Earlier this year Slingsby Maps published a new hiking map for the Cederberg called “Hike the Cederberg”. It is to a scale of 1:40 000, is printed on two double sided sheets and is available online and from book stores and outdoor shops.
Please note that Cape Nature has now (from 3 September 2013) re-opened the paths in the northern section of the Cederberg Wilderness for our Cederberg Heritage Route Trails. The huge veld fire at the end of January 2013 caused extensive damage in this northern area and as a result the paths were closed for about seven months. Now that the paths are open again we can accept reservations for all six of our trails.
In order to re-open the Cederberg 100 Trail we have made some temporary modifications to the routes used on the first three days, to avoid the areas seriously damaged in the large veld fires earlier this year. We believe that hikers will find that the modified routing is still very interesting and challenging. The total distance is still close to 100km. Please contact our Reservation Office for details of the route. (Michelle at email@example.com or tel: 027 482 2444)
Trail price discounts of 10% are now available for the summer months of January and February and for the winter months of June and July.
1. Our slackpacking trails continued to operate satisfactorily during the year. The new Gabriel Trail operated for the full year and has been well received. The Cederberg 100 Trail, which is an eight night/seven day trail of about 100km, was inaugurated in August 2012 by two teams of six hikers. One group walked from north to south, starting at the Pakhuis Pass and ending at the Driehoek Tourist Farm. The other group did the trail in reverse. Both groups experienced some very wet, cold weather, but they were not deterred from completing the hike, albeit with some changes in routing to avoid swollen rivers. The participants agreed that the Cederberg 100 was a very interesting and manageable trail and should be included in our portfolio of trails. It will be offered only in the north to south direction.
The large fires in the northern Cederberg early in 2013 caused Cape Nature to close all the hiking paths in that area until further notice. As a result, for the time being, we have had to cease operations on all of our trails except the Gabriel Trail, which operates in the central Cederberg which was not burnt. However, the Wupperthal Trail is now available again, using a somewhat different routing for Day 2 in order to avoid the burnt areas.
2. The results for the year ending 28 February 2013 showed a considerable improvement on the previous year, but our trails are still very under utilised as can be seen from the numbers below. We are busy with a campaign to advertise our trails to as many hiking clubs in South Africa as we can reach. We have not yet made any significant impression on the potential overseas market and welcome any suggestions.
Only 104 persons walked our trails, we sold 389 bed-nights and the income to our Service Providers was R249 914.
3. The comparative results for the last five years were 08/09, 268 bed-nights and R118 807, 09/10, 319 bed-nights and R171 911, 10/11, 378 bed-nights and R227 336, 11/12, 225 bed-nights and R157 849, 12/13, 389 bed-nights and R249 914, making a total of 1579 bed-nights and R925 817.
4. Cedarberg African Travel has continued to provide a central reservation office for our Trails and to co-ordinate the activities of the many local Service Providers. I thank them for their efficient and enthusiastic support. We couldn’t operate without them.
5. A second weekend guide training camp was run for us by the Cape Leopard Trust and held on 1 to 3 February 2013 at Matjiesrivier. It went off very well. Feedback from attendees was very positive. We hope that this will become an annual event.
6. Our website, www.cedheroute.co.za, contains full information on all our trails as well as a page that advertises the Donkey Cart Trails, the guest house accommodation available in the various Moravian villages, contact details for each village and hiking highlights in each area. During the year there were articles about the Cederberg Heritage Route in Getaway magazine and Go magazine and in the July 2013 issue of Country Life there is an extensive article about the Cederberg 100 Trail.
7. There has been a concern that Cape Nature permits for day hikes in the Cederberg Wilderness are not available in the Moravian Church area of the eastern Cederberg nor, over weekends, in Clanwilliam in the west. Cape Nature have now agreed to allow Heuningvlei Tourism to issue permits, under the necessary conditions. They will also try to find a way of making permits available in Clanwilliam at weekends.
8. The Management Committee has met three times since the last AGM.
9. I would like to thank the Moravian Church for providing the venue for our meetings, the committee members for all their efforts and the Service Providers for their enthusiastic support.
Chairman. 12 July 2013.
Day Walk permits for the Cederberg Wilderness area are now available, seven days per week, from the Cape Nature office at their Kliphuis Campsite on the Pakhuis Pass, that has been re-opened recently. This is a convenient place to get your permit (or permits) if you are planning to hike into the Cederberg Wilderness from the Moravian villages on the eastern side of the mountains. For further information see the “Other Activities” page in this website.
Dale Morris hikes a hundred kilometres in the Cederberg
Wilderness and is bowled over by the rugged peaks, Baltic
weather and hobbit-like hospitality see article here >>
As from 1st July 2013 the Wupperthal Trail will be open for business again. This trail, along with three other Cederberg Heritage Route trails, had to be closed temporarily as a result of the extensive veld fires in the northern Cederberg area early in 2013. In order to re-open the Wupperthal Trail we have made a temporary change to the route for Day 2 of the hike. Please see the Wupperthal Trail page in the Hiking Trails section of this website for details. We believe that this temporary change will not detract from one’s enjoyment of the trail.
We have had this response from a member of the group of hikers who walked the Gabriel Trail over the Easter Weekend:
The Cedarberg Heritage trails offer a unique package – a hike through what must be some of the country’s finest mountain scenery, with overnight accommodation provided by the communities of remotely situated Moravian villages. The trade-off is obvious and noble – hungry and weary hikers are fed and watered by the local people, who are paid a cut of the income generated by the trail. First stop was Langkloof, a village of about 25 families, situated at the end of a spectacular valley and accessible only by a North West province type road. Here, 79-year-old Oom Kosie and his wife welcomed us to their home where dinner was later served. Authenticity is the key word here – fried chicken, stoofboentjies, rice, roast potatoes and pumpkin- all sourced from the subsistence existence that is the community’s way of life, as it has no doubt has been for decades. Dessert was a baked pudding, accompanied by a massive bowl of custard. What struck me about our meal (and those that followed it over the course of the long weekend) was not only the sense of humility one inevitably feels at the generosity of those sharing the little that a deprived community like Langkloof has at its disposal, it was the obvious pride with which the food was prepared and served. For me, this was a rare encounter with culture and authenticity in the sense of truth to origins and to oneself, expressed through food. The breakfast and packed lunch for the next day’s hike were no different. They stood in stark contrast with the breakfast pack prepared by the Clanwilliam Lodge on the first morning of the hike, an assembly of chips, chocolates and an admittedly good muffin, all of which were no more authentic than a party pack prepared as a takeaway for a kiddies’ birthday party.
With acknowledgement to the writer’s blog www.like-father-like-son.net.
The huge fire at the end of January 2013 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:
· Klein Krakadouw Trail.
· Groot Krakadouw Trail.
· Pakhuis Trail.
· Wupperthal Trail – Now reopened see here >>
· Cederberg 100 Trail.
So the only trails that we can offer clients at the moment are the four night Gabriel Trail and the Wupperthal Trail. This is a very unfortunate interruption of our activities, but we don’t seem to have any other option.
We extend our sincere sympathy to all those in the area who have suffered serious losses as a result of the fire.