The Rim of Africa experience (Part 2)
Starting in the Cederberg east of Clanwilliam and following the crests and valleys of theCape Fold Mountain range for 650km until the hike’s end in the Outeniqua mountains outside George, this is one truly epic hiking experience.
Each spring is Rim of Africa trail season – this is the best time to be in the mountains. Good water, amazing flowers in the fynbos, cool days and views that stretch forever. The trail season is marked by the annual Thru-Hike – the option for committed adventure hikers to take off 56 days and walk the route from end to end in one go. Not everyone can do that and most people who hike the route break it up into 9 week-long sections.
Theme trails are also on offer for those who wish to explore storytelling when walking, or get an insight into the botanical wonders of the mountains, for Matrics and youth we offer an inspiring programme to get youth into our hills. Rim of Africa is helping to make the Cape Mountains accessible in a managed and responsible manner.
“This hike is an epic, long-distance experience of a lifetime, traversing some of the wildest parts of the Cape over eight weeks. Since the route was created, only a handful of hikers have completed the full Thru-Hike, most people choose to hike a few sections at a time,” says Saintz.
“We have hikers from across the world coming back every year to hike different sections, depending on their fitness levels and particular interests.”
The original ridgeline route, aptly called the Skyline, is reserved for seasoned and experienced hikers, who are looking to complete one of the world’s toughest and more technical hiking routes. According to Saintz, it is arguably one of the world’s more extreme hiking experiences: “This is no walk in the park, but an opportunity to get deep into the rugged mountain wilderness the Cape has to offer.”
“The average week’s traverse covers anywhere between 60km to 100km, depending on the difficulty of the terrain and the terrain is a challenge – we often hike off path and weather can be extreme. We run the trail from September to November to avoid the wet and cold of winter and the searing heat of summer in the mountains.”
“The vast World Heritage Site of the Cape Floral Kingdom is at the heart of this initiative, as it follows the Cape range from the North to the East. The landscape is breathtaking and the plant diversity is a botanist’s dream – it’s time for South Africans to step up and support this initiative and celebrate its value for present and future generations.”
The Rim of Africa is vast in its vision and is racking up some impressive firsts. It is South Africa’s first internationally recognised Friendship Trail, the longest mountain traverse of its kind in Africa and was trekked by a National Geographic Young Explorer from end to end in 2012. Last year the South African Nightjar Adventurer of The Year, Bernie Theron, a 20 year old from Pretoria completed a scouting mission for a new proposed Valley Route. The Valley Route will allow hikers to walk without guides if desired and stay in B&Bs and farmstays along the way – similar to walking the Camino in Spain. “We know that the Rim of Africa offers a most inspiring hike experience and is comparable to the iconic Appalachian Trail or Pacific Crest Trail in America or the Te Araoa in New Zealand – albeit a little more extreme and we are certain in time it will be recognised as
Africa’s great mountain traverse,” says Saintz.
For more information:
Hikers experiences of the Rim of Africa:
Issued on behalf of the Rim of Africa by Catalyst Communications:
Contact Chace Brand, 021 404 0608 or 072 095 6718