Earlier this year (2017) there was an extensive veld fire in the central Cederberg Wilderness, see Blog in right column across for most recent update on this trail.
Day 1. Arrive in Clanwilliam by 5pm for a briefing session by a Cederberg Heritage Route Representative at The Yellow Aloe Coffee Shop, You will be issued with a bag that is suitable for use on the pack donkeys that carry your luggage for two days of your hike. Please return the bag at the end of the hike, unless you choose to purchase it. At the briefing session you will be informed of the arrangements for dinner and breakfast at your overnight stay in a local guest house.
Day 2.You will be transported from the guesthouse to the top of the Pakhuis Pass. From there, you enjoy an escorted hike via Amon se Poort down to the Boskloof Valley. (16km, 7-8 hours, undulating but basically 700m downhill, rating 3B. Most of the path is well made but the last section of about 1km is quite steep and rough. This is quite a strenuous hike.) On arrival at the Krakadouw cottages in Boschkloof you will be met and transported back to your guesthouse in Clanwilliam, on a DBB basis.
Day 3. After being taken to park your car at the Cedarberg Travel office on a farm outside the town you are transferred to the start of today’s hike at Krakadouw cottages. This morning you take an escorted hike (12km, 7-8hr) up the spectacular Krakadouw Pass via the Anglo-Boer war block house to Krakadouw Neck and then down into the mission village of Heuningvlei. (Uphill of 900m, then 300m down, rating 3B. Again, this is quite a strenuous hike because of the uphill climb. Most of the path is well made and the steepest section, near the top, is done on a zig zag.) You stay overnight in a guest cottage in Heuningvlei on a DBB basis.
Day 4. Escorted day hike of about 16km and 7-8hr from Heuningvlei via the Boontjieskloof Hut, in the heart of the Wilderness Area, and then down to Grasvlei and Brugkraal (climb about 300m and descend 250m, Rating 3B). Overnight in the guest cottage at Brugkraal on a DBB basis.
Day 5. Escorted 6-7hr hike of about 13km from Brugkraal to Kleinvlei via Grasvlei and Wupperthal, involving about 200m gradual downhill, then about 100m up and 300m down over the mountain to Wupperthal and finally a walk through the kloof of the Tra Tra River to Kleinvlei (rating 3B). From Brugkraal to Grasvlei (about 2km) the route follows an easy path through attractive countryside. Beyond Grasvlei one walks through the veld between the jeep track road and the edge of the Grasvlei River gorge for views of the two impressive waterfalls on the river.More or less above the second waterfall the route heads off over the mountain to Wupperthal on informal paths used by the local residents. There will be a short time to look around the historic village of Wupperthal before starting on the final stage of the day through the kloof of the Tra Tra River to the village of Kleinvlei. Overnight in a tented campsite at Kleinvlei, DB&B basis in summer. (If you don’t feel inclined to sleep in a tent you may choose to stay the night in a guest house in Wupperthal and walk through the kloof to Kleinvlei the next morning. This option will be used in winter in any case.)
Day 6. Escorted 4-6hr hike of about 10km from Kleinvlei to the village of Eselbank, with detours to interesting viewpoints, rock formations and the Eselbank Falls (rating 3B). The route climbs the path up to Eselbank which ascends a rocky valley (a climb of about 350m) and then levels out to run along a sandy track beside fields of rooibos tea to Eselbank village. Two short detours are then made. The first, at the end of the morning, goes to the spectacular Eselbank Falls a short way downstream from the village. Here the river plunges into a deep and narrow ravine that leads down to the valley known as the Moordenaarsgat. The second, after lunch, goes to interesting rock formations and a cave with rock art a little way up the Eselbank River from the village. From Wupperthal to Eselbank your luggage will be carried on a pack donkey. Overnight in the guest cottage at Eselbank on a DBB basis.
Day 7. Escorted 6-7hr hike of about 11km from Eselbank over the mountain (ascend and descend about 500m) to the village of Langkloof (rating 3B). Note that about 5km of this hike is on a well marked route (white paint marks and stone cairns) through the veld. The route has been cleared of vegetation but there is not a properly constructed path. The terrain on this section is fairly rough under foot, so progress is slower than on a properly constructed path and more strenuous. However, the route is very beautiful and interesting with tremendous views. Consult your guide if you would prefer a less strenuous hike, as there is an alternative low level route around the mountain and along the rim of a ravine known as Moordenaarsgat. If the weather is unsuitable for the route over the mountain you will be taken to Langkloof by the low level route in any case. Overnight in the guest cottage at Langkloof on a DBB basis.
Day 8. Escorted 6-8hr hike of about 16km involving 430m uphill and then 530m downhill, from Langkloof over Gabriël’s Pass, (with a detour to the Wolfberg Arch for strong hikers, about an extra 4km and 2hours) and then down to the Driehoek farm in the central Cederberg area (rating 3B). At about 4pm you will be met by our transport at Driehoek and will be transferred back to Clanwilliam (about 46km on a gravel road). Overnight in a guest house in Clanwilliam on a DBB basis.
Day 9. Depart for home after breakfast