Come and enjoy enjoy some of the best slackpacking hiking trails in South Africa.
Hiking Trail Prices
Please note that the huge fire at the end of January 2013 has caused extensive damage in the northern section of the Cederberg Wilderness controlled by Cape Nature and also in the northern parts of the Moravian Church area in the eastern Cederberg region. Cape Nature has closed the paths in the northern section of the Cederberg Wilderness until further notice in order to evaluate the ecological situation. At this stage it is not known how long the closure will need to last. As a result of this situation we will not be able to accept bookings for the following trails until further notice – the Klein Krakadouw, Groot Krakadouw, Pakhuis, Wupperthal and Cederberg 100 Trails. So the only trail that we can offer clients at the moment is the four night Gabriel Trail. This is a very unfortunate interruption of our activities, but we don’t seem to have any other option.
The prices of the trails per person vary, depending on the particular trail chosen, the number of nights involved, whether a guided rock art walk is included and the number of persons in the group. Normally the maximum group size is six persons, due to accommodation and transport limitations. Smaller groups are accepted, but the cost per person then increases. Contact the Reservation Office for prices for the eight night and seven days Cederberg 100 Trail and for special offers which are often available on the other trails. For our other trails the price ranges per person per trail for groups of six from 1 March 2013 to 28 February 2014 are as follows:
- Two night trail from R1825 per person per trail.(Higher prices for fewer than 6 persons)
- Three night trails from R2425 to R3025 per person per trail.(Higher prices for fewer than 6 persons)
- Four night trails from R3175 to R3700 per person per trail.(Higher prices for fewer than 6 persons)
- Five night trail from R4100 per person per trail.(Higher prices for fewer than 6 persons)
Price ranges per person per trail for groups of only two persons up to 28 February 2014, for example, are as follows:
- Two night trail from R2750 per person per trail.
- Three night trails from R3450 to R4475 per person per trail.
- Four night trails from R4375 to R5575 per person per trail.
- Five night trail from R5575 per person per trail.
Should you wish to explore opportunities for arranging your own hiking trip at a lower cost than these full-service slackpacking trails we suggest that you consult the “Do-it-Yourself” section of the “Other Activities” page in this website. There you will find information on the accommodation available in various Moravian mission villages and the interesting hiking opportunities in the vicinity of each village.
Gratuities, Tips and Service Fees
We have a policy of no gratuities, tips or service fees. All costs are included in the trail prices. Please do not give gratuities or tips to individual service providers.
Accommodation on the Trails
Accommodation on the Cederberg Heritage Route Trails is either in comfortable guest houses or in community-based homestays in the mission villages. Please note that although the homestays are well kept they do not have the bathroom facilities or perhaps the level of comfort that you may be used to. Bathrooms will usually have to be shared by the group and the bedroom configuration may require three persons to share a room, given the traditional nature of the cottages in the mission villages.
Community Trail Escorts/Guides
Please note that the members of the local communities who escort you on the hikes from one night stop to the next are not necessarily trained and accredited tourist guides. Some of them are, but others are just local community members who know the local paths and will guide you to your next night stop and introduce you to your host. They have local knowledge that they should try to impart to you, but generally their home language is Afrikaans and they may have difficulty expressing themselves in English. We provide training for the escorts as and when we are able.
Hiking Safety and Emergency Procedures
Please note that the members of the local communities who escort you on the hikes are not necessarily trained in first aid procedures. Please ensure that you have at least one simple first aid kit in your group. Note also that some of the paths used on our trails take you into remote areas of the mountains. There is generally no cell phone contact in the area and no quick way to get help. The weather in the Cederberg area can be very hot in summer and very cold and wet in winter (even snow and sleet). It can also change very quickly from warm and dry to cold and wet, so go prepared with suitable clothing. (See the Suggested Packing List below re the first aid kit and clothing.)
The following Hiking Safety and Emergency Procedures are provided for the benefit of our hiking guests and their Escorts.
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Hiking Trail Rating System
Most of the hiking and walking on the Cederberg Heritage Route trails is not very severe, though the paths are usually stony and uneven and occasionally the route goes through the veld with no path. However, some optional hikes are more challenging. There are also numerous streams and rivers to be crossed, which may involve taking off shoes and socks and wading. We use the following Rating System to describe each day’s hike/walk on our trails.
1 – Fairly easy walk on undulating terrain, up to 8km
2 – Relatively easy hiking on undulating terrain, between 8-12km
3 – Steeper hiking over a pass AND/OR a longer distance, up to about 18km
4 – Steep mountain hike with several hours of uphill walking
Hike/Walk exposure to heights and/or scrambling
A – no exposure to heights and no scrambling
B – some hiking up rocky steps
C – some steep rock scrambling and exposure to heights involved. People with a severe problem with heights may want to avoid this walk
The times estimated below include ‘tea’ and lunch stops and some time for photography, swimming and other activities i.e. a leisurely pace. If you are a keen hiker, you may complete the walk in a faster time. Hikers are provided with a packed picnic lunch at the start of each day. Hikers need only carry a daypack, containing items needed during the day, as their overnight luggage is transported from one overnight stop to the next.
Selecting a Hiking Trail
Generally the trails include the following features:
- Spectacular mountain scenery and interesting fynbos vegetation.
- A walk to interesting rock art sites with a knowledgeable guide (except on the Klein Krakadouw and Cederberg 100 Trails).These guided walks are highly recommended as “the images are not only aesthetically beautiful, not only technically very skilfully made but are also steeped in meaning.” (John Parkington, 2002) The guides provide interpretations based on modern research.
- A ride in a traditional Cederberg donkey cart on the 12km Donkey Cart Trail (except on the Gabriel and Cederberg 100 Trails).
- The opportunity to experience life in Moravian Church mission villages.
The Six Trails
The following summary of the six trails is intended to assist you in selecting the trail that is likely to suit you best with respect to the degree of exertion required. The trails are listed more or less in order of their degree of severity:
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Suggested Packing list
As space – particularly on the donkey carts – is limited, bags must be fairly compact eg: 650 x 300 x 300mm or 750 x250 x300mm, and must not weigh more than 12kg. Use soft bags please. No suitcases allowed. As wine/spirits are neither available nor provided, a (modest) quantity could probably be fitted in such bags. Avoid glass bottles. Take wine in cardboard cartons and/or spirits in plastic bottles. For the Gabriel Trail you will be required to use (borrow and return) the Cederberg Heritage Route bags which are suitable for use on the pack donkeys.
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