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South Africa Trekking

Cape Mountains Multi-Day Hiking

Welcome to Rim of Africa

South Africa Trekking
in the Cape Fold Mountains

The Rim of Africa is more than a trail. It is a story and a journey.  A traverse on foot through the wild of the Cape Mountains. Rim of Africa is managed by its own non-profit organisation. It’s mission is to provide access to a valuable, inspirational and environmentally responsible experience of journeying through mountain wilderness. We are committed to broadening access to mountain wilderness experience by making sponsored places available on our annual multi-day hike and through our support of youth wilderness initiatives.

Beyond our projects, we are simply in love with a long, rugged line of wild peaks and valleys, stretching some 760km from the Cederberg in the north, to the Outeniqua foothills in the east, forming the south-western rim of the African continent.

RIM OF AFRICA MOUNTAIN TRAVERSE
This demanding multi-day hike, is a full traverse of the Cape Fold Mountains and is divided into 9 traverses, each varying between 7 and 10 days in duration. 

Join us for just one Traverse, a combination of Traverses, or all Traverses linked to make one journey called a Thru-Hike. The Traverse for 2024 takes place between 24 September and 23 November 2024.

WHY IT IS TOUGH
Some days will be very difficult or challenging as we hike through thick vegetation, over rough rocks and along old trails, in searing heat one moment and cold winds, or rain the next. It is not about distance covered, although we will hike far. It is not about any fastest known time, we take our time, but we also move at a pace that demands good fitness and enthusiasm for adventure.

WHAT IT TAKES
The Rim of Africa multi-day hike is suited for experienced and fit hikers, who are looking for a different and meaningful hiking experience. We are not offering a packaged or tame adventure. We are experienced mountain guides in love with these wild places. We are there for navigation and safety with support and knowledge. You are responsible for your own food and preparation, while we supply tents and expertise. Read the FAQs here.

WHY YOU SHOULD DO IT
Because we only live once, and experiences count. Besides, mountains are a beautiful wild refuge where the journey of our life takes on new meaning. 

Prepare in advance, train, and know your own abilities and limitations before applying and you will get the most from this unique opportunity. Please note our terms and conditions. You are invited to apply and join us for the 2024 Traverse. 

Overnight Hiking

About

Why

Who

How

Why am I walking here on this high mountain of experience, immersed in the grandeur of South Africa trekking in the Cape Mountains? Why am I walking here where the sharp jagged edge of attaining this place has out-worn my weary limbs? What am I doing here cradled above the free-falling stream where small, high-pitched discomforts flutter among the thick vegetation like bird song, perch momentarily and then are lost within the low dense entanglement of diversity?

All that is up here feeds on this mountain. Even each delicately red Erica, each patch of damp, green moss, each brightly spirited sunbird and each pool of silent water.

We are not traditional tourist guides or mountain guides in the traditional sense. We are people who have grown competent in our love for these mountains. We are not offering a packaged, tame experience. We are inviting you to embrace the Rim of Africa ethos and to join us, if that inspires you. We believe in the power of these mountains for good.

We have long wondered: How can we truly share the Rim of Africa experience, including South Africa Trekking in the Cape Mountains? We have tried different things. We are learning. We are exploring. This is an experience…. and one we all cherish each time we walk it. 

 

The Rim of Africa takes place once a year in springtime, offering an exclusive South Africa Trekking experience in the Cape Mountains. Places on this experience are limited to 12 hikers per Traverse. We invite you to apply for one of these places. The Rim of Africa is not for economic profit. But there is a cost. We strive to include people from diverse economic backgrounds and we make some donor funded places available.

If there is a space for you this year, you can join the Rim of Africa community, starting your thread of the story at Pakhuis in the Cederberg. You choose how much of the journey you want to hike. You may choose to hike multiple years in a row, slowly completing each of the 9 Traverses of the route.

It’s that simple.

 

 

 Multi-day Hiking

Although the route we follow is generally the same each year, as this is wild South Africa Trekking in the Cape Mountains, much of it is off-path and so we vary our journey as required. This is the allure and appeal of Rim of Africa as a mountain experience – it is always different. 

Take a look at each traverse offering below. Note the dates of each section and apply for your place.

24 September - 1 October 2024

Traverse 1 - Cederberg

24 September – 1 October 2024

Your adventure begins on-trail with breathtaking views of the highlights of the Cederberg from North to South. This classifies as the classic traverse of the Cederberg, from Pakhuis to Middelberg Pass.

Highlights:  The Cederberg is a remarkable wilderness area of rock formations, caves, rock pools and incredible vistas. A rugged terrain with rich biodiversity. This is one of the easier traverses and ideal to get into Rim of Africa way of hiking.

Duration: 8 days

Terrain:  Mountainous, some steep gradients, good trails and some off-trail hiking.
 
Camps: Wild camping, bucket washes, no fires.
 
Hiking Grade: Fairly Strenuous. Two main climbs to ascend and one off-path day.
 
Distance:  ±90km
1 - 7 October 2024

Traverse 2 - Kouebokkeveld

1 – 7 October 2024

One of our most loved sections as we enter private land that takes us up some of the region’s most remarkable peaks. You will be forgiven for thinking you are in the Drakensberg. A tough traverse or two followed by a gentle descent to camp on the last day.

Highlights: Discover the real gems of the Kouebokkeveld, remarkable rock formations, secret valleys, towering peaks and views you never imagined possible in the western Cape.

Duration: 7 days

Terrain: Mountainous, some steep gradients, peak ascents, all off-path, technical.
 
Camps: Wild camping, bucket washes, no fires.
 
Hiking Grade:  Strenuous
 
Distance: ± 60km
7 - 13 October 2024

Traverse 3 - Skurweberge

7 – 13 October 2024

The Skurweberg traverse is full of unexpected dimensions. A mixture of off-trail and beautiful ridge-line tracks with occasional crossings of farmlands and cooling pine forests thrown in to the mix, following the Witzenberg South to the fruit capital of Ceres.

Highlights: The rock pools on day one will never be forgotten. A tough yet inspiring traverse over the Skurweberge, crossing the Atlantic/Indian ocean water shed line and along the Witzenberg down to Ceres.

Duration: 7 days

Terrain: Mountainous, some steep gradients, on and off-path.
 
Camps: Wild camping, bucket washes, no fires.
 
Hiking Grade:  Strenuous
 
Distance: ± 76km
13 - 20 October 2024

Traverse 4 - Hex River

13 – 20 October 2024

A unique opportunity to traverse the formidable Hex River Mountains. Vast amphitheatres of rock and rich vegetation with extensive views. A steep ascent, with incredible scenery and rich Fynbos, eventually lead us into the Klein Karoo with crystal clear rock pools.

Highlights: With almost 2000m altitude, this traverse reaches the highest point along the Rim of Africa. It includes incredible off-path hiking with a technical boulderous descent into the Hex River Valley. Sleeping in the shade of a vast amphitheatre. 

Duration: 8 days

Terrain: Mountainous, some steep gradients, off-path, technical.
 
Camps: Wild camping, bucket washes, no fires.
 
Hiking Grade:  Strenuous
 
Distance: ± 92km
20 - 26 October 2024

Traverse 5 - Langeberg

20 – 26 October 2024

The ultimate ridge-line hike, from the Koo Valley to Montagu. Experience the thrill of walking in the sky, as we navigate vegetated and rocky ridges alike with extensive views, on a clear day as far as the Indian ocean.

Highlights: This traverse is out of this world – literally. Great fusion of hiking and scrambling through protea and mountain fynbos with incredible views for days on end.

Duration: 7 days

Terrain: Mountainous, some steep gradients, off-path, technical.
 
Camps: Wild camping, bucket washes, no fires.
 
Hiking Grade: Strenuous
 
Distance: ± 75km
 
NOTE – the end of Traverse 5 includes a full REST DAY for Thru-Hikers and anyone completing 5 and 6 consecutively. 
26 October - 4 November 2024

Traverse 6 - Marloth

26 October – 4 November 2024

Our longest traverse, from the historical gem of Montagu, with an initial Camino style hike making way to exposed ridge-line scrambles, followed by Marloth’s luxurious hiking trails and after a superb boulderous descent, ending at the Klein Karoo village of Barrydale.

Highlights: Classic cape fold mountain formations from word go. Exceptional array of fynbos flora, some of the best in the Western cape. Vista of historical villages

Duration: 10 days

Terrain: Mountainous, some steep gradients, mix of on & off-path.

Camps: Wild camping, bucket washes, no fires.

Hiking Grade: Strenuous

Distance: ± 115km

4 - 10 November 2024

Traverse 7 - Grootvadersbosch

4 – 10 November 2024

A perfectly laid out traverse from Barrydale through Grootvadersbosch nature reserve via one of the best ridge line scrambles down into Gysmanshoek, then past the famous Sleeping Beauty peak, ending in Garcia Pass outside Riversdale.

Highlights:  The fynbos splendour of Grootvaders- and Bosmansbosch, crystal clear pools at most camps, exceptional ridge lines and abandoned trails above remote protea covered valleys.

Duration: 7 days

Terrain: Mountainous, some steep gradients, on & off-path.

Camps: Wild camping, bucket washes, no fires.

Hiking Grade: Strenuous

Distance: ± 82km

10 - 17 November 2024

Traverse 8 - Gouritz

10 – 17 November 2024

Following the final stretch of Langeberg from Garcia to Cloete Pass, through hidden valleys, fynbos covered slopes, crossing trading routes of days gone past. Via exposed ascends and high peaks, changing to passing green pastures and crossing the Gourits river.

Highlights: The solitude of the Eastern end of the Langeberg with its crystal-clear streams and protea covered passes. Unique mountain peaks with views of Swartberg to the North and the Indian ocean just 50km South.

Duration: 8 days

Terrain: Mountainous, some steep gradients, on & off-path, technical.

Camps: Wild camping, bucket washes, no fires.

Hiking Grade: Strenuous

Distance: ± 78km

16 - 23 November 2024

Traverse 9 - Outeniqua

16 – 23 November 2024

This final traverse takes you from Cloete pass on old farm tracks and hiking trails through the foothills of the Attakwas mountains and crossing Robinson pass and Doringrivier Nature Reserve ending on the Outeniqua pass North of George.

Highlights:  Hiking through the delightful rolling hills of the Attakwas, ascending Jurie se Berg, with a final meander up the Doringrivier valley beneath the towering Engelse berg. Camping near bubbling mountain streams and rock pools. 

Duration: 8 days

Terrain: Mountainous, gradual slopes mainly on and some off-path.

Camps: Wild camping, bucket washes, no fires.

Hiking Grade: Fairly Strenuous

Distance: ± 94km

24 Sep - 23 Nov 2024

Thru-Hike

24 Sep – 23 Nov 2024
The ultimate experience 9 weeks in nature, on top of mountains, through remote valleys, along hidden long forgotten paths, from the Cederberg in the North to the Outeniqua in the East. 
 
Highlights: Endless ridge lines, rock formations, crystal clear spring water, swimming in mountain pools, sleeping under the stars.
 

Experienced and knowledgeable mountain guides. Breathtaking vistas, crossing the Cape Floral Kingdom, afromontane forests, leopard tracks and game spotting. Proteas and bird life. Rock paintings, thoughts, impressions, blisters and pain, laughter and tears, friends, memories and personal transformation.

Duration: 62 days

Distance: +/- 760km

rim-of-africa-map

Questions and Answers

South Africa Trekking

It is. . . 

All those who have experienced the Rim of Africa attest to its potency, particularly in the context of South Africa Trekking in the Cape Mountains. It is about immersion. In wild beauty. In serenity. In well-being. In discomfort. It is exhausting and restful. It is about height and depth, about silence and dialogue, about solitude and connecting.

It is about wandering and wondering. It is enlivening, invigorating, tranquil and surprising. It is soulful, sweaty, serene and scratchy. It is spectacular and poetic. It is not really a hike.

It is an act of love. It is unhurried. It endures. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Application and Costs

Entries for the 2024 season are open – and yes, places are limited.

WHAT IT COSTS IN 2024. Coordinating an annual traverse of the Cape Mountains over 760km of wild terrain, takes a lot of organising.

We can go into all the detail about what it costs to convene such an epic experience as this, to give you an idea here are just some of the things our team works on all year round to make it possible:

  • Access agreements and camping permits.
  • 2 Professional Mountain Guides.
  • Communications – helping you plan.
  • Insurance.
  • Medical supplies, satellite phone and Garmin GPS – for the unexpected.
  • Logistics, food drops, resupply service and transfers to the start and back to Cape Town.
  • Organisation – 12 months of work to arrange the above and support website, financials, bookings, projects, etc.

This comes to a total of R8,250 – R9,600 per traverse based on number of days in the mountains which includes a R2,500 non-refundable deposit per traverse.

RIM OF AFRICA PROJECTS & FUNDRAISING
We encourage all hikers to support Rim of Africa’s core give-back projects by making a donation in addition to the above participation costs. If each hiker makes a donation of between R1,000 – R10,000 per section, we can continue to support projects in 2024.

NOTES
Minimum Group Size
There is a minimum number of participants required to register before we can confirm a traverse will take place – so get your friends to sign-up with you.

Sponsored Places
We offer several supported places which are partially sponsored, for enthusiasts such as students, pensioners or others who need financial support at R1,100 all inclusive per traverse. Details in the application form. Terms and Conditions apply. Apply here for a sponsored place.

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PREPARATION HIKES
We offer a minimum of two preparation hikes before the start of the traverse. These are an important opportunity to familiarise yourself with technical off-path hiking and the correct gear you will need to successfully enjoy the Rim of Africa. Find out if this experience is really for you and learn from our experienced guides on these weekends. 

WHAT’S INCLUDED

  • Months of preparations by a small dedicated part-time team who obtain access permission from more than 200 different landowners, answer any questions you may have leading up to the event, work to prepare logistics and coordinate transfers, scout new sections of the route, and on it goes. We are amazed ourselves how much it takes to get a group of people into remote mountains.
  • Logistics support, this involves your extra gear and your own pre-packed food being made available at food drop points on days 3, 4 or 5 depending on each section. This allows for your pack to be lighter than would be the case otherwise. At most food drop points you can off-load trash, restock your food, and pick up fresh gear / clothing if you are doing more than one Traverse).
  • 2 x Professional Mountain Guides per Traverse.
  • All access permits + conservation fees.
  • All overnight camping fees.
  • Medical emergency pack, emergency satellite phone & GPS.
  • Indemnity insurance for any damage inadvertently caused to private property. 
  • A small dedicated team taking care of everything along the route for you, ensuring your resupply bags are delivered and trash removed.
  • The knowledge that your donation is being used responsibly.
  • An experience that will live on long after we reach the end of any stage, memories of wide open places, silence, pleasure, achievement, some pain and loads of good companionship. It will be tough, beautiful and amazing.

NOT INCLUDED
Rim of Africa is for those of us who enjoy the experience of preparing for an extended time in the mountains. The following is not included in the cost:

  • Food – you need to bring and pre-pack all your own food. This is great as it means you get to eat exactly what you love and can plan your meals according to your energy needs and preferences. 
  • Cooking stoves – You need to have your own stove for cooking or team up with another hiker and share. 
  • Tents – We have a limited supply of MSR Hubba tents for rent on a first come first served basis, so sign-up early. 

Apply today as places are limited and the traverses sell out quickly.

 EVENTS + IMAGE GALLERY

Listen to Pippa Hudson from Cape Talk, interview Bob Baigrie (Trustee) and Lauren Medcalf (hiker) 

https://podcasts.apple.com/za/podcast/travel-and-tourism-rim-of-africa/id1212305649?i=1000617712565

Bookings:  +27 23 614 1895  – Ninon

Emergencies: +27 23 614 1895

Whatsapp:  +27 82 600 8117 – Ninon

Non-Profit Trust: +27 83 261 7960  – Ivan

Rim of Africa – Overnight Hiking Cape Mountain Traverse

Address: 9PMH+89, Nooitgedacht, 6720
Phone: 082 600 8117
Hours: 

Tuesday 8 am–5:30 pm
Wednesday 8 am–5:30 pm
Thursday 8 am–5:30 pm
Friday 8 am–5:30 pm
Saturday 8 am–5:30 pm
Sunday 8 am–5:30 pm
Monday 8 am–5:30 pm
* indicates required
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