike as much as we have always done.  Take plenty of water and always something warm for the unpredictable cold wind at the top.

Once you have parked your car (see the carpark below), the clearly marked path will take you to the top.  This massive square rock is your halfway landmark to the top.

Once you start to reach the rockface at the top, aim for the gap in the centre of this image.  Here you will find a sign to point you to your next stop.  At the sign is a 2m scramble onto a ledge where most people give each other a hand to get onto the ledge.  The ledge will then take you to the right of this image, where you need to immediately climb upward (easy walk) again back in the direction of the middle of this image.

This is me ontop of the ledge heading in the direction of the photographer.  If you look carefully far into the crack by the fallen rocks (of this image), you will see there is a person standing ontop of the rocks.  These people have already completed the route and are heading down already.
While walking along this ledge there is one section (the size of A4) of rock that is very narrow, where you need to cross the path to continue your way up.  views are spectacular all the way...

After surviving the narrow A4 size ledge, continue to head up the mountian in the direction of this big hole in the rock.  Here you have to again scramble over the rocks as seen in front of me.

Thankfully, as seen above, I managed to get over those rocks and into a section that resembles a rockfall and an amphitheatre.

Aim for left side of the rock in the middle of the image.  Look carefully and you will notice Zita sitting there enjoying her lunch and even more carefully and you will see the white arrow painted on the rock behind her.

Some clever hikers before us painted a white arrow in the direction that you need to follow. Best you put your torch on in here, the very narrow passage has about 5 meters of complete darkness and many boulders to negotiate.
Once you have got yourself through that dark narrow passage, you will reach a sandy patch.  This is where you will find the beautiful wolfberg cracks.
 Dont make the mistake that everyone makes when they get here - and just rush through.  Stop and enjoy!
When you are ready to move on, follow the loooong passage on the left behind me.

This passage continues up the mountain and gets narrower to the end. There comes a point where you need to again scramble over a 2m high rock, so its best you go with someone to give each other a hand.

The final obstacle of this walk is where you need to reverse your body into a hole and wiggle your way under a fallen rock, to get back onto the now very walkable path.
Once you reach the top, again, stop and enjoy the view. 

The way back down is to head about 50m outside of the cracks and then turn left.  Follow the path back down.

From here, give yourself about 1h30min to get back down.

A romantic full moon greeted us as we drove out of the Sandrift area...

Route co-ordinates can be obtained if you contact me.

Alternative Route to get to the Cederberg (and much easier than the other one which I wrote about in my other posts) is the following:

Take the N7 to Citrusdal.
Pass Citrusdal about 25km and then turn right onto the Algeria road.

This road will take you through the Nieuwoudts pass... stunning and easy driving.

 At the bottom of the pass you will see a sign that shows you the direction of the Cederberg.

 This is where you will also pass the Algeria resort, but continue with the road in the direction of the Uitkykpas.

Once you have reached the top of the Uitkykpass, you will be about 20km from the Wolfberg Cracks.

Keep your eyes open for a view of the Wolfberg Cracks in the mountain on your left, which is about in the middle of the image of the sheep above.

Remember to stop at the Sandrift Farm to get your permits during office hours.


New to reading blogs?

I have heard so many people saying they are new to reading blogs. Here is the 'low down' of what you need to do:

1. The blog is written in date order. Latest posts are at the top and older posts below them. Older posts have a link to them - find the link if you scroll right to the bottom of this screen - see Older Posts.
2. Click on the post header if you wish to make comments below the articles. Comments are most welcome :)
3. I blog our hikes to help other people find nice hiking routes, but also because we love taking pictures on our hikes.
4. On the right column are images of some of the hikes we have done so far. Click on the images to read about those hikes.
5. Subscribe to my newsletter if you wish to get updates of new posts. I will not inundate you with mails - promise.

Thanks for reading my blog and hope you enjoy the read.

There is an old saying...

The more you learn, the more you realize how little you know.